Boston developer pitches residential development project for former I-195 land

The I-195 Redevelopment District Commission will consider proposed 11-story apartment building at its April 19 meeting

By: - April 13, 2023 12:53 pm

An aerial view of the proposed 11-story apartment building a developer is seeking to build on former highway land along the Providence riverfront. (Courtesy of CV Properties)

A Boston-based developer wants to build an 11-story apartment building on former highway land along the Providence riverfront.

CV Properties on Wednesday announced its proposal to redevelop a swath of empty land along Dyer Street into a 149-unit apartment building with ground floor retail and restaurant space. The company also plans to work with Brown University to incorporate Brown’s adjacent, two-story administrative building into a broader development project featuring more than 400,000 square feet of commercial offices and laboratory space.

The $600,000 purchase of two empty sites in the northwest corner of the I-195 Redevelopment District, known as Parcels 14 and 15, must be approved by the district’s seven-member, appointed panel. The I-195 Redevelopment District Commission will meet on April 19 to consider the company’s proposal, kicking off an extensive public review process before any decisions are made or contracts signed.

The new development sits just north of the controversial Fane Tower project, which would have erected a 47-story skyscraper of luxury apartments. Developer Jason Fane pulled the plug on the Fane Tower project last month.

CV Properties has developed a slew of prominent downtown properties, including the IGT building, the Aloft Hotel and South Street Landing. Its plans for Parcels 14 and 15 aim to “significantly advance the economic development, land use and job creation goals of both the 195 Commission and the City of Providence,” Richard Galvin, company founder and president said in a statement.

“As a close neighbor to these 195 parcels, we recognize the opportunity they offer to create better connections between this growing area of Providence and public assets like the park and waterfront, enhance the value of the neighboring for all who work, live, learn, play and relax in the area, and expand access to housing and jobs for Rhode Islanders,” Galvin said. 

The residential element of the project also addresses the city’s pervasive housing shortage, with a mix of studio, 1 and 2-bedroom apartments, 10% of which will be reserved as workforce housing, according to documents submitted to the commission. The project calls for 56 underground parking spaces.

The extra 233,000 square feet of lab space comes as Brown University expands its science-focused footprint across the district, including a tenancy in the  $165 million state health lab slated to be built across the river. Brown has also leased one floor of the adjacent Wexford Science & Technology building for use as a wet lab.

Although Brown as a nonprofit is exempt from paying city property taxes on its buildings, the entire development site, including the portion owned by Brown, will be added to the city’s tax roll, according to the development documents. 

The entire project will create 1,500 construction jobs and 1,600 permanent positions in high-skilled industries, according to CV Properties.


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Nancy Lavin
Nancy Lavin

Nancy Lavin is senior reporter covering state politics, energy and environmental issues for the Rhode Island Current.