PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — The Providence City Council approved millions of dollars in tax breaks for the developer planning to turn the vacant so-called “Superman” building into new apartments.
Councilors voted 11-1 in favor of the tax stabilization agreement (TSA), which would give developer High Rock Development a significant discount on its taxes for the first 30 years after the tower is renovated.
“The Superman building will embody the spirit of a new beginning in downtown Providence,” Providence City Council President John Igliozzi said. “The redevelopment of this iconic but sadly dormant building will revitalize our capital city, encourage more investment, and create opportunities for all of us.”
The agreement is one component of a $223 million redevelopment plan to transform the iconic downtown structure into 285 apartments, with rent ranging in price from $1,384 to $5,287. The redevelopment plan also includes carving out retail space in the “grand banking hall” on the ground floor.
The proposal is expected to create 1,600 construction jobs.
“These redevelopment plans will further stimulate our local economy, reinvigorate our downtown, and further build up this growing and vibrant residential and commercial neighborhood,” said Councilman John Goncalves, who represents the downtown area where the building is located.
The Westminster Street high-rise has been vacant since Bank of America moved out in 2013.
The agreement must clear the Providence City Council a second time before heading to Mayor Jorge Elorza’s desk for consideration. That vote is expected to happen sometime next month.