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IN PROGRESS: WaterPlace | Intercontinental

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Capital Center panel hears new proposal

Intercontinental, the developer, wants to build luxury apartments with retail stores and a garage at a parcel next to Waterplace Park -- but no hotel, as was previously proposed by another developer.

BY MICHAEL CORKERY

Journal Staff Writer - Wednesday, March 31, 2004

PROVIDENCE -- For the third time in more than 14 years, a developer will try to construct a mixture of residential and retail units in a lot next to Waterplace Park.

Nick Iselin, director of development and construction for Intercontinental, said the initial construction phase will not include a hotel -- which is a departure from the plans of previous developers who first proposed one for the site as far back as 1989.

Iselin said yesterday that a hotel could be added later to the project, but "right now it's an economic climate that is preventing us from going forward with a hotel."

Intercontinental plans to build two towers containing 275 high-end apartments, sitting atop a garage with space for more than 500 cars.

The project would occupy what is now a grassy, trash-strewn, 2.1-acre lot, bounded by Park Row West, Exchange Street, Memorial Boulevard and Waterplace Park.

Retail stores would occupy the ground floor of each building, which would be arranged around a pedestrian courtyard and walkway leading between Exchange Street and Waterplace Park.

A third building, across from American Express Plaza, could contain a hotel and offices.

Intercontinental bought the development rights to the site, known as Parcel 2 in the Capital Center special development district, from Eastman Pierce of Connecticut, said Deborah Melino-Wender, executive director of the Capital Center Commission, which reviews projects proposed for the district.

The Capital Center is home to Providence Place mall and will soon host the corporate headquarters of lottery giant GTECH, but success in Parcel 2 has eluded developers for years.

Not a single shovel has been sunk, despite more than a decade of developers unveiling and revising plans, and city and state officials lavishing praise and encouragement.

Intercontinental, the third developer to enter the field, has proposed an ambitious project featuring modern architecture and a price tag that Iselin said could reach about $100 million.

Together, the two residential towers would include about 310,000 square feet of space, he said. The garage would total about 180,000 square feet.

Iselin and a team of architects met yesterday morning with the design review committee of the Capital Center Commission to present general concepts for the project's design.

Iselin said afterward that his company's strategy is to build a garage and apartments first, and then to consider whether a hotel would be viable. Meanwhile, he said, the high-end units would be the "best apartments in Providence."

Capital%20Centre002.jpg

Journal photo / Mary Murphy

Jonathan W. Cardello, an architect with ADD Inc., shows a model of two luxury apartment towers planned for a vacant 2.1 acre lot next to Waterplace Park.

"We have a financeable product in apartments. They are a product that lenders recognize," he said.

Intercontinental does not yet have financing for the project, he said. The company plans to pay for construction of the garage, which will form the base for the residential towers, using Intercontinental's own equity.

The company's conceptual renderings were met with resounding praise from the design review committee yesterday. Intercontinental plans to return to the committee with more refined drawings within the next month.

Intercontinental has developed real estate near Boston's North Station, as well as the upscale Nine Zero hotel on Tremont Street, Iselin said.

"We have some experience with hotels and that's why we believe it won't happen right out of the gate," Iselin said of the Providence proposal.

Tourism boosters say the city needs more hotel rooms to attract conventions to the Rhode Island Convention Center and more visitors to Providence.

But after the economy -- particularly the hotel industry -- soured following 9/11, few developers have taken the plunge to build a large Providence hotel.

When Eastman Pierce first came on the scene in 2000, it proposed a 225-room, luxury Hilton hotel at Parcel 2. Three years later, the company downsized it to a 176-room, mid-priced Hilton Garden Inn.

By last month, Eastman Pierce ceded its development rights to Intercontinental.

The Capital Center landscape -- particularly when it comes to hotels -- continues to shift. Sage Hospitality Resources has received approval from the Capital Center Commission for a 272-room hotel in the Masonic Temple building, and is working on financing.

Other projects continue to simmer in the Capital Center. Carpionato Properties, of Johnston, is designing a hotel on a parcel of city-owned land across from the downtown post office, but has not yet submitted plans to the Capital Center Commission, said senior vice president Kelly Coates.

Developer Ron Marsella has teamed up with GTECH to build a hotel at the Union Station complex. Marsella could not be reached yesterday for comment on the status of that project.

From The Providence Journal

The proposed design is by the architects of Atelier 505 in Boston's South End. I hope this really happens this time!

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That looks like a great addition for Providence! It will certainly add density to downtown. :)

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It will certainly add density to downtown. :)

Especially since it is proposed for a vacant lot. :lol:

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Nothing new to report on this one, last heard it was still under review by The Capital Centre Commission. I did come across these renderings of the project on the architect's website ADD, Inc.

waterplace001.jpg

waterplace002.jpg

waterplace003.jpg

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I believe this one is still under review as well.

I can't say I like it very much, but it's marginally better than the weak apartment building and squat office buildings already there. The height is certainly impressive. If that first photo is correct, it will dwarf the Citizen's bank building and certainly will make an impact on the overall skyline.

Why does this building look like it was built in Miami in 1969, though?

- Garris

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Trying to count the windows... it looks between 18 and 20 floors. Probably 20 when you account for the river level.

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Not sure I like that design concept... Definitely Miami-like... :rofl:

I have to say, I think the Capital Center Commission hamstrings development a bit... It seems that there is a big split down the middle on what to do with the parcels...

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I don't think I like the roof treatment, but other than that, Miami doesn't bother me. :)

Of course you can't see it's interation with the river level from these renderings, that is the most important aspect of this one.

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I don't think I like the roof treatment, but other than that, Miami doesn't bother me.  :)

Of course you can't see it's interation with the river level from these renderings, that is the most important aspect of this one.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

Actually, the roof may work OK if it's lit at night, as the architect's website claims. That might be nice. I finally figured out that it's the broad, sectioned window treatments on the Western tower and the broad, upswept plaza that give it that "Miami" look. There was a drawing on the architect's site which showed how it will look at ground leve. I don't know. The whole thing grows on me the more I see it, but I still don't approve. It just doesn't fit, even with the new G-Tech building. It's of little concern, though. With the glacial pace of things, it won't be built until 2020 anyway...

- Garris

Providence, RI

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Interseting, I hadn't seen those, the fact that they are on the "In Progress" section gives hope. I have seen people walking around the parcel looking to do official type things. And there was some truck set up there a few days ago with some sort of rig on the back that looked like it was for soil sampling.

Waterplace004.jpg

Waterplace005.jpg

From what I can see in these renderings, I like the plaza levels.

The horizontalness of the windows gives me pause as well. I'd like to see a treatment that accentuated the verticality. When Andres Duany was here last year he pointed out how the city's buildings all tend to have window treaments that orient vertically, and the buildings that people are least satisfied with don't have that, they are set horizontally.

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Capital Centre | Parcel 2

Waterplace Project

Parcel2-001.jpg

Location: Exchange Street | Capital Center

Use: Residential, retail, restaurant

Intercontinental plans to build two towers containing 275 high-end apartments, sitting atop a garage with space for more than 500 cars.

The project would occupy what is now a grassy, trash-strewn, 2.1-acre lot, bounded by Park Row West, Exchange Street, Memorial Boulevard and Waterplace Park.

Retail stores would occupy the ground floor of each building, which would be arranged around a pedestrian courtyard and walkway leading between Exchange Street and Waterplace Park.

A third building, across from American Express Plaza, could contain a hotel and offices in a later phase.

Intercontinental bought the development rights to the site, known as Parcel 2 in the Capital Center special development district, from Eastman Pierce of Connecticut.

Last I heard this is still being reviewed by the Capital Center Design Review Committee.

________________________________________________________________

Two-tower complex set for Providence

February 24, 2005

Intercontinental Real Estate Corp. of Boston will break ground in mid-March on Water Place, a $100 million complex in downtown Providence, with construction of two residential towers, chief executive Peter Palandjian said. The condominiums and apartments, in 19- and 16-story towers, are the first phase of a 307,470-square-foot project that will include retail and office space and 480 underground parking spaces. The project is on land leased for 99 years from the Capital Center Commission, a public-private partnership that oversees development in the downtown district. Water Place is one project being done under the $200 million Intercontinental Real Estate Investment Fund IV LLC. (Thomas C. Palmer Jr.)

From The Boston Globe

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If they're breaking ground in mid-March, does this mean the design was formally approved? It may just be my excitement over something finally happening, but the design is growing on me... :)

- Garris

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If they're breaking ground in mid-March, does this mean the design was formally approved?

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

I guess so.

It may just be my excitement over something finally happening, but the design is growing on me...  :)

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

Keep drinking the kool-aid! :lol:

I like it too, there's minor things that I'd change, but you can't please everyone, we could be getting another AmEx Building. :sick:

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I guess so.

Keep drinking the kool-aid!  :lol:

I like it too, there's minor things that I'd change, but you can't please everyone, we could be getting another AmEx Building.  :sick:

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

I agree...I like the buildings. I would change a couple things, particularly the material/color scheme, which kinda reminds me of the building Gilbane just sold (the name escapes me, did Fleet own it?), but I'm certainly not complaining. I think its a pretty rad development, certainly tall enough to make a major impact.

I even like the hats :w00t: !

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particularly the material/color scheme, which kinda reminds me of the building Gilbane just sold (the name escapes me, did Fleet own it?),

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

The Hospital Trust Tower (the white one)?

Some of the renderings look like there's green detail on the lower portion of the building, some look brown. Don't know if I prefer one or the other.

Garris has a pic in his photo thread of Waterplace from up beside Bella Vista, I'd like to see what this would look like from that angle. I don't think it will obscure the skyline view from there, but it will be interesting to see how it frames it. Also, what is this going to look like from the mall? Really nice I think!

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I was wondering the same thing about the skyline view from Bella Vista. I think the left edge of my photo would be clipped by the new buildings, but I'm not sure. I took a crazy wide-angle shot that night that includes everything from Citizen's to the Courtyard. It doesn't make for a pretty image (too much dead space, too much WA distortion) but it may be useful in imagining what the skyline will look like from there. I'll post it when I get home this evening.

I think this will work nicely in the Providence Skyline. There's something of a lonely hole between the Financial District, the Westin, and Citizen's. This will fill it nicely. These buildings will look great from Prospect Park as well (and will block much of the G-Tech building!).

- Garris

PS: How silly do these towers make all of the G-Tech concessions and designs look? While G-Tech wanted to make a "statement" as cars come off of 95 next to the Westin, that statement will now be, "Gee, Dad, look at those white towers behind this little office building!" :-)

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WPRI is saying it's 32 stories, that would be a tallest by number of floors, and could be a tallest in feet! :o

Residential high-rise project announced for Providence

PROVIDENCE, R.I. Another big downtown development project is coming to Providence.

Mayor David Cicilline will join developers Granoff Associates and BlueChip Properties to announce the 90 million dollar, 32-story residential high-rise project. It's believed to be the first project of its kind in downtown in at least a decade.

The announcement is 10:30 a.m. in at City Hall.

From Eyewitness News 12

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WPRI is saying it's 32 stories, that would be a tallest by number of floors, and could be a tallest in feet!  :o

Residential high-rise project announced for Providence

PROVIDENCE, R.I. Another big downtown development project is coming to Providence.

Mayor David Cicilline will join developers Granoff Associates and BlueChip Properties to announce the 90 million dollar, 32-story residential high-rise project. It's believed to be the first project of its kind in downtown in at least a decade.

The announcement is 10:30 a.m. in at City Hall.

From Eyewitness News 12

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

What?!!!

This is insane!!!

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It's believed to be the first project of its kind in downtown in at least a decade.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

32 story residential, first of it's kind in over a decade? Try first of it's kind, EVER! Hartford is currenly building New England's tallest residential building... I wonder...

Need to do some quick checking! :thumbsup:

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The Hospital Trust Tower (the white one)?

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

Yep, that might be the one, big, blocky, competing with the Superman for tallest.

Really awful.

The Intercontinental buildings very mildly remind me of that, only in their window proportions on the main body of the tower and the color, but I think its just a bad association with the Hospital Trust Tower. The cornice articulation and massing is completely different and makes them look pretty good. The model photo to me looks alot better than the renderings, mutes out the materials a bit and shows the massing to be pretty nice.

But now that this new 32 story tower is going up, the Hospital Trust Tower will finally fade a little into the background. I still can't believe this... :o !

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But now that this new 32 story tower is going up, the Hospital Trust Tower will finally fade a little into the background. I still can't believe this... :o !

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

Well to calm us all down for a second, the Globe story said 16 and 19. So who's right?

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16 and 19 sure seem to fit the previous renderings... I like Cotuit's logic in guessing the possible Westin expansion tower may be jockeying for title of Providence's tallest...

- Garris

Oh, interesting thought... With the Hilton expansion being built on the Holiday Inn site (where I'm guessing their parking lot is right now), since that building is on a pretty good sized hill, could that building be as tall as others downtown without being as tall? The hill has got to add the equivalent of a couple of floors...

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