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jencoleslaw

Grove Street School Illegal Demolition

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I'm with you Jen...Fight or Flight...Fight or Flight...Fight...FLIGHT!!!

I was mightily disheartened, yet none too surprised coming home late Saturday night and finding that the Terror's had illegally begun construction of the new elevator shaft, (or perhaps the shiny new glass atrium! ) on the southeast corner of the Grove Street School. Rhode Island has provided more than it's fair share of kicks to the groin by similar incidents. Witness Pave-o-lino's destruction of the old circular Gulf Station. (The guy who ran the gas station there once told me he had been trying for years to get the owner to let him sublet to Dunkin' Donuts - mind you, this was back in '97 - pre-DD-market saturation. Obviously the former Mayor had a much more 1 dimensional plan for the property.) Then fell the Narragansett Brewery building, followed closely by the Trolley Barn - how much longer could our little school hold out? I've been informed to "mind my own business" more than once by these goons - as if living next door to an asphalt parking lot in the heat of summer WASN'T my business! Their kind could care less about what we think about their plans for our neighborhoods. Theirs, is an increasingly frustrated lot - used to having things their way in a city which has been more than accomodating in years past. How else do these people continually end up with OUR property?

I've left Providence once before in disgust, and will probably do so again. It's a shame too. There are so many people here who care plenty, and deserve so much more than they are getting from their government.

( I like and respect Councilman Lombardi, but you have to wonder how someone who has held his position for SO MANY YEARS, could have been SO completely useless in preventing this from happening.) I'd love to be proven wrong, but I'm afraid that Providence will never free itself from these old vampires, no matter how much new blood pours into it.

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I was going to comment on this but my opinion would end up getting flagged anyway. Let's just say that this building is/was unsalvageable for any legitimate purpose of restoration. It has suffered the elements and has been vacant for over 4 decades. People will have you believe it was recently vacated and ripe with development offers. While I think the intent of creating more parking is ridiculous and unsuitable for the neighborhood, one must realize that as long as there is this ridiculous parking ban, people will continue to pave their yards and bulldoze reparable historic buildings in a quest to avoid $15 tickets.

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what part of illegal demolition, violation of stop work order, many interested parties wanted to buy it but they were turned away, owner works for the city in the law department, parking lot, in a pretty quiet residential neighborhood, that stretches from Broadway to ring street and is almost a full block long do you guys not understand? Do you even read the posts explaining the recent history of this issue?

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what part of illegal demolition, violation of stop work order, many interested parties wanted to buy it but they were turned away, owner works for the city in the law department, parking lot, in a pretty quiet residential neighborhood, that stretches from Broadway to ring street and is almost a full block long do you guys not understand? Do you even read the posts explaining the recent history of this issue?

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I was going to comment on this but my opinion would end up getting flagged anyway. Let's just say that this building is/was unsalvageable for any legitimate purpose of restoration. It has suffered the elements and has been vacant for over 4 decades. People will have you believe it was recently vacated and ripe with development offers. While I think the intent of creating more parking is ridiculous and unsuitable for the neighborhood, one must realize that as long as there is this ridiculous parking ban, people will continue to pave their yards and bulldoze reparable historic buildings in a quest to avoid $15 tickets.

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If there were so many offers on the table prior to the Tarro's getting their hands on it, why didn't someone purchase it? Is it conceivable that that the cost to cure with asbestos removal and restoration exceeded the feasibility to renovate the structure?Why wasn't it looked at by Armory Revival when they were snatching up everything in the area? I'm with everyone that the mere thought of tearing it down for parking is a crime. However, there is no difference between this building and the Downcity Diner building. The latter building suffered irreparable damage (fire) and had to be torn down. Unfortunately, not all buildings can be saved. As far as the Masonic Temple is concerned, the building wasn't saved. The facade was saved.

You can't have a double standard when it comes to historic preservation. So it's OK to knock down something when a speculative high rise development is proposed, but it's not OK when it is a structure that happens to be in one's backyard. Prior to the 90's, Pvd was a very neglected city for decades. Many historic structures have been renovated in that time but many others have faced the consequences of neglect for decades. I find it ironic that the WBNA and all these citizens came out in full force but have virtually nothing to say about the Capitol Cove development...a development that could end up looking like a suburban South Fla condo complex in the heart of downtown. We still don't have detailed renders!!!This is coming from a group of people that profess to be a city-wide group concerned with guiding development, yet are only out in full force when it's close to home. I think it would be much more effective for people that do care @ preservation to worry about the future wave of development instead of wasting time and energy on things that can't be saved. Perhaps then the Grove St. parcel could have been re-developed into a more functional development than suffering fthe wrecking ball...esp. with all the offers that were on the table... <_<

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However, there is no difference between this building and the Downcity Diner building.

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Good point. I was about to ask why no one has questioned why the city has left this building to rot for so many years.

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OH MY F'ING GOD HERE WE GO WITH THE DOWNCITY DINER AGAIN.

Read the thread. The Tarro's refused to sell. Short of ED the city cannot force them to sell, and everyone gets their panties in a twist when ED comes up.

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Is asbestos even that big of a deal? My dorms at school had asbestos ceilings, and all they did was put signs on the back of our doors saying "do not disturb ceilings." And my apartment house right now has asbestos shingles.

So the Tarro's held out on all these potential purchases of the property because they wanted surface parking that badly? Who in their right mind wouldn't jump at the opportunity to sell a vacant building (at a huge profit I'm sure) that they would tear down anyway? This family is crazy!

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Is asbestos even that big of a deal? My dorms at school had asbestos ceilings, and all they did was put signs on the back of our doors saying "do not disturb ceilings." And my apartment house right now has asbestos shingles.

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With the caveats that I understand

- this was illegal

- this is stupid and annoying

- this sucks

- etc.

can someone explain to me what the advantage is of destroying the building if there were offers on the table to buy it? To me this is different than the Paw/CF station. There I know there are (completely stupid) reasons for what they were doing. At least it is something that you can attach some value to. But to me there is no reason for these owners not to sell just so they can tear down the building. How much funeral business are they losing because of parking? It seems they could recoup most of whatever losses they are experiencing through profit on the sale and through the savings of not doing the demo.

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It's pure speculation to guess why the Tarros held on to the Grove St School. They originally bought the building from the city in the early 80's with the intention of tearing it down to make a parking lot.

When the ICBD came up, they had a reasonable amount of time to get this building exempted and they did not do that, thereby placing the building under HDC control. Who knows what they were thinking? Surely they were cognizant of the fact that the HDC would not let them tear down the building, regardless of their original intent.

There have been numerous attempts throughout the years to purchase the building from the Tarros, but they rebuffed every offer.

Additionally, I've heard (from trustworthy individuals, though I haven't seen the documentation myself) that lot is explicitly forbidden from being a parking lot.

I just don't see how the Tarros can win here. They've already been subject to a ton of bad press and they've destroyed the good will they had built with the neighborhood. From their perspective, the best case is that the building gets demolished but they still won't be allowed to put in a parking lot. The worst case is that the city ED the building, force the Tarros to pay for the repairs, Bilray loses their contractor license, and all the neighbors sue the bejeezus out of the Tarros for the environmental hazards. In neither case do they get what they want. They should have sold it when they had the chance.

In the words of the great Phoebe Buffet, "The mind wobbles."

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The worst case is that the city ED the building, force the Tarros to pay for the repairs, Bilray loses their contractor license, and all the neighbors sue the bejeezus out of the Tarros for the environmental hazards.

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I meant the worst case from the Tarros' perspective. Certainly, it's the best case for everyone else.

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YES!!

and we could BBQ and plant trees and ride bikes and invite all our old west side neighbors over!

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I know what you meant, I just wanted to turn it around to what's best for everyone else. I'd love to be the one who put the big red REVOKED stamp on Bilray's license.

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i would love to know if Bil-Ray was the same firm that took down the Gulf station without a demo permit (and on good friday) too...

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So many of you know people willing to buy the school, but at what price? Does anybody have any actual figures that were turned down? The price of burned out house on a single lot, needing to be demolished, at 86 Grove Street was $86,000, but some of you people think the 95 Grove street property is only worth $200,000? (A 2000% return on investment of $10,000.) BTW, does that include 25 years of property taxes and insurance premiums? Do you know how foolish that statement is? You can fantasize all you want at those figures. Where was everybody when that school, along with other school properties, was sold at PUBLIC auction? NO WHERE TO BE FOUND!! There was no Renaissance then. People were fleeing in droves. Nobody else wanted that building, not even the city!! The city gladly relinquished ALL rights to the property. The school was sold with no restrictions. It could be used for parking, demolished, anything!!! That, as the councilman may recall, was later re-affirmed in a court of law. For someone to now try to dictate what that family should do with that property is wrong. Ask all your realtor friends what that property is worth as a vacant lot, then add the value of the building , and ask if anybody has made an offer worthy of such a

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