Industrial National Trust (Superman Building) | Downtown | Providence

Details Announced: as previously announced, the building will have 285 units, 20% of which would be income controlled, up from 10% last year. The state will kick in $26 million - $20.7 million in Commerce RI / Rebuild RI state tax credits and grants for the project, plus $5.5 in RI Housing grants. The city of providence will kick in $15 Million, of which $5M is a grant and the rest is a $10M loan from the Providence Housing Trust, plus the previously sought tax stabilization agreement.

All in all, the developer seems to have gotten what they wanted a year ago: over $40M in state / local government money, plus ~ $24 million in federal tax credits.

Last edited:
So $64M in fed/state/local funds for 57 affordable units? That seems like....a lot?
So $64M in fed/state/local funds for 57 affordable units? That seems like....a lot?

The Globe's Buzzard Circling Over The Once-Mighty ProJo (i.e., its Rhode Island section) has a number of perspectives on this:

As always, different ways to look at this stuff--but I would argue that, even if a "public giveaway" such as this is inherently controversial, it is several orders of magnitude less grotesque (if one would even call it that) then, say, what happened in New York State recently. Those stadium giveaways are such scams. The Bills play there eight. times. a. year!!!

[end digressive rant]
I agree completely that it's less egregious than the Buffalo scam, but it's related. Developers go to struggling places and act like they have the taxpayers over a barrel. At 285 condo's paying approximately 300K+ on average you're looking at 100M in revenue, while I read the developer is putting up 24M. That's a pretty good ROI from my back of the envelope calculation.
Captured on a recent walk in Providence (10.17):

PVD Superman.JPG
Captured on a recent walk in Providence (10.17):

View attachment 29663

The original plan to develop the old Beaux-Arts Providence Journal Building (in forefront of photo) into a Hotel Hive have been dropped. The new strategy is to develop the property into mixed use with residential, retail, and coworking space units. The owners are looking to apply their previously approved tax credits to the new project. Under the original deal, the owners might be entitled to far more tax benefits as the property value would be much higher as a residential property than the originally intended hotel.

Last edited:
woah, awesome. was afraid this project was gonna die.
Construction due to kick off this month:

In an ideal world, this project completes, with residential/retail occupancy achieved, simultaneous with RIDOT's plan to relocate the transit hub from Kennedy Plaza... but now that this is underway, I suspect this will be done several years before the transformation of downtown's bus hub.