Archived

This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

Cotuit

RUMOURED: GSA Building

Recommended Posts

The federal GSA is looking for a site to build a 14 to 20 story tower. They are rumored to be looking to move out of Boston. The only site that they have looked at is the old Shooter's site. Bought with Federal money by RIDOT and the feds have first option. Hard to believe they'd build an office building there.

That should be fun. :ph34r:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites


The federal GSA is looking for a site to build a 14 to 20 story tower. They are rumored to be looking to move out of Boston. The only site that they have looked at is the old Shooter's site. Bought with Federal money by RIDOT and the feds have first option. Hard to believe they'd build an office building there.

Where is this site?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

There are very preliminary discussions about two other buildings, sites undetermined. The first is residential somewhere near Atwells Ave (think it might be the corner of Broadway and the service road) for a residential tower. Diminsions and timing unknown. The federal GSA is looking for a site to build a 14 to 20 story tower. They are rumored to be looking to move out of Boston. The only site that they have looked at is the old Shooter's site. Bought with Federal money by RIDOT and the feds have first option. Hard to believe they'd build an office building there.

The GSA has been looking forever for a place in Providence. However there is the whole issue of dollars to spend. The Shooter's site may be the only site they have formally looked at but I know originally they were looking at parcel 12 (I think it's 12, can't find the map right now) - the triangular parcel across from the Citizen's building. In this way, they would be next to the Federal Courthouse. However they didn't want to pay for that land and of course as we continue to find out the site may not be suitable for underground parking. I know a few high ranking folks in the Boston GSA office and I suggested they look into the AMEX building but I don't think it will be large enough.

Shooter's would be an unusual site for them as it is not near much in the way of public transport although as we all know Providence isn't that large. But, I can't imagine the Fox Point folks would be too thrilled with a tower on the Shooter's site.

Site

I think they would be better suited and prefer to be on the other side of the river. Perhaps when more is decided about what to do with the 195 land they will find a better spot.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

seems like such a signature location for what sounds like government offices. But if they want to toss up a 20 story building - who cares? Unless or course Fidelity, BofA, or CVS wanted to do a 40 story tower instead...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

How about putting the GSA building on North Main St. where the old Sears is? I assume the GSA will pay in-lieu of property tax?

It would be nice if we could just move proposals to better locations, but that's not really doable much of the time. It'd be great to see GSA locate in Phase II of Waterplace, or a new building at the Fogarty site, or one of the parking lots behind Citizens. But they are looking at this space since the Feds already own it have first right of refusal on the property. If there was a better situated (by better I mean more centrally located Downcity) state or city owned parcel that they could do a swap for, perhaps we could see them move.

One possibility for this could be the parking lot behind the Garrahy Courthouse on Friendship Street which is the proposed location for a city run parking garage. I'm not sure that GSA would want a public parking garage in the base of it's building for security concerns though, so the city would have to probably look elsewhere for parking.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This won't win me many friends in Fox Point, but I think this site is perfect for a 14-20 story building. It could have a gateway effect as you're coming into the city on 195, much like the sense of having "arrived" that you now have when you come around the bend and see the skyline right in front of you. I'm afraid the drama of that approach will be lost when the highway is relocated, and a tower immediately adjacent to the new bridge will help.

Like mental757 said though , it is an awfully high-profile spot for a government facility. At least not every federal building is completely hideous.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

One possibility for this could be the parking lot behind the Garrahy Courthouse on Friendship Street which is the proposed location for a city run parking garage. I'm not sure that GSA would want a public parking garage in the base of it's building for security concerns though, so the city would have to probably look elsewhere for parking.

There is a parking garage underneath the O'Neill building where they are now in Boston (next to the Fleet Center). What would be better is if the feds could somehow get their hands on some of the surface parking off of Washington St.

Again, though, I think something that the feds will "own" in the jewelry district might be more appropriate. However until some kind of plan is put together for that land, they probably won't even look.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

There is a parking garage underneath the O'Neill building where they are now in Boston (next to the Fleet Center).

That's pre-Oklahoma City, pre-Sept. 11th though, and they close it down everytime someone sneezes in it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It would be nice if they put this in at the end of the proposed post 195 relocation canal... too bad it doesn't seem like that's ever going to happen.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It would be nice if they put this in at the end of the proposed post 195 relocation canal... too bad it doesn't seem like that's ever going to happen.

Actually, not to put too big of a damper on any enthusiasm, but there is plenty of time before this would break ground. The GSA hasn't even gone before Congress to request funds for more govt. buildings yet. The current administration is not very friendly towards new govt. buildings since they are spending money elsewhere (I'm not getting into that discussion). So I wouldn't imagine they would have funding before the first meeting of congress after the 2006 elections. They ask for funding well in advance of programs so unless this project has some kind of high priority, you are looking at 2010 to break ground, at least by their standard policies. This would fit in with other timelines. Currently the govt. is leasing space from one of the buildings on Westminster. Their lease was up this year and they probably renewed it which is usually a 5 year lease, so 2011. So if they finished the building in 2011 that would bring the confluence of events all together. They would have a nice new building, and they would need the space, and the Iway would be mostly complete.

Also, there are other monetary issues at stake besides the feds. Obviously, the city does not collect tax dollars from a govt. building. Therefore there is usually resistance from cities to having the govt. build in high demand areas. I still think the Shooter's site is unusual, but I also can't think of anywhere downtown that is so in need of revitalization that the city would want to trade off economic development for the loss of tax dollars. Certainly nothing in the capital center parcels would qualify.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The word is that the GSA has plans to start construction in 08 for occupancy in late 09. Given the time frame there are few if any lots that RIDOT owns that will be available. Trying to link them up with other developers that have plans like 190 Dyer. There intent is to move their Boston Office to PVD. So, we'll see what happens.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This is really exciting and interesting that the GSA wants to move here from Boston. It's more untaxed space to add to the universities, but it will be good to have all those workers in the city, even if they are not exactly downtown. These workers will patronize our restaurants and theatre and bars and whatnot.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I agree that the Bootleggers site seems strange for a high-rise federal building, but of course I wouldn't oppose any sort of tower or major new development. Still, I like that site better for some kind of mixed-use, residential/commercial/retail development, with a restaurant & bar on the water, etc. I really wish developers could start capitalizing on our waterfront more, the harbor not just the river.

Are there any lots on the west side of 95 that would be good for this GSA building, like off the sevice road or in the West Fountain St neighborhood? That area really needs some urban renewal - get rid of all the old autobody shops and build some towers and mixed-use complexes....

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

look over here

the problem with parcel 2 is multi-fold.

1 - the government doesn't own the land. It would have to be bought from a developer.

2 - That is prime tax rate real estate. The city I don't think would want to give up the tax dollars in that area.

I think the west end idea is a good one also. But, if the city already has developers approaching them about those areas, then it will have the same issues.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It's great that they're looking at Providence and even better that they're looking at an urban location instead of the suburbs. I just hope that wherever they land they are friendly to the streetscape with ground floor retail, and don't reflexively avoid it for security reasons.

And I'm not talking one little deli off the lobby a la Textron. Anyone who's spent time in Washington DC can relate to how forbidding these federal buildings can be without retail- I'm thinking Foggy Bottom and the area south of the World Bank especially. Some blocks feel like a ghosttown in the middle of the weekday despite being surrounded by tens of thousands of workers.

My hope is that GSA, being full of people sensitive to the built environment, will finagle some pretty sweet digs for themselves. I've been to their Chicago office and while the decor is nothing special - wow - what an amazing skyscraper location overlooking the big Calder Flamingo. Maybe they'll spend their 2% Art in Architecture funds on a Providence artist...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The word is that the GSA has plans to start construction in 08 for occupancy in late 09. Given the time frame there are few if any lots that RIDOT owns that will be available. Trying to link them up with other developers that have plans like 190 Dyer. There intent is to move their Boston Office to PVD. So, we'll see what happens.

Any updates Thom?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.