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Thinking about moving to Providence?

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Hi there!  Be aware that if it's the Downcity "core downtown" you're interested in, most of those properties are rentals.  They may go condo in about 5-6 years, but for now, there's really nothing to "buy" unless you're looking at the $600,000+ luxury condos currently there or on the drawing board. 

Everything else you've mentioned or are having mentioned to you by others are in neighborhoods ringing the city.

- Garris

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Hey there Garris. I hear you there, I was looking into the Grant's block project scheduled for spring 2005 completion- ironically they haven't posted any prices yet. I wouldn't be surprised if they were closer to the high 600k+ range, but I am keeping my fingers crossed in hopes that some units may sell for much less. I found a condo that I would buy immediately in Depesquale sq. if the unit came with parking... Mortgage, condo fee, parking rental, $$$$. Any idea how much the new condos on Atwells will sell for?

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Any idea how much the new condos on Atwells will sell for?

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They're both "luxury" so I assume at least $300k+, though I haven't seen any actual numbers. I would also assume 2007 before they're done. I think Grant's Block might be 2007 as well. They've demo'ed the Weybosset end of the block, but they haven't started the Westminster end.

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They're both "luxury" so I assume at least $300k+, though I haven't seen an actual numbers. I would also assume 2007 before they're done. I think Grant's Block might be 2007 as well. They've demo'ed the Weybosset end of the block, but they haven't started the Westminster end.

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Yeah, that is about 120k more than I can afford.... :cry: The good news is that there are plenty of other opportunities to be taken advantage of, perhaps I can get into the market with a mulit family and poition myself for the move to one of those condos. In any event I appeciate the inside scoop from all of the knowledgeable people in this forum.

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They're both "luxury" so I assume at least $300k+, though I haven't seen any actual numbers. I would also assume 2007 before they're done.

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Only one of these is condo - the one at Atwells and Knight Street. I've heard they are starting at $350k and up.

The Rialto furniture site is rental only with prices from $1500 - $3200 (!). I'm obviously not charging enough for my rental apartment :D !

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I'm obviously not charging enough for my rental apartment  :D !

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Does yours have a fitness centre, a pool, covered parking..? :whistling:

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Emily, strongly consider Wayland Square based upon where you'll be working.  Butler Hospital is connected to Wayland Square directly by the 40-line bus (it's about 5 minutes directly) and my sister (who occasionally volunteers there) will occasionally walk it or jog there.  Rhode Island Hospital (where I work) is 15 minutes "door to floor" from here driving, and Memorial Hospital in Pawtucket is just a quick blast down Blackstone Bvd from Wayland Sq, again, about 15-20 minutes. 

- Garris

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I appreciate the advice. One of the other things I'd be looking for is proximity to a good running route and I had heard that Blackstone Blvd is good for jogging.

Thanks

- Emily

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Happy Friday to all my Providence friends. I know there are all kinds of projects going on to renovate and construct new residential buildings. I have read about the new library and science center being built by Brown U downtown. My question is this: Are the jobs coming to Providence? :huh: G-Tech is building its headquartes, but what else is there? Is the financial district growing and/or is the city doing enough to help the local business economy thrive? The real estate bubble could burst and an interesting articel in the Boston Globe had mentioned that homes in Boston would depreciate in value 52% (1st on the list) aand 39% in the Providence area (5th). With all of these condos being built will Providence have the jobs for the people they are trying to attract?

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I have read about the new library and science center being built by Brown U downtown.

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Actually, that is Rhode Island School of Design.

My question is this: Are the jobs coming to Providence?  :huh: G-Tech is building its headquartes, but what else is there? Is the financial district growing and/or is the city doing enough to help the local business economy thrive? The real estate bubble could burst and an interesting articel in the Boston Globe had mentioned that homes in Boston would depreciate in value 52% (1st on the list) aand 39% in the Providence area (5th). With all of these condos being built will Providence have the jobs for the people they are trying to attract?

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This is something we've been discussing. There are several barriers to companies wanting to locate here. Our taxes, our history of corruption, and our bad schools among them. I think as Downtown fills with talented people who are commuting to Boston everyday, companies will realize that there is a large talent pool here, and start to think about coming.

There a few things happening on the job front. The job situation in Rhode Island is pretty good. Citizens will be expanding it's workforce here. Bank of America has said they will expand their workforce here. GTECH obviously.

There's a fear of being the first out of the gate in building speculative office space. You could build something and have no tenents. As soon as someone jumps and successfully rents out a new building, we'll see others follow, same as what is happening with residential development now. Buff Chase took the leap of faith, and it paid off, now others are following.

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Call me optimistic, but I don't think there is a real estate bubble in Providence. I don't think that prices will drop dramatically, if at all, in the foreseeable future.

Even with recent price increases, most of Providence is incredibly undervalued compared to almost anywhere else in the region. High-end homes and new development will continue to draw New Yorkers and Bostonians who rightly see a deal compared to what they can get in either of those cities.

I think the reason the market looks inflated is because of the huge disparity between the normal market and the luxury market, and because the small size of the city makes this disparity seem even larger. But to put it in perspective, in NYC not many think it strange that a penthouse on Central Park West is 25x more expensive than a small condo three blocks in from the park. But a 6x disparity from College Hill to Camp Street elicits talk of a bubble.

Assuming the city keeps doing the good things it is doing, I don't think we'll see a slowdown until prices are around 2/3 of Boston or 1/2 of NYC and I think we've got a ways to go yet.

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Call me optimistic, but I don't think there is a real estate bubble in Providence. I don't think that prices will drop dramatically, if at all, in the foreseeable future.

Agreed. I think the increase will slow and maybe even plateau in some areas (non-luxury condos, for example), but on the whole, you're probably right.

Even with recent price increases, most of Providence is incredibly undervalued compared to almost anywhere else in the region.  High-end homes and new development will continue to draw New Yorkers and Bostonians who rightly see a deal compared to what they can get in either of those cities.

Absolutely, this is driving a good deal of it. This month's RI Monthly (which is a worthy read for folks on this board, as a lot of it deals with real estate topics this issue) discusses this. One problem it brings up is the income differential. Traditionally, the salaries in neighborhoring MA and CT are higher, so that's one reason people in those markets think RI is a better deal than perhaps people living here do. That's apparently also true in my line of work, where RI salaries have been the lowest in NE for quite some time. The compensating factor always was that cost of living was lower too, but with the home prices increasing, that value proposition may or may not hold true for folks working in RI now.

 

I think the reason the market looks inflated is because of the huge disparity between the normal market and the luxury market, and because the small size of the city makes this disparity seem even larger.  But to put it in perspective, in NYC not many think it strange that a penthouse on Central Park West is 25x more expensive than a small condo three blocks in from the park.  But a 6x disparity from College Hill to Camp Street elicits talk of a bubble.

This is an outstanding point... No one would think twice about that in NYC. At a large level, the assignment of these prices and the perceived "prestige" is all psychological. These are those in NYC who say "you've got to be nuts to pay 10X more to be 2 blocks closer to the Central Park," but as long as there are those to whom this distinction matter and are willing to pay for it, it's real. The next 5-10 years will be a test of how "real" this is in Providence...

Assuming the city keeps doing the good things it is doing, I don't think we'll see a slowdown until prices are around 2/3 of Boston or 1/2 of NYC and I think we've got a ways to go yet.

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Again, probably right. Maybe even higher for Boston folk... My girlfriend and I were just in Boston this past weekend visiting a cousin of hers, and the talk was that just because of the cost of parking in Boston, people are almost willing to pay equivalent home/condo/apt prices outside of Boston as in just because there's still no parking fees in that scenario. Scary!

Also, I think your Boston to NYC ratio is slightly off. I know people in both markets, and there just isn't a huge price difference. In fact, by many ratios calculated (including one recently comparing home values/cost of living to income), Boston is significantly more expensive than NYC! To some people like myself, this is why I have a hard time with the idea of living in the Boston core vs the NY core. If given the choice, NY is just as expensive and offers a ton more to do (plus, it's easier to go without a car in NY in many cases).

- Garris

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In fact, by many ratios calculated (including one recently comparing home values/cost of living to income), Boston is significantly more expensive than NYC!  To some people like myself, this is why I have a hard time with the idea of living in the Boston core vs the NY core.  If given the choice, NY is just as expensive and offers a ton more to do (plus, it's easier to go without a car in NY in many cases).

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I moved to New York because it was cheaper than Boston, people laugh at me when I say that, but they should try it and see.

There's an article in Providence Business News this week about the out-of-control costs of housing in Fall River (of all places) vs. the mostly manufacturing incomes there.

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Well, since I find myself constantly recruiting people to move to Providence, I guess I'll finally get around to adding my story to the thread...

I essentially moved to Providence for work, but it really went a little deeper than just following a job, ya know? I lived in Boston, more specifically the Cambridge/Somerville line, for about five years after I graduated from college. You know, I had alot of friends from school around, Harvard Square was a 15 minute walk away, cool bars just down the street...blah blah blah...

But as I neared the end of grad school, a little older, I found myself not quite as enamored with sharing what was essentially a two bedroom flat in a triple-decker with 3 other people because it was all I could afford as an intern architect and then student again. I loved Boston, and didn't really want to leave, but I kept having recurring thoughts that things might be more interesting in another city, one not quite as together or as big as Boston, but cheaper and with more opportunity. Boston was starting to feel all tapped out. Opportunity was gone. I really wanted to buy a house, and it sure as hell wasn't happening anywhere in Boston. So I applied for a job in Providence on a whim, not knowing too much about it but having a few friends here who loved it. The job was a perfect fit, I commuted down here from Cambridge for 3 months while I found a house to buy and closed the deal, and moved down here about a year and a half ago.

There are problems...the public transit leaves something to be desired, its not as walkable, or conducive to walking I should say (not when you can drive anywhere in town in five minutes and always find a parking spot), its got major infrastructure problems and some backwards regulations and government. Taxes are high, services somewhat low...

But what it has going for it is exciting and pretty awesome. It FEELS like something is happening here. There is real community. It is extraordinarily cheap and you CAN buy a house on a reasonable salary. Rent is even cheaper. The architecture in many neighborhoods, particularly the slightly rough, is astounding. People are constantly working to make it better. My commute to work is exactly 4 minutes by car, 8 minutes by bike, and 15 minutes by foot. Most of all, I really feel I can make a big impact here and help in shaping what makes a city great. I definitely did not get that in Boston...in many ways its already there, too much competition, too many students, too many corporate lackeys...

The most interesting thing I found is a little difference in the people I know - in Boston, nearly everyone I know is in school, going back to school, or working in a job they absolutely hate, but can't quit because they have to pay the rent. Here, and this isn't an exageration, everyone either has their own business, is planning on starting their own business, or has a job that they love.

Anyway, don't get me wrong, I still love Boston, and the proximity of Providence to Boston is all the better. I have Red Sox season tix and I'll be at Fenway way more than I should, but in Boston I feel that I would still be spinning my wheels and not moving, not gettin anywhere. In Providence, in a very short time, it feels like there is a whole lotta traction and alot of open road ahead.

So sorry about the ramble, but if I can sum up in 2 words - Providence Rocks!

-ML

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I moved to New York because it was cheaper than Boston, people laugh at me when I say that, but they should try it and see.

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We've recently been pricing 2 bedroom condos in Manhattan vs. Beacon Hill/Back Bay/Downtown Boston as we evaluate what we're doing. NYC is *much* more expensive. If you look outside of Manhattan the picture changes dramatically. Funny enough, for everything other than housing/parking NYC is cheaper than either Boston or Providence.

Of course, either place means selling the 2-family house and a 3/4 reduction in square footage...

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We've recently been pricing 2 bedroom condos in Manhattan vs. Beacon Hill/Back Bay/Downtown Boston as we evaluate what we're doing.  NYC is *much* more expensive.

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It's not the Beacon Hill/Upper East Side comparison that save you money, it's the Allston-Brighton/Queens or Jamaica Plain/Brooklyn or East Boston/Harlem comparison that save you.

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I HATE LIVING IN BOSTON!

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It's not that bad is it? You could always move home and commute, it's what all the cool people are doing now. B)

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It's not that bad is it? You could always move home and commute, it's what all the cool people are doing now.  B)

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tlp76, if you work Downtown/Back Bay seriously consider taking the commuter rail from Prov. I did it for two years and I'll tell you, an hour on the train is a better commute than 1/2 hour in a car. I made good friends, read, wrote, worked. And the best thing is, because Providence is the first stop, you *always* get the seat you want!

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I had a job for a while that sent me to Boston every so often, and I didn't mind the commute. Of course I also didn't mind the fact that I'd go to Boston for 2 hour meetings then get to take the rest of the day off because there were no midday trains, oops, looks like I have to stay in Boston and not go back to work. :P

I actually miss commuting by train, my commute is so short here in Rhode Island that I hardly read anymore, I used to do all my reading on the subway when I lived in New York.

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Greetings all:

Am visiting Providence next week to check out Brown -- it's likely I'll be going there for a PhD program in the fall.

Reading your posts here thought I'd put in a request for some insight into what living downcity is like at the moment. I've lived in DC for the past 3 years, and would be delighted to find a 'hood in Providence that's got some pedestrian action but is urban as well. (I'm allergic to strip malls...too many years living in the south). For rent, probably would want to keep it under 700 or so a month...though I wouldn't pass up buying a place and paying more, given that I'll be in it for the long haul.

Any suggestions you have on particular places to check out during my visit would be much appreciated ---- cheers.

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For rent, probably would want to keep it under 700 or so a month...though I wouldn't pass up buying a place and paying more, given that I'll be in it for the long haul.

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You're not going to find that rent downtown, though Providence is as small as a button so you can live outside of downtown (Downcity) and basically still be downtown. Federal Hill is probably the most affordable area that is basically downtown, and usually has more streetlife itself than the actual downtown does now. And if you are going to be at Brown, the East Side (where Brown is) has quite active streetlife along Thayer Street and over in Wayland Square. Good rents can be found if you hunt for them.

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One bd ( alone ), Expect to pay $800-$900 ( walking distance from brown, East Side )

Edited by mikepl

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I pay $750 on Federal Hill for a 2-bed, 10 minute walk to Kennedy Plaza. That's pretty much the low end for my area though.

If you're planning to be here for a while Harris (years) then you might find something that you can live with for a while, then look for a place that you really like once you get settled and know the area and the places that you personally like.

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