UPDATED: Elorza Vetoes Zoning Change for $300M Fane Tower, Future of Project in Peril
Saturday, December 01, 2018
The veto could potentially be overridden by the Providence City Council or it could be a death knell for the largest private investment in Providence in the past 20 years.
Elorza writes in his veto message"...I made it clear to the developer and to the public that the design of the building was my top priority. I want to be sure that the building, both from a skyline and from a streetscape perspective, worked for the city. I requested that the City, either through the DDRC or the Planning Department, have final approval over the design of the project, rather than merely advisory input. If this building is going to reshape our skyline, then the city should be able to approve what it looks like."
He went on to say in his veto message, "While the developer was amenable to giving some assurances on the timeline and open to some level of public benefit contribution, we were not able to reach agreement on the first and most important point. Given that this project would reshape our skyline and dramatically impact our streetscape, I made it clear both privately and publicly, that the design of the building was my top priority. The developer has been unwilling to provide assurances that the city's design recommendations would not be disregarded. As such, I have decided to veto this zoning change."
The response from the Fane development team was disappointment.
"Jason Fane is disappointed in the Mayor’s action today. We have endeavored to compromise in good faith in an effort to get an agreement done that best serves the interest of all the citizens of Providence. His veto is an extraordinarily punitive action against this specific project and the economic development Hope Point represents. We will have more to say next week," Dante Bellini, Jr. spokesman for the Fane Tower.
In a joint statement from Senate President Ruggerio and House Speaker Mattiello regarding Mayor Elorza’s decision on a zoning change ordinance that would enable the proposed Hope Point Tower to proceed:
President of the Senate Dominick J. Ruggerio and Speaker of the House Nicholas A. Mattiello said, “The proposed Hope Point Tower represents a major private investment in our capital city. It would not only change our skyline, it would send a signal to developers far and wide that Providence is a worthwhile place to invest. We are extremely disappointed that Mayor Elorza has chosen to stand in the way of progress for our capital city, and we encourage the City Council to override this veto as soon as possible.”
While Mattiello and Ruggerio criticized the Elorza for the veto, Providence Preservation praised the Mayor for his decision.
“The Providence Preservation Society and all of the coalition members that have been speaking out against this short-sighted and destructive zoning change wholeheartedly thank Mayor Elorza for putting the city’s interests above the interest of one developer,” said Brent Runyon, Executive Director. “Mayor Elorza has exercised great leadership throughout this process, and the people of Providence thank him for doing the right thing to protect the character and reputation of our great city. He respected the plan that is in place and the thorough community process. Standing strong, the mayor has shown that he respects, values and believes in community members’ input. With so many questions still left for Fane to answer, we call on the City Council now to uphold the Mayor’s veto and reject this questionable proposal that would have significant long-term negative impacts on Providence and our state.”
This story was first published 11/30/18 4:35 PM
Related Slideshow: Fane Tower By the Number, November 29, 2018
Will the Fane Tower have anything on the rooftop?
Yes. But, the developer has not determined how the rooftop will be developed
IMAGE: Fane's Toronto project
How many estimated residents will live at the property?
IMAGE: Fane's Toronto project
What is the cost of the project?