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COMPLETE: Tower & Cottages At Carnegie Abbey

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carnegie_abbeyTOWER001.jpg

A majestic landmark standing above the verdant landscape, the 220-foot Tower at Carnegie Abbey comprises 80 exquisite residences on 21 stories. Only the finest materials and finishes will be found within, while floor-to-ceiling windows and private balconies provide unsurpassed vistas of the Narragansett Bay coastline.

Premier New Residences

80 condominiums (1 to 4 bedrooms)

  • 220-foot-tall Tower

  • Located within the Carnegie Abbey Golf and Sporting Club featuring golf, yachting, equestrian, and tennis

  • 1,000 to more than 6,000 SF, or can combine

  • Covered parking adjacent to the Tower

  • First occupancy Summer/Fall 2007

  • $695,000 to $7 million

The Tower and Royal Cottages at Carnegie Abbey

RIroads.com

RDK Engineers

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I don't know about you, but I think that is fing ridiculous.

Also, Portsmouth had better get its planning butt in gear to deal with the traffic impact on West Main Road. Both Middletown and Portsmouth are turning into planning and traffic disasters because they have never really dealt with directing growth in their communities.

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Holy sh*t! They are actually going to allow a 21-story building in PORTSMOUTH? I'm shocked. Kind of odd in a completely non-urbanized area. I dont even know if this would look good in Newport.

Hmm I dont know what to think of this...

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Also, Portsmouth had better get its planning butt in gear to deal with the traffic impact on West Main Road. Both Middletown and Portsmouth are turning into planning and traffic disasters because they have never really dealt with directing growth in their communities.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

Yes, they do indeed need to get their collective acts together out on Aquiddneck Island to deal with planning and traffic. I think this project will likely appeal to many people as second homes, so it won't add as much traffic as something that would attract year-round residents. And as second homes, they won't have the same commuting patterns as other people.

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This reminds me of an article in Planning Magazine put out by the American Planning Association. It was called "The Case for True Urbanism," and was basically a critique of "new urbanism" versus "true urbanism." A really fascinating article, which I would link to if it didn't require APA membership (I read a hard copy). Not sure what my point is, except that this kind of density makes sense in cities, but maybe not in Portsmouth where everyone will be driving ...

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carnegie_abbeyTOWER001.jpg

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

I gotta say it... I think the Portsmouth condos are way prettier than the designs we've seen for the Intercontinental condo's at Waterplace. I/C has a sort of 60's eastern block look being way more boxey and also the weird roof line). I was excited about the new condo's at Waterplace... now I wish they looked more like Portsmouth's design!

waterplace002.jpg

Luckily, the new Westin Tower & OneTen will be gorgeous!

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This reminds me of an article in Planning Magazine put out by the American Planning Association.  It was called "The Case for True Urbanism," and was basically a critique of "new urbanism" versus "true urbanism."  A really fascinating article, which I would link to if it didn't require APA membership (I read a hard copy).  Not sure what my point is, except that this kind of density makes sense in cities, but maybe not in Portsmouth where everyone will be driving ...

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

Alex Marshall discusses this in his book "Cities without Suburbs" too...how new urbanism sucks when its done in non-urban areas. He uses the example of Celebration, Florida as a bad new urbanist development, since it was built on the fringes and relies not on its "downtown" for its services, but on a strip suburban style road that it is built near. Excellent book by the way.

Wow I've never seen that existing building before. Shows you how many times I've been to Portsmouth...

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What is the deal with sad, bad architecture around Waterplace park? Both Gtech and the condo towers are butt ugly.

Carnegie Abbey will not increase traffic or change anything about that town other than property cachet. It is a small self contained devlpmnt designed to cater to gated wealth.

Small marina, very expensive golf course, horse stable condos, and some very expensive houses, all designed and built by the developer to spec.

It will not be a draw but an enclave. This guy has super exclusive lifestyle dvlpmnts all over the world. You wont have any local traffic lined up at the light to get in.

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I think a lot about this project, since I drive past it every day on the Newport Bridge. And I'm highly curious. So far, I believe the tower units are selling very well. Last I heard, half the units were already sold. That news came not too long ago, as I recall.

If this project proves to be highly successful, do we start to see more luxury high-rise development on the islands, Aquidneck and Conanicut? Probably not in Newport, I think, because anything that might have a negative effect on the character of the city will be forcibly rejected. But in Portsmouth, and especially in Jamestown, do the islands start to make up in height what they lack in width?

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If this project proves to be highly successful, do we start to see more luxury high-rise development on the islands, Aquidneck and Conanicut? Probably not in Newport, I think, because anything that might have a negative effect on the character of the city will be forcibly rejected. But in Portsmouth, and especially in Jamestown, do the islands start to make up in height what they lack in width?

I would say Newport's North End (where I think moderate height would actually work quite well) is the most likely candidate for this sort of development. It has available space, its "character" is strip-mall generica, and it is one of the few parts of the island where roads are not overcrowded already. I could also see a tall proposal or two for Burma Road, if the old Navy parcels ever open up. Anywhere else, opposition would be tremendous. Probably not Jamestown, given the intensity of locals' desire to preserve its small-town character.

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I don't know, random high rises outside of already urbanized areas scare me. I could see some in Newport since it already has density, but nowhere else really outside of Providence, Pawtucket, CF, eastern Cranston or Warwick around the train station.

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i've nevr been to portsmouth, but i can't imagine that woud look normal there... at least they're making use of an existing structure (unless they're tearing the whole thing down to build this). i like the design though and i think it'd look better in providence along the river... like right around where the waterplace condos are going to be...

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I would say Newport's North End (where I think moderate height would actually work quite well) is the most likely candidate for this sort of development. It has available space, its "character" is strip-mall generica, and it is one of the few parts of the island where roads are not overcrowded already.

You're preaching to the choir here: I've envisioned such a thing many times. That's also a low spot on the island, so a tower of sorts might not be considered so oppressive as one sitting high on a hill. Heck, look at the way Newport Hospital dominates the skyline as you approach Newport, and again from many places in town. And that's only what, 6 stories I think?

Compare the effect to that of the Hyatt Regency on Goat Island, which is something more like 10 stories. The Hyatt blends in. The Hospital sticks out. I never fail to find amusement in that observation as I drive across the bridge every day and find the feeling reinforced anew. :P

Down near the swamp section of town, near Newport Grand, that would help things. Very low-lying. Carnegie's tower is set at a low point too. Softens the effect. But at the same time, since everything else on the island is so low, the views must be unbelievable. And look how much Carnegie is asking for its penthouse units. Correct me if I'm wrong, but I think they're asking for $7m for the top units -- not even in the same league as any similar luxury high-rise unit in Providence.

Think about that. Thassa lotta money.

Which is why I think Jamestown would be a likely candidate. Think about the taxes. Jamestown doesn't have the same kind of character to upset as in Newport: it doesn't have to concern itself with the same delicate cultural balance that must be maintained for the local & regional economic good. But its views are every bit as good, and perhaps better. I tend to think Portsmouth might opt for another such development because they'll love the extra tax dollars. In a small town, I'd think that those dollars would mean a lot -- especially when you consider the sort of people who might have that kind of money lying around, empty-nesters whose occupancy of the town wouldn't put any additional stress on the public school system. As the line goes, a spoonful of sugar makes the medicine go down. As much as many residents of Middletown, Jamestown, and Portsmouth wish to protect their character of their respective homes, you have to think that those tax dollars would look mighty enticing.

And if the Carnegie tower proves to be a big hit, I also think the developers would be swarming over the opportunity to replicate that example.

Recchia, I agree. That's what makes the North End ideal, or the Navy land in Newport and Middletown (if the Navy vacates more), places that are already pretty sprawly and can only get better. Still, theory aside, the fact remains that the people looooove those pristine water views and will pay heavily for them ...

And don't we have a wonderful abundance of those pristine water views? :wub:

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I do want to say that re-using that structure would be better than wiping out blocks of forests or green space to built condos. All development can't take place in 1 of only a few places in RI. I like this idea as opposed to a sprawling complex along side a golf course or next to farm land...

Having said all that - that building might look good on parcel 12...

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And if the Carnegie tower proves to be a big hit, I also think the developers would be swarming over the opportunity to replicate that example.

The only reason O'Neill is building a tower at Carnegie Abbey is because it is the former site of the Kaiser Aluminum Tower. The height is grandfathered in.

Another tower is highly unlikely. The community opposition would be overwhelming: Jamestown and the east side of Aquidneck Island, especially, would scream bloody murder. These mostly high-priced residential areas have a lot of rural/small-town character to preserve and they would demand that the development be horizontal.

The only places where a tower would be remotely likely are the West Side of Aquidneck Island (depending on what land the Navy may choose to excess; see the Aquidneck Island Planning Commission's West Side Master Plan) and the North End of Newport. In the North End, there already is Admiral's Gate, an approx. 6-story office building near the Rotary, visible from the Bridge, to give an idea of how low-lying that area is. North End develpment has been given a boost by a recent news item that O'Neill is in negotiations to buy Newport Grand. His company specializes in brownfields, and Newport Grand is located on top of the former city dump. What O'Neill would do with Newport Grand is anyone's guess.

If you are keeping an eye on luxury development in Newportland, also keep tabs on:

Christie's: Bought by a trust backed by billionaire Campbell's soup heiress Dorance H. "Dodo" Hamilton, the site recently reopened with a marina and a restaurant for marina clients operated by the Callahans, who own Zelda's. No word on when plans for the site will be announced, but rumors that it will become a waterfront park have been denied.

Newport Armory: One block south of Christie's on Thames. The Newport Redevelopment Agency is currently negotiating with O'Neill, who is looking to create a downtown outpost for Carnegie Abbey. The press has been quiet lately on these negotiations, which appear to be slow; likely sticking points include public use of portions of the Armory building and access to the city-owned Ann Street Pier. I'm wondering what prevented O'Neill from buying Christie's - he could have had a huge site that could be entirely private, instead of haggling with the city over public access.

Weaver Cove: O'Neill acquired the rights to this development from Ted Hood recently. Located on the edge of the Melville Marine District, 2 miles south of Carnegie Abbey in Portsmouth, the marina and village already has CRMC & DEM permits. It would have approx. 1,500 slips, making it the largest on the East Coast, and would contain luxury and marine businesses in an effort to further grow the area's megayacht industry.

PS: I believe that the Marriott (sea level), the Hyatt (sea level), and the Hospital (on a hill) all measure in at approx. 8 or 9 stories. If I am not mistaken, that is the maximum allowed height in Newport.

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This project has gone quiet in the press lately as the Town crafts a PUD ordinance for the project, but this item popped up once the proposed ordinances for the Weaver's Cove and Weyerhaeuser sites were shown to the Town Council.

Ordinance changes on the table for Portsmouth waterfront district [East Bay Newspapers]

Sticking points include: 60 foot height limit at Melville/Weaver's Cove development; open space requirements at Melville site; and affordable housing (off-site construction or equivalent fund contribution).

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The cottages are coming along nicely, but I haven't noticed much visible work on the tower yet. I'm up that way semi-often. I'll see if I can't get some pics early next week.

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Here you are! :)

An overview of the entire development from West Main Road:

car1ad4.jpg

The tower will stand just right of center in this pic. You can sort of see the foundation "pit" just behind the house with the columns. The building just beyond the pit is the sales office, from which I took this picture:

car2sq7.jpg

As you can see, foundation/utility work is indeed under way. This actually surprised me a bit. I thought they were going to reuse the foundation of the old Kaiser Aluminum tower, rather than starting completely from scratch.

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