PROVIDENCE, R.I. — The Rhode Island Supreme Court on Thursday ruled in favor of the Fane tower, removing its last legal hurdle from residents opposed to the tower’s height.
The proposed $300 million Hope Point Tower project at 250 Dyer St. in the city’s Jewelry District was approved by the city more than 3 years ago. After gaining approval, the developer and I-195 Redevelopment Commission requested that the property’s zoning allow a 600-feet maximum building height, which exceeds the parcel’s zoning regulations that call for a 100-foot cap.
The city and the Superior Court approved their request. Yet Peter Scotti & Associates, Inc., and Building Bridges Providence challenged the court in 2019 and filed a lawsuit against the zoning change. The Supreme Court struck down that challenge on Thursday.
“We do not take such a review lightly but embark on it with due appreciation for the contested nature of the amendment at issue and the tremendous impact our decision will have on Providence and everyone interested in this case,” said Justice William P. Robinson III in his opinion, noting that the building would ultimately alter the city’s skyline.
If developed, the Fane tower would be about 100 feet taller than the state’s tallest building, the Industrial Trust Bank building in downtown Providence, often dubbed “the Superman building.”
“Mr. Fane welcomes the RI Supreme Court decision and regrets the time lost on resolving a case which had no merit,” Fane spokesperson Jim Malachowski said in a statement sent to the press.
In a statement, Senate President Dominick J. Ruggerio and House Speaker K. Joseph Shekarchi said they were “excited that this major private investment in our capital city can now move forward” and create jobs and “needed housing.”
“In our view, the project is wholly consistent with all regulations, and we are not surprised that the previous Superior Court ruling in favor of Fane has been upheld,” they said. “We appreciate the persistence of Jason Fane and hope that other developers looking to invest hundreds of millions of dollars in our state receive a more welcoming reception.”
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