PROVIDENCE — Developers of the Hope Point Tower, a luxury condominium tower proposed to be built on former Route I-195 land, are requesting to place the project on pause due to impacts from the ongoing situation with the coronavirus.
“This crisis was unforeseeable when project timelines were put in place,” says a statement, sent by Fane Organization spokesman Jim Malachowski on Monday. “Mr. Fane has been put into a position where he has had to ask for consideration.”
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Fane is asking the I-195 Redevelopment District Commission, the panel tasked with overseeing development of former Route I-195 land, to enter into a “toll agreement,” which would put the project on a pause and extend various project deadlines, according to Malachowski.
“Whereas, no one knows how long the virus crisis will last the pause would be for an unspecified amount of time,“ he wrote in an email. ”Things would go back in place when the crisis is over and new deadlines could be determined.“
A “pre-development schedule” submitted by the developers and approved by the commission in November, states that the Fane Organization must submit applications for permits to construct and operate the project by October 2020.
The project has already been slowed by red tape and opposition from some city leaders throughout the approval process. It is also the subject of a pending lawsuit filed by residents who contend that the project violates the city’s comprehensive zoning plan.
The I-195 Redevelopment District Commission expressed frustration with the developers last summer for missing design deadlines and failing to produce legal documents in a timely manner.
In November, developers submitted an application for a tax-stabilization agreement from the city of Providence along with a $205,575 non-refundable filing fee that is meant to represent 0.1% of the estimated project cost.
In its statement, the Fane Organization stressed that developers intend to proceed with the project at some point.
“We also want it to be clear that Mr. Fane remains committed to the project,” the statement says. “He has invested considerable money into it and continues to do so. Architects and engineers are still working on aspects of the construction design and are making progress.”
On Twitter: @madeleine_list