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Frankie811

Downtown Condo Market

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I have once or twice dabbled in the art of sarcasm. I'm just put off by people telling me "I don't get it". I'm trying to gauge interest in a Downcity neighborhood. I am slowly coming to the conclusion, that the only development being planned is residential units. I would wish people that cared, would push for tax relief in other areas (re: professional jobs) I do not discount developers ability to make money. I am of the belief (did I spell that right) that the plans will have to change, or walk away completely from some projects. I think the focus should be to raise the median income in the area, not the property tax base.

Sorry if I offended anyone.

providence is one of the only major cities that i know of that has little to no residential units in the downtown area. these exist in comparable cities. people are starting to want to live in the downtown areas. the smaller cities are also drawing attention as the cost of living in the larger cities begins to get too expensive. the interest is there. the developers probably wouldn't be building if they didn't think there was an interest.

i do agree that there needs to be business there as well. but that goes back to teh chicken and egg argument. with the way downtown providence is currently, businesses have no reason to move down there. if there were more people there at night (such as people who live there), there would be great reason for the businesses to move in. i think this is a great way to do this.

you asked where the 6 figure jobs are downtown. currently, there aren't many, but again, and i repeat something others have said, the people interested aren't necessarily people who are planning on working downtown, but people who will commute to other towns and cities (smithfield perhaps, for the fidelity). and maybe some of these people will have enough pull with their companies to get them to move downtown.

providence has suffered from a lot of problems and still suffers from the mentality that it's a crappy city with a crappy environment for businesses and corporations. that could change if people move here and realize that it's not really that bad. i think getting people to move downtown will begin a large gentrification movement of the area. the businesses currently have no reason to move there.

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I am slowly coming to the conclusion, that the only development being planned is residential units.

Well, that's simply not true, what is in the ground already is all residential and hotel. But there are planned office projects. Dyer Street reportedly has a tenant lined up, and it is a building that would be larger than GTECH. OneEleven Fountain (the old Fogarty Building) will be rehabbed as offices (as opposed to a hotel as previously planned), no word yet if there are tenants lined up. New construction at the Old Public Safety complex is also slated to have an office component, I'm not clear if there's a tenant(s) there yet. And not Downcity, but we have offices at Rising Sun. I also think the new plan for Heritage Harbor would include offices (biotech?). And Brown continues to expand on the East Side and likely in the Jewelry District eventually.

Our poor business climate is slowly changing. There are many small companies that have already moved here such as Garrison Confections, and DCI on Westminster. The cleanup of corruption at City Hall is encouraging larger firms to take a second look at us. I wouldn't expect a massive influx of high paying office jobs here anytime soon, but a small influx is on it's way.

Of course if the bursting of the finance bubble proves to have a major impact on the economy, all bets are off in regards to our business climate.

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Well, that's simply not true, what is in the ground already is all residential and hotel. But there are planned office projects. Dyer Street reportedly has a tenant lined up, and it is a building that would be larger than GTECH. OneEleven Fountain (the old Fogarty Building) will be rehabbed as offices (as opposed to a hotel as previously planned), no word yet if there are tenants lined up. New construction at the Old Public Safety complex is also slated to have an office component, I'm not clear if there's a tenant(s) there yet. And not Downcity, but we have offices at Rising Sun. I also think the new plan for Heritage Harbor would include offices (biotech?). And Brown continues to expand on the East Side and likely in the Jewelry District eventually.

Our poor business climate is slowly changing. There are many small companies that have already moved here such as Garrison Confections, and DCI on Westminster. The cleanup of corruption at City Hall is encouraging larger firms to take a second look at us. I wouldn't expect a massive influx of high paying office jobs here anytime soon, but a small influx is on it's way.

Of course if the bursting of the finance bubble proves to have a major impact on the economy, all bets are off in regards to our business climate.

Cotuit ths is the exact type of stuff that should be championed. The fact that we're hearing there is so much devlopment that we dont need to give any more tax breaks stance that city hall is taking, and then lists all of the residential projects as proof. I would love to see more projects like the ones you have outlined. The problem being that the last 6 years a lot of money has been made in "luxury" units (not here but nationwide) but now that the fed is no longer "spiking the punchbowl" (sorry jenkins) we are seeing just how speculative those markets were. I really hope that we do start to go in the direction of these projects you have outlined, before its too late.

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A lot of this stuff has to be publicized by the developers themselves, and some of them are wanting to be quiet about it all for various reasons. The city can't really run off at the mouth about development proposals all the time because that is exactly how Buddy chased a lot of projects out of town, notably the Sundance Theatre (which likely would have failed on it's own, but still, he should have shut up about it).

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The city can't really run off at the mouth about development proposals all the time because that is exactly how Buddy chased a lot of projects out of town

Yup! Let's not forget how he chased Pfizer out of town when they were looking at property down on Allens Ave.

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Pete, how many condo projects have broken ground in R.I. thus far or plan to break ground with confirmation.?( See 110 comments) I would hardly call that a saturation of the market. Florida, much like R.I., has seen property values soar within the last year and a half. Cities like Miami, Fort Lauderdale, and Fort Myers have literally dozens and dozens of projects completed, under construction, and proposed. People and investors are riding the equity wave and are getting caught off-guard. Long term rates have been stable and with the relatively few projects under way here, the fluctuation will not hurt.That's why some projects are on hold or have cancelled altogether to see what happens with the ones already on the way. To compare the Providence real estate market to any market in Florida is absurd. These cities in Florida are counting on people from all over the world to fill these condos. With 3 meager proposals in the works for Providence, we are counting on R.I professionals and over-the-line MA commuters. That's it! I hardly feel that it is an epidemic. If they fill out, maybe 1 more project will move forward. R.I. simply can't afford to make mistakes with over-development. We have 3 major vestments in downtown( 2 already going up). They will all change and contribute to this city. If nothing else comes about development-wise because of rising rates, over-saturation,etc, so be it. The change will be better. In terms of business and non-res development, the taxes are a problem. If the gov. can change that around, private investment will follow. Private entities care only about sales,property, and personal use tax. They could give a crap about the car tax. If they all move to Mass. when 33 acres are freed up downtown w/ the 195 relocation, then you can bet your ass Brown, R.I. Hospital and every other non-profit will snatch it up. That may be the only thing we have going for us....but ultimately, Prov. is moving in the right direction.

-PVDJack-

Pete, how many condo projects have broken ground in R.I. thus far or plan to break ground with confirmation.?( See 110 comments) I would hardly call that a saturation of the market. Florida, much like R.I., has seen property values soar within the last year and a half. Cities like Miami, Fort Lauderdale, and Fort Myers have literally dozens and dozens of projects completed, under construction, and proposed. People and investors are riding the equity wave and are getting caught off-guard. Long term rates have been stable and with the relatively few projects under way here, the fluctuation will not hurt.That's why some projects are on hold or have cancelled altogether to see what happens with the ones already on the way. To compare the Providence real estate market to any market in Florida is absurd. These cities in Florida are counting on people from all over the world to fill these condos. With 3 meager proposals in the works for Providence, we are counting on R.I professionals and over-the-line MA commuters. That's it! I hardly feel that it is an epidemic. If they fill out, maybe 1 more project will move forward. R.I. simply can't afford to make mistakes with over-development. We have 3 major vestments in downtown( 2 already going up). They will all change and contribute to this city. If nothing else comes about development-wise because of rising rates, over-saturation,etc, so be it. The change will be better. In terms of business and non-res development, the taxes are a problem. If the gov. can change that around, private investment will follow. Private entities care only about sales,property, and personal use tax. They could give a crap about the car tax. If they all move to Mass. when 33 acres are freed up downtown w/ the 195 relocation, then you can bet your ass Brown, R.I. Hospital and every other non-profit will snatch it up. That may be the only thing we have going for us....but ultimately, Prov. is moving in the right direction.

-PVDJack-

Just kidding :rofl: -Jerry-

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i'm confused by jerry's comment.

but i do agree with what he said pvd jack said. you can't compare florida cities to providence. they're not even remotely similar. the demographics are different. condo's didn't work there. how does that mean they won't work here, over 1000 miles away? different people, different mindset... you're really digging now to find any reason that the condo's in providence will fail...

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whats going on in Providence is very smart development.. thats just my opinion coming from a youngin' who knows nothing about the issue. :)

We aren't going through with Grants Block tower, or phase II of Waterplace, or The Hilton Tower until we see how well these current 400+ condos will sell. If these proposals were in Florida, The Hilton and Grants would be well underway, and it would be dangerous.

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you're really digging now to find any reason that the condo's in providence will fail...

Why don't you google New Urbanism, Andres Duany, Providence, and Congress for New Urbanism. Not to mention Retail feasability past 6pm. That's why the interest.

If you don't see the similarities then o.k..

A lot of the developers that are pulling out are citing "high construction costs" or asking municipalities for handouts, since they are "balancing" their budgets on these anticipated property taxes, but what do I know I'm just digging

You were asked to not speak down to others, yet you just can't seem to help yourself. I'll chalk it up to immaturity, but I for one will no longer be reading anything you post. You're not presenting an opposing view, you're attacking. Why don't you google "respect" and tell us what you come up with.

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You were asked to not speak down to others, yet you just can't seem to help yourself. I'll chalk it up to immaturity, but I for one will no longer be reading anything you post. You're not presenting an opposing view, you're attacking. Why don't you google "respect" and tell us what you come up with.

I was being serious. He couldn't understand the correlation between the stories ,and thought he should read about it before attacking ME. You don't need to read what I post I'm not in a circulation based Ad-driven business. I am the only one questioning the avenue that Downcity development is taking, yet all I'm getting is personal attacks. You really don't need to talk to me like my dad. Just a coherent fact based argument would be nice.

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One difference, pete is in land use. The other cities in the studies you cited are surrounded by huge tracts of open land. Providence isn't really, and hopefully at some point the open land that we do have will be better preserved anyway.

I think there is definitely something to be said about the fact that a significant portion of the population prefers suburban living and this is an issue for many cities trying to draw residents. I also think that the Northeast in general is place where there is a higher density of urbanites. Certainly you don't read a lot of articles about the failure of places like Philadelphia, New York, or Boston to attract people to live in the cities. And then there's that whole thing where very major metro is Europe is basically high density because of similar land use issues.

As for the multi-faceted issues of job growth versus residential growth versus retail growth and which egg should come first, you have to realize that this is not a new topic of conversation. Whatever your intentions, you are coming off a little bit like people have never even considered these things before.

I think you do have a good point (or at least I think you are getting to this point) that Providence shouldn't pin it's success and growth on being a residential bedroom community of Boston and needs its own jobs and economic growth. Where we might disagree is that I have some faith that the city and state governements understand this well enough.

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i'm confused by jerry's comment.

but i do agree with what he said pvd jack said. you can't compare florida cities to providence. they're not even remotely similar. the demographics are different. condo's didn't work there. how does that mean they won't work here, over 1000 miles away? different people, different mindset... you're really digging now to find any reason that the condo's in providence will fail...

Pete's intense negativity is directed to an over-saturated real estate market, creative financing, and Providence not having the business infrastructure to support the residential development. You would think by his comments that Providence was Dubai.

1.) Waterplace,110,and Westin 2 are 3 projects that are under way and should hardly saturate the market. There is enough local interest to support these projects.

2.) Creative financing( 100% financing,interest-only loans, and negative amortization loans) that has taken place round the country will affect many people as property values decline,rates rise, and they are stuck. They will NOT affect the clientele that can afford to live @ 110 or the like. This will affect people that should have never qualified in the 1st place to buy a home. It will open up more opportunities for people like myself,Cotuit, etc. who were just about ready when the values were ridiculously increasing.

3.) Pete will have you believe that nobody can afford a 30 yr. fixed rate mortgage which is simply ridiculous. If the average home is 300K and assuming you have O.K. credit, even with minimal down, your payment w/ taxes and insurance would be around 2K. One would need to have a combined household income of 60k to qualify. ( also taking into account other debts) Even if you didn't have 20% down, you could do a government backed FHA loan w/2.25% down.That would equate to a 6750 down payment + 5K for closing costs. The payment ould be slightly higher w/ mortgage insurance. Interest only loans were fads and much like bellbottoms, they have past their prime.

4.) Pete is disturbed with all the residential activity and the lack of business investment in the city. Well, I kind of agree with him here, but that has to do with the tax situation. Private entities care about personal use, sales, and property taxes when evaluating an area. They could care less about a car tax. Sure, geographic location, pool of talent, and expansion opportunities matter, all of which I think Prov. has. However, if someone can build 10 miles away in MA cheaper and attain some of the talent pool here, what's stopping them? The only thing is tax breaks. Fidelity would never have built here if i wasn't for tax breaks. I don't agree with the tax stance by the Bush administrtion, but R.I needs to cut taxes in order to compete.Cut the sales tax down to 5%, cut the property tax rate, and cut the personal use taxes for businesses. We would have to run a deficit until more private investment came in.We are in the BEST location in all of New England. We are on 95 , 45 minutes to boston, 3 hours from NYC, and we don't have the congestion problem. We are on the ocean and have 2 major ports for resources. Have you been checking out Savannah, GA?

5.) If the Carcieri budget still stands, not pro-active on such issues, then I don;t see the economic engine becoming competitive. 33 acres will be freed up downtown in the next few years. If the tax laws don't change, I see the area being flooded with non-profits. They are already laying claim. They might not pay taxes, but they will potentially boost the residential development. Is that good? I don't know.

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i'm confused by jerry's comment.

but i do agree with what he said pvd jack said. you can't compare florida cities to providence. they're not even remotely similar.

When did I say anything about Florida? And Jerry, why did you jokingly sign my name to your post?

Thanks,

PVDJack

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When did I say anything about about Florida? And Jerry, why did you jokingly sign my name to your post?

Thanks,

PVDJack

I don't know if you are under 2 different screen names or what, but there was a post a couple of days ago under a different login with PVDJack at the bottom. I was like, " What?" Cotuit said the same thing . I was just being stupid... :D

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Brick and Jerry. These are the type of opinions I've been trying to Illicit. The Times story actually made me gasp. Jerry you're right I do have very little faith in housing as an appreciative asset class in the short term. The real argument I'm trying to make, is that in the last 2 years the small business climate has actually worsened in Downcity. The cut-back in tax relief through enterprise zones being a prime example. SBA loans are tied to prime, and this is another issue. I would hate to see empty towers and no businesses down here. I do appreciate the comments and do realize KRC attacks anything that is not positive, but its infuriating none the less when you're trying to illicit a genuine discussion. Thank you for your comments

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I don't know if you are under 2 different screen names or what, but there was a post a couple of days ago under a different login with PVDJack at the bottom. I was like, " What?" Cotuit said the same thing . I was just being stupid... :D

Ahh, got it -- thanks. Little slow this morning...

Actually, other screen names of mine are Brick, Pete, Garris, and Cotuit. I sure have been busy lately. :D

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Why don't you google New Urbanism, Andres Duany, Providence, and Congress for New Urbanism.

and do realize KRC attacks anything that is not positive

Like the rest of us, KRC does not like it when people take a condecending tone. How about instead of telling people to Google something, you articulate the point you'd like them to discover by doing a Google search? I could Google Duany and CNU all day, but I can't read your mind. So why do you think these Google searches apply to this discussion?

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Like the rest of us, KRC does not like it when people take a condecending tone. How about instead of telling people to Google something, you articulate the point you'd like them to discover by doing a Google search? I could Google Duany and CNU all day, but I can't read your mind. So why do you think these Google searches apply to this discussion?

Thank you, Cotuit. That was my point exactly.

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Like the rest of us, KRC does not like it when people take a condecending tone. How about instead of telling people to Google something, you articulate the point you'd like them to discover by doing a Google search? I could Google Duany and CNU all day, but I can't read your mind. So why do you think these Google searches apply to this discussion?

Because I was responding to a quote that I was "digging" for excuses, and there was no correlation to the article and Providence, and I was responding to that if you think that asking someone to google something that they didn't pick up on in the article is condescending, well then maybe you would like me to stop posting. Cotuit, Larry Kudlow says that the housing bubble is a creation of the "liberal media" I thought people were accepting of peoples opinions on this board. In the economic competitiveness thread when KRC did the same thing to Brick you did not choose sides. The only reason you think I'm being condescending is that you don't agree with me. Oh and by the way Duany's original plan called for retail and office spaces. The fact that CNU is being held in Providence this year is not material then ok. The reason I said google it, is I didn't want to add my opinions on the matter, which I refrained from posting. KRC added that, because he has taken jabs at me since my first post. He has no response to the issues. As a moderator shouldn't you try to foster the open exchange, not stifle it. This is it for me, you guys can go back to talking about things without dissenting opinions. How very proletariat of you.

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Oh and by the way Duany's original plan called for retail and office spaces.

i believe all of the proposed condos include retail space at the street level. if that wasn't the case, none of them would work.

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