Developer Proposes 59 Units in Federal Hill: A Modern Take on Urban Living

All three buildings would be built in current parking lots or vacant lots Providence's Federal Hill neighborhood is on the verge of a transformation, thanks to a visionary developer. Kevin Diamond, principal of Providence Architecture...

All three buildings would be built in current parking lots or vacant lots

Providence's Federal Hill neighborhood is on the verge of a transformation, thanks to a visionary developer. Kevin Diamond, principal of Providence Architecture and Building Co., has proposed an exciting project that would bring 59 housing units spread across three buildings to the area. The development aims to provide a new style of urban living that combines modern design with high density. Let's explore the details and visual renderings of these proposed buildings.

Rezoning for a Bright Future

The first step towards the realization of this project is the rezoning of the lots at 20 America St., 64 America St., and 125 Tobey St. Currently zoned as R-3, they need to be rezoned to R-4, which allows for greater density and taller buildings. The City Plan Commission has recommended these changes to the Providence City Council, with one condition: short-term rentals will not be allowed. If the rezoning is approved, the projects will proceed to the city's Planning Department for review and approval.

A Missing-Middle Development

The proposed buildings fill a gap in the housing market. They fall between small multi-family buildings and large institutional apartment complexes, offering a more approachable scale with higher density. The result is a style of development that quickly adds to the housing supply. According to Dustin Dezube, developer and co-owner of Providence Architecture and Building Co., these buildings aim to chip away at the scarcity of housing units. Their firm has a total of 750 housing units in the pipeline, showing their commitment to addressing the city's housing needs.

20 America St.: Modern Living at its Finest

At 20 America Street, a 17-space parking lot will be transformed into a modern 4-story apartment building. The design features large windows on the first three floors, a recessed fourth floor, and a cellar. Its urban aesthetic will be in harmony with the surrounding neighborhood, particularly Atwells Avenue. With a footprint of 2,864 square feet, this building will not offer parking spaces. Instead, it will focus on providing residents with a stylish and convenient urban lifestyle. The proposed unit mix includes 3 studios, 20 one-bedroom apartments, and 1 two-bedroom apartment.

Renderings show plans for a modern building at 20 America Street, 100 feet from Atwells Avenue Renderings show plans for a modern building at 20 America Street, 100 feet from Atwells Avenue

64 America St.: A Harmonious Blend of Styles

At 64 America Street, a vacant lot surrounded by tall trees will be the site of a 26-unit 4-story apartment building. This project's design takes inspiration from classic triple deckers, Queen Anne style, and Second Empire style architecture. The building will feature bay windows on each side, a mansard roof, and a covered but unenclosed rear staircase. The unit mix for this building includes 16 studios, 8 one-bedroom apartments, and 2 two-bedroom apartments.

Renderings for 64 America St. show a 26-unit apartment building Renderings for 64 America St. show a 26-unit apartment building

125 Tobey St.: A Cozy Community

The smallest of the three buildings, 125 Tobey Street, will offer a low-slung three-story apartment building with 14 units. This building will share a lot with a modern three-story duplex, creating a sense of community. The design features a recessed third floor with access to a balcony and a cellar. With a footprint of 2,695 square feet, this building will provide a range of unit sizes, including studios, one-bedroom apartments, two-bedroom apartments, and a three-bedroom apartment.

These renderings show a low-slung building proposed at an empty lot at 125 Tobey Street These renderings show a low-slung building proposed at an empty lot at 125 Tobey Street

Embracing Urban Living

One notable aspect of these proposed projects is that they do not require any parking spaces since they are under 10,000 square feet. Diamond has carefully designed the apartments to complement the building's facade. Every detail, from the layout to the kitchen size, has been considered to create comfortable living spaces. The focus is on offering a modern and vibrant urban lifestyle.

What's Next?

The next step for this project is the approval of the new zoning by the City Council. If the changes are accepted, the plans will undergo a six to eight-month review process, followed by another six to eight weeks for building permits. Construction will take approximately nine to ten months. The estimated timeline for completion is around two years from the zone change approval.

Preserving the Neighborhood's Character

During the City Plan Commission meeting, concerns were raised about the potential use of these buildings as short-term rentals. However, Diamond has assured that there are no plans to pursue this avenue. Chairman Michael Gazdacko emphasized the importance of maintaining the character of the neighborhood by recommending that short-term rentals be banned in the R-4 zone for these lots. This recommendation reflects a commitment to preserving the community's integrity.

With each step forward, these proposed developments promise to revitalize Federal Hill, offering residents modern and stylish living options. The collaboration between Providence Architecture and Building Co. and the City Council demonstrates a shared vision for a vibrant and sustainable urban community. As these plans progress, Providence is poised to become a sought-after destination for those seeking a new way of city living.

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