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  • Amy Mendillo for Providence Monthly

Fox Point Residents Fight for Neighborhood Character

Fox Point neighbors have been mobilizing to oppose a proposed development they fear will not only change the character of their neighborhood, but set a precedent for future development in the area. As of early May, the developer Fox Point Capital LLC was scheduled to appear before the City Plan Commission (CPC) to seek approval for the construction of a five-story mixed-use building on the corner of Wickenden and Brook streets. The structure, which would occupy the space currently occupied by two buildings at that intersection, would provide commercial space, internal parking, and 62 residential units.

Neighbors have stated several objections. “The height and massing of the proposed building, at five stories containing more than 60 residential units, are too aggressive,” said one FPNA board member. “Three stories would be more in keeping with what's already on the street. There are currently no buildings in the area that contain over 20 units.” Other neighbors have noted that over than half of the proposed units offer no natural light, with no windows planned for the main living spaces. In these cases, the small-to-medium sized apartments in the building would contain only one window, in the bedroom. Parking, too, is a cause for concern for neighbors, since the proposed building includes only a thirty percent parking-to-unit ratio. Parking in the area is a major problem already, neighbors state, and would only get worse should this proposal be accepted.

Perhaps most of all, neighbors object to the generic character of the design. “Providence developers have lost sight of what makes Providence an attractive place to live,” said neighbor Evie Lincoln, “precisely the lower density, traditional style housing and ease of access.” FPNA Vice President Daisy Schnepel warned of long-term consequences. "We need to say no to unreasonable, incompatible development,” she said. “This proposal could forever change the environment and sensibility of what it means to live in a small, historic community.” The proposal was scheduled to be heard by the CPC in mid May but has been deferred until June or July.

Image, Amy Mendillo


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