Archived

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

basachs

IN PROGRESS: SWAP Condos on Westminster

Recommended Posts

While its not a 110 Westminster, or a Waterplace, this type of project makes me happy to no end.

For at least the past year, a vacant lot a couple of doors down from JKL Engineering and Jackson Hewitt was fenced off with a sign saying "Condos ready in Fall '05" or something like that and a phone number. As '05 turned into '06, I never thought anything would come of it. Alas, the past couple of weeks have seen some great activity on this site.

An email to Carla DeStefano, Executive Director of SWAP, Inc. confirmed that this abandoned lot would be turned into four 2 bedroom condos with one ground floor retail spot that is yet to be sold. She termed the design "west-end funky".

I have asked about electronic renderings so I can post them here, but have not recieved a reply. They are happy to show the plans to anyone who is interested however at their offices:

SWAP, Inc.

439 Pine Street

Providence, RI 02907

Here is the Live Local map..

http://local.live.com/?v=2&sp=aN.41.817391...ondo%20Project_

Have to drive by and grab some more pictures. While certainly not the biggest project, it is definitely being put in an area that needs it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites


Oh yes, I forgot to add to that to the title. They are in progress. Fence has been extended to the street, sidewalk is closed and they are putting in the foundation.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The foundation is in.... I drive by this on my commute, and I agree that while a small project, it should have a positive impact on this area. There are so many old buildings along Westminster that I wish I had the money to buy and redevelop. I think the west end has a ton of potential, but right now it's just pockets of great architecture and neighborhoods, surrounded by sketchiness and abandonned buildings.

It would be nice to see some more mixed development among the commercial buildings.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

was on travel for one week, and before I left all that was there was the same foundation that was poured months ago.

Fast forward a week, and two floors of framing have been put in! Looks good, and really fills in that spot!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

was on travel for one week, and before I left all that was there was the same foundation that was poured months ago.

Fast forward a week, and two floors of framing have been put in! Looks good, and really fills in that spot!

I was amazed at how fast that went up! There was like 2 beams up on monday and then I drove by again on Saturday and the whole damn thing was framed.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I was amazed at how fast that went up! There was like 2 beams up on monday and then I drove by again on Saturday and the whole damn thing was framed.

Hope it does not stop again like with the foundation! Still have not seen a render on this or if there is a tenant for that first floor retail..

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hope it does not stop again like with the foundation! Still have not seen a render on this or if there is a tenant for that first floor retail..

I've seen the renderings and material board - its somewhat similar to the Armory condo project down the street (Durkee Brown is the designer). Its fairly contemporary, boxy, with fiber cement board and corrugated metal siding. It looks alright. I'm not crazy about it, but overall its got the right idea - glass storefront with housing above. I don't think they have a tenant yet.

Like pretty much everything else in the city right now, they were held up by fire-code review issues. This is turning into a significant cost and barrier to development in the city right now.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Lets just hope that the doctors are a little more streetscape friendly than the "Injury rehabilitation Center" up the street in the Armory condos.

I have hopes for some retail that would keep people around that area, especially after dark. Oh well.

I hate the overly dense population of doctors and lawyers on this side of town. We dont need anymore - we need retail - badly! It seems like an awfully hard sell though. I have been amazed at how long storefront next to "Injury rehabilitation center" has stayed empty. Its a great storefront and I really like the building. From the looks of things I dont think any of the condos upstairs have sold either. Not a good sign for the neighorhood.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I hate the overly dense population of doctors and lawyers on this side of town. We dont need anymore - we need retail - badly! It seems like an awfully hard sell though. I have been amazed at how long storefront next to "Injury rehabilitation center" has stayed empty. Its a great storefront and I really like the building.

Frankly, it's not just on the West End, but all over the city. And it's not just Providence. The NY Times just had an article 2-3 weeks ago (if I find it later, I'll link it) about how a downtown in NJ was suffering retail-wise because banks were taking over all the streetfronts and driving up rents to where other businesses couldn't afford to be there, leaving the downtown dead after 3PM.

I think making the entire city, from Wayland Sq to downtown to Olneyville a more attractive and healthy retail environment should be a should be a major focus of Providence Tomorrow (or whatever the zoning/planning process will be called) and of any Providence urbanism group we end up forming.

For a city of this size with neighborhoods as vibrant as they are, we should have a far more robust retail environments. I've visited towns of 3000-4000 people that seem to be able to support far more a bustling retail climate than Providence, which is really strange.

- Garris

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

For a city of this size with neighborhoods as vibrant as they are, we should have a far more robust retail environments. I've visited towns of 3000-4000 people that seem to be able to support far more a bustling retail climate than Providence, which is really strange.

I really think that part of the problem is that giant retailers and legislature have convinced most people that Big Box sprawlland and/or malls are the best ways to do retail. I don't know too many other cities the size of Providence that have as many options to have the same exact Home Depot-Target-WalMart-SuperS&S-chain restaurant shopping experience as we do. I guess that's something :(

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

They started putting windows in yesterday, I'll try to remember to get some pictures sometime in the next week or so....

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Like pretty much everything else in the city right now, they were held up by fire-code review issues. This is turning into a significant cost and barrier to development in the city right now.

One of the problems is that the model code that is used nationwide as well as here was not written with mixed-use small scale development in mind and makes for some expensive construction details to put retail on the ground floor and residential above.

However the mixed-use approach is essentially mandated by the West Side Overlay Zoning and is a great improvement to the standard zoning, just difficult to execute for code reasons.

It would be nice if the State adopted amendments to the building and fire code to support the intent of the zoning and made it easier to do mixed-use, expecially if the building is sprinklered and has other compensatory life safety features.

I suppose I should suggest that as part of the Providence Tomorrow public input process, although I am guessing the City can't do too much to influence the State code board.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Seeing that they are putting up some brick on the bottom of this building. And I gotta say, it looks real depressing. Its that grayish- yellow brick that is real popular on industrial buildings (in fact I think it matches one such building a few doors down). Not what I envisioned at all. The rendering posted kinda suggests this but I had some hope.

I'll reserve full judgement a little while longer, but initially I am not impressed. The windows and glass doors that went in for the residences are very nice, kinda surprised at this facade choice.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Seeing that they are putting up some brick on the bottom of this building. And I gotta say, it looks real depressing. Its that grayish- yellow brick that is real popular on industrial buildings (in fact I think it matches one such building a few doors down). Not what I envisioned at all. The rendering posted kinda suggests this but I had some hope.

I'll reserve full judgement a little while longer, but initially I am not impressed. The windows and glass doors that went in for the residences are very nice, kinda surprised at this facade choice.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Talk about a weird construction schedule - 3 weeks on, 2 months off, repeat process.

It looks ok though, I mean it's kindof modern-industrial, and any development like this is good for the area - as long as it doesn't turn into a used car garage or gas station somehow. I hope the commercial element on the first floor will be a nice draw. I wonder how the units above will sell, seeing as the ones further up Westminster aren't doing so well - despite the nice holiday decorations.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Talk about a weird construction schedule - 3 weeks on, 2 months off, repeat process.

It looks ok though, I mean it's kindof modern-industrial, and any development like this is good for the area - as long as it doesn't turn into a used car garage or gas station somehow. I hope the commercial element on the first floor will be a nice draw. I wonder how the units above will sell, seeing as the ones further up Westminster aren't doing so well - despite the nice holiday decorations.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Just wanted to post some pictures of the progress on this one. I drive by every day, but never stopped to get these:

WestminsterSwapCondos002.jpg

WestminsterSwapCondos001.jpg

I'll be curious to see what goes on the street level. Hopefully not a used car dealership!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think it will look alright when it is done, and has landscaping and whatnot - but I am definitely not a huge fan of it....I like industrial chic, but I don't think they are pulling it off here...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.