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glassandsteel

PROPOSED: The "Power Block"

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I'm not going to bother posting the whole article up because Cotuit will have done it anyway by the time most of you read this but I'm thinking that we may have found where that residential Hilton is going....

"The company owns the Holiday Inn and wants to turn it into a high-end Hilton. It plans to spend about $150 million to completely renovate the hotel, add a nationally known steak restaurant and a Starbucks coffee shop, and attach a 27-story tower filled with 150 condos."

-From Projo about The Procaccianti Group

Hilton Hotel and Residence

Location:

Providence, RI

Project Details:

> 27 Story

> App. 160-176 Condo Units

> 40 Hotel Rooms

> Public Spa Area & Great Ballroom

-From www.humphreys.com

Smallhiltonresidential.jpg

Now the descriptions and locations of the two match too well to ignore, but I've been looking at this picture pretty hard and I'm having a tough time seeing this fit where Holiday Inn is currently. Maybe I need to go in person and look at it again but I keep thinking that this won't fit on the land they have. I'm imagining that the shorter square part on the bottom right would be the current Holiday Inn with it's new face but that would mean that they'd need enough room to the left to fit the tower. I'm assuming that this forum is gonna be buzzing in the morning so if anyone has any comments on this before I get to see the site again then shoot.

P.S. If anybody goes to city hall for the mayor's high-rise announcement (which I think is gonna be Capitol Cove) at 10:30, let us know what's up. I really don't want to miss it but I have to work. Speaking of which, goodnight.

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Procaccianti: $700-million vision hinges on Westin

The developer describes a downtown "power block" that would take shape if his bid for the state-owned hotel is approved.

BY ANDREA L. STAPE Journal Staff Writer | February 24, 2005

PROVIDENCE -- The Procaccianti Group is poised to invest as much as $700 million in downtown Providence to build new hotel rooms, condos, restaurants, shops and office space.

But the company will "rethink" its proposed investment in the city if its bid to buy the state-owned Westin Providence is not approved, according to James Procaccianti, president of the hotel-development and management company.

"I think we'd have no choice but to take a step back and review everything," Procaccianti said yesterday during an interview at his company's Cranston headquarters.

The Procaccianti Group was chosen in December as top bidder for the Westin, based on its $95.5-million offer to buy the property, and its plans to build a 200-room hotel tower next door.

The Rhode Island Convention Center Authority board of directors, which oversees the Westin and the convention center, had been negotiating a contract with the company when it learned that The Procaccianti Group and Procaccianti-related companies had left behind millions of dollars in delinquent loans from the state credit union crisis of the early 1990s.

James Procaccianti recently agreed to settle with the state on one of the loans, for $6.53 million, including interest. It was the only Procaccianti-related loan that had been the subject of a pending state lawsuit.

The proposed sale of the Westin had been on the agenda today for a meeting of the Convention Center Authority.

But the meeting has been postponed until Monday. Governor Carcieri has concerns about the proposed sale, according to the his spokesman Jeff Neal, and wants to talk to the leaders of the House and the Senate, and Providence Mayor David N. Cicilline before the sale is approved. Since the governor's wife underwent quadruple bypass surgery yesterday, the authority's board has postponed the meeting until Carcieri can make his concerns public, said David Duffy, chairman of the authority.

"If the governor has a position he wants to make known, I believe our authority and everyone else involved should hear this -- including the general public," said Duffy. "So that's why I postponed the meeting. Hopefully Mrs. Carcieri will be better and he'll go back on his schedule and talk to those folks."

Duffy said he spoke to Carcieri about the proposed sale last week, but declined yesterday to reveal Carcieri's concerns. Neal also declined to elaborate.

Cicilline said yesterday that he had not spoken with the governor and did not know what aspects of the sale proposal Carcieri was concerned with.

"It's a very important transaction. It's the anchor of a much more substantial investment -- and that is obviously very, very important to the city of Providence," said Cicilline. "Adding $700 million to the tax base of Providence is incredibly important to me."

Duffy, though, said that Procaccianti's other proposed developments in the city don't "necessarily relate" to the plans to sell the Westin.

"The authority's concern is the sale of the hotel and the construction of the . . . tower," said Duffy. "As an authority, it's not our job to look at everything else he's doing."

Until this week, The Procaccianti Group's offer to buy the Westin had been overshadowed by the state lawsuit against James Procaccianti. The state said Procaccianti had $14 million in unpaid loans left over from the 1991 credit union collapse, and sued Procaccianti over one, $3-million loan. The majority of the loans could not be collected, the state said, but the 1994 lawsuit was still outstanding. On Monday, Procaccianti's offer to pay $6.53 million was approved by the state.

Procaccianti wired $750,000 to the state on Tuesday and is expected to pay the remainder, $5.77 million, today, according to a company spokesman.

As controversy over the outstanding debts raged for the past two months, The Procaccianti Group worked behind the scenes to continue developing a sweeping downtown investment plan. Unveiled in detail yesterday, the company's plan seeks to create a "power block" in the city -- one that reaches from the Westin past the convention center and the Dunkin' Donuts Center and up to the Holiday Inn. Procaccianti visualizes it as a connected corridor of shops, convention space, restaurants and hotel rooms that would work to entice large conventions to Providence.

"We've had a vision of what we think the power block should look like in the city and the Westin is a vital component to that," said Procaccianti.

The company owns the Holiday Inn and wants to turn it into a high-end Hilton. It plans to spend about $150 million to completely renovate the hotel, add a nationally known steak restaurant and a Starbucks coffee shop, and attach a 27-story tower filled with 150 condos.

The Procaccianti Group would also completely transform the side of the hotel abutting the Dunkin' Donuts Center, with the idea that at some point the two could be connected.

"It will be much more attractive for someone to rehabilitate the Civic Center," said Procaccianti. "It's going to be jumping."

On the opposite end of the block, the hotel tower next to the Westin is another $150-million to $200-million project that is part of Procaccianti's vision. It would including parking, shops and luxury condos selling for as much as $1 million.

According to Procaccianti, high-end hotels across the country are quickly adding residential space as people clamor for all the comforts of a hotel -- cleaning service, gourmet food, a concierge -- in their everyday lives.

Along with the hotels, Procaccianti is proposing a residential and office tower for a small triangle of land across the street from the Holiday Inn. The land, formerly the City Gulf Station and now a parking lot, is owned by former Providence Mayor Joseph Paolino Jr. and Procaccianti. They would like to develop a 27-floor residential building, with shops on the first floor and condos above. That building is a $175-million to $200-million development, according to Procaccianti.

Also, The Procaccianti Group would like to develop a residential tower featuring lofts, which is a $100-million to $150-million project, according to the company. Yesterday, Procaccianti did not reveal the location of the tower, since the company is still working on acquiring the vacant land.

Procaccianti, 46, runs his privately held hotel-development and management company out of the third floor of an office building on Reservoir Avenue in Cranston. He values the company at close to $1 billion, and says it owns and manages 23 hotels across the country.

The Procaccianti Group was among 15 companies that submitted bids last fall for the Westin. Once it was selected as top bidder, the company started talking to investors to raise financing to make its development vision a reality. The company was successful in pooling $150 million in the Procaccianti Development Fund for Providence, said Procaccianti.

"So when we made the pitch for this whole development fund, we added the Westin," he said.

The money, along with another hotel-development fund and traditional construction loans, will be used to finance the Providence development, said Procaccianti. He added that the company has been in talks with the City of Providence and is ready to start gutting the Holiday Inn within weeks. That is, if the Westin deal goes through.

"We believe that Monday we'll get approved," said Procaccianti. "I can't imagine what concerns they would have."

Staff writer Andrea L. Stape can be reached at (401) 277-7269 or astape [at] projo.com

Mayor to unveil major high-rise project today

Mayor David N. Cicilline has called a news conference for today to announce "a major new construction project that will change the skyline of Providence."

At the news conference, according to a press release from the public relations firm Cote & D'Ambrosio, Cicilline and members of the development team will brief the media about a high-rise building.

Cicilline did not return a telephone call seeking comment.

The news conference is scheduled for 10:30 a.m. in the mayor's office at City Hall.

From The Providence Journal

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Today's my birthday and I can't help but think these announcements are a present for me! :D

Now the descriptions and locations of the two match too well to ignore, but I've been looking at this picture pretty hard and I'm having a tough time seeing this fit where Holiday Inn is currently.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

I can see it being the Holiday in site. The new tower looks to have sort of engulfed the existing Holiday Inn. I've heard rumours that the Holiday Inn was to become a Hilton, so that part fits. The ramps in the rendering look a little off, but it's just a rendering, that grassy space across the street is the circular gas station site. If they need some one to do some digging or something, I'm good to go! :lol:

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Mayor to unveil major high-rise project today

Mayor David N. Cicilline has called a news conference for today to announce "a major new construction project that will change the skyline of Providence."

At the news conference, according to a press release from the public relations firm Cote & D'Ambrosio, Cicilline and members of the development team will brief the media about a high-rise building.

Cicilline did not return a telephone call seeking comment.

The news conference is scheduled for 10:30 a.m. in the mayor's office at City Hall.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

P.S.  If anybody goes to city hall for the mayor's high-rise announcement (which I think is gonna be Capitol Cove) at 10:30, let us know what's up.  I really don't want to miss it but I have to work.  Speaking of which, goodnight.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

Maybe... My first though was the new Citizens HQ.

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Maybe... My first though was the new Citizens HQ.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

Beating the mayor to the punch (and confirming my first thought!):

From the Boston Globe -

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.)

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Wow, I'm even more excited that we're getting a real announcement on that! I've heard some pretty solid rumours about Capital Cove, so I'm pretty confident that that is coming this year, and the Citizens rumour will gel soon I'm sure. But the Intercontinental project has been quiet. I'll be camped out in Capital Centre waiting for them to start digging!

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Beating the mayor to the punch (and confirming my first thought!):

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

There's already a thread for Parcel 2, I added this info to that thread. :thumbsup:

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Goodness gracious... Do something like go to sleep for one night, and look what you miss! I might be off here, but including the major new tower announcement (I thought Citizen's HQ too...) and the "Power Block," I count a potential 5 new towers poking up through the Providence skyline :w00t: ! I mean, wow!

First, a cynical reality check. The "power block" concept sounds a bit like political blackmail by the Procaccianti Group to me right now. "Approve our Westin deal and see what's possible. Give us a hard time, and look what you could loose..." I find it interesting that while many see a potential glut of hotel rooms and condos, this group is seemingly ready to increase the capacity of both in Providence by seemingly 50%. Can we anticipate tomorrow's main headline being the closing of the Biltmore?

That said, however, this is all tremendously exciting and long overdue for the city. Part of me likes to think this is the long-awaited payoff of the Mayor's cleaning up and streamlining of city government.

How many condo projects are there now? The People's Bank building, the Westin, the Hilton, the two towers on Federal Hill, the Wayland Square 4 story condo (which looks like it's good to go, I'll post more on that later), many of the Downcity lofts will go condo in several years, lots of small projects on the East Side and West End (ex, Pratt, the Waterman and Butler condos, etc), likely the Biltmore in the future... Wow...

It's hard to keep it all straight! Thankfully, we have Cotuit for that :-). Happy birthday!!

- Garris

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Wow, I'm even more excited that we're getting a real announcement on that! I've heard some pretty solid rumours about Capital Cove, so I'm pretty confident that that is coming this year, and the Citizens rumour will gel soon I'm sure. But the Intercontinental project has been quiet. I'll be camped out in Capital Centre waiting for them to start digging!

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Yep, pretty exciting news!

these towers are going to pretty much dwarf the Gtech building. I knew they had gotten city plan commission approval in the fall, but I didn't think they were gonna move that fast...shovels in the ground in mid-march? WOW!

I think people are losing their minds, what with this and the "Power Block," the stuff on Atwells, downcity, etc. but they're the ones with the Harvard MBA's! I wish I knew more people with the bucks to live in these places :blink: ha!

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First, a cynical reality check.  The "power block" concept sounds a bit like political blackmail by the Procaccianti Group to me right now.  "Approve our Westin deal and see what's possible.  Give us a hard time, and look what you could loose..."

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

Well, that's still the way to get things done in Providence, Buddy may be in jail, but his legacy lingers. I think Cicilline is going to tell the Governor to shut his trap on his 'reservations' and go with this. The Power Block seems like it could go a long way toward getting The Dunk fixed up, which the state and city are wrangling over how to pay for.

Let the Procaccianti Group play their political blackmail, I think Cicilline can play the game too and get them to commit to some stuff that he needs done regarding The Dunk and reconfiguring LaSalle Square.

The Power Block will also spur development around it, the old Public Safety Complex, the circular gas station site, maybe we can get some cosmetic work done on the Atwells and Broadway bridges.

The Parcel 2 announcement is a big card in the mayors hand as well, he can tell the Procaccianti Group to stop playing hardball because we're not begging for development anymore, people will spend money here without major consessions from the city and state.

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I think people are losing their minds, what with this and the "Power Block," the stuff on Atwells, downcity, etc. but they're the ones with the Harvard MBA's! I wish I knew more people with the bucks to live in these places  :blink:  ha!

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It's all those Bostonians who have been pumping us for info. Residences within walking distance of the train station are going to be hot for people wanting out of the crazy Boston market, but wanting to keep their jobs in Boston. Having these highly qualified workers in Providence will encourage business to come here. These people live here, certainly they'll want to work here.

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Has anyone seen the print version of ProJo today? Are there any graphics or photos associated with this Power Block story?

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Has anyone seen the print version of ProJo today? Are there any graphics or photos associated with this Power Block story?

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

No, none... The Masonic Temple photo is large on the front, however, and there is an interesting article about the proposed Charles Street Hotel (a battle between whether is should be urban feeling built to the sidewalk, or suburban feeling).

- Garris

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and there is an interesting article about the proposed Charles Street Hotel (a battle between whether is should be urban feeling built to the sidewalk, or suburban feeling).

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

Really? Have you seen that online? If you could add it to the Charles Hotel thread that'd be super. :thumbsup:

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It's all those Bostonians who have been pumping us for info. Residences within walking distance of the train station are going to be hot for people wanting out of the crazy Boston market, but wanting to keep their jobs in Boston. Having these highly qualified workers in Providence will encourage business to come here. These people live here, certainly they'll want to work here.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

Perhaps that is what is driving all of this... With all of this new hotel and residential downtown construction, what's needed now is some new entertainment options downtown to complement them. The mall has got the movie theater and IMAX angle down. PPAC and AS220 are around. The VMA will get a sprucing up with the Masonic Temple project.

If I were RISD, I'd get moving on that museum expansion on North Main fast, and I'd be doing the same if I were Trinity Rep with that Empire Street theater project.

Also, has anyone thought about the new retail district that's going to be created by all of this. Think of it... Between the steet level retail of the Westin expansion, the mall's existing outdoor restaurants, the G-Tech retail space, and the Parcel 2 space, that's one extensive pedestrian retail zone! I don't know whether this is good or bad for the Westminster/Waybosset retail folks...

- Garris

PS: With all due respect to the enthusiastic M. Brown, if all this comes to pass, I think it'll do a lot to cement Providence's place as New England's "second city." What do you think?

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Also, has anyone thought about the new retail district that's going to be created by all of this.  Think of it...  Between the steet level retail of the Westin expansion, the mall's existing outdoor restaurants, the G-Tech retail space, and the Parcel 2 space, that's one extensive pedestrian retail zone!  I don't know whether this is good or bad for the Westminster/Waybosset retail folks...

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This proliferation of retail space worries me. Moreso than having too many condos.

PS: With all due respect to the enthusiastic M. Brown, if all this comes to pass, I think it'll do a lot to cement Providence's place as New England's "second city."  What do you think?

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

I think Providence already is New England's second city. Manchester is and will continue to be a major hub for Northern New England, but our position between Boston and New York can't be beat.

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Procaccianti: $700-million vision hinges on Westin

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

PS, last year the mayor was excited about having $1billion total development dollars going into the city. That number was reached by adding up every little thing that was happening in town. This is one developer ready to invest almost that much!

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W/o question I think the retail is good becasue people will be shopping downtown ( on foot etc ) and not center towards the mall and away from Westminster/Waybosset as they do now.

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W/o question I think the retail is good becasue people will be shopping downtown ( on foot etc ) and not center towards the mall and away from Westminster/Waybosset  as they do now.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

I think it's good too, I worry that we might not have enough retailers to fill it all, and that we might not have enough shoppers to support them. It seems that there will soon be a huge amount of residents coming into the downtown, maybe tripling the current population (??). So we may have the shopper numbers fixed (though if they are all leaving the city to head to work in Boston everyday...).

It's also challenging to fix the old buildings on Westminster, why bother with the cost and aggrevation of that, when all this fresh new reatail space is ready to occupy in Captial Centre?

We also have the 195 land that needs to be developed around 2012, hopefully we don't max out now, and have that remain vacant for decades the way Capital Centre has been.

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It's also challenging to fix the old buildings on Westminster, why bother with the cost and aggrevation of that, when all this fresh new reatail space is ready to occupy in Captial Centre?

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

I think this is a real concern. However, with a potential critical mass being reached, I think a Boston-like model of Westminster-Waybosset being more of a "Newbury St." stylish/hip residential/retail area maybe more where they should look. Also, with the new One-Ten Westminster being announced (OTW acronym?) I'm less concerned about that area than I was, oh, ten minutes ago.

We also have the 195 land that needs to be developed around 2012, hopefully we don't max out now, and have that remain vacant for decades the way Capital Centre has been.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

I think this is another real concern. At least there seem to be entities already lining up for that land that have nothing to do with luxury condos (i.e. RISD, J&W, Brown) and perhaps, by then, there will be some businesses interested as well.

BTW, if I were some of the power broker working on the West End/Broadway area (like Armory Properties, etc.), I'd call the Mayor tomorrow and get working on Duany's (sp?) idea of knocking down Cathedral Square and connecting Westminster to the West Side directly over the highway. There are going to be a lot of people living on both sides of that divide in the future that would love to get back and forth more easily I'm sure!

- Garris

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Well, I posted that Westminster worry before we knew what One Ten West was, what a difference a morning makes! :lol:

These people are not going to pump that kind of money into the neighbourhood to end up seeing Westminster Street fail

BTW, if I were some of the power broker working on the West End/Broadway area (like Armory Properties, etc.), I'd call the Mayor tomorrow and get working on Duany's (sp?) idea of knocking down Cathedral Square and connecting Westminster to the West Side directly over the highway.  There are going to be a lot of people living on both sides of that divide in the future that would love to get back and forth more easily I'm sure!

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

Screw calling him tomorrow, I'd be in his office RIGHT NOW!

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Along with the hotels, Procaccianti is proposing a residential and office tower for a small triangle of land across the street from the Holiday Inn. The land, formerly the City Gulf Station and now a parking lot, is owned by former Providence Mayor Joseph Paolino Jr. and Procaccianti. They would like to develop a 27-floor residential building, with shops on the first floor and condos above. That building is a $175-million to $200-million development, according to Procaccianti.

Also, The Procaccianti Group would like to develop a residential tower featuring lofts, which is a $100-million to $150-million project, according to the company. Yesterday, Procaccianti did not reveal the location of the tower, since the company is still working on acquiring the vacant land.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

So I just re-read this and obviously missed a big piece as I was skimming this this morning.

Look, that's 2 condo towers at the Holiday Inn end of the Power Block. One at the circular gas station site, and one 'elsewhere.'

Wild speculation about the 'elsewhere' one... between Broadway and Dominica Manor on the Federal Hill side of the highway. When Andres Duany was here he was talking about how developers have their eyes on that space. At first one would speculate the Holiday Inn's parking garage, but it specifically says they are looking at a vacant parcel. Anyone else care to speculate about a vacant parcel in the vicinity of the Holiday Inn?

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