PROVIDENCE – The Capitol Cove development that twice has stalled because of union picketing will be completed under new bidding guidelines, which are to be in place for the second half of the first phase of construction, the city and the developer announced today.
Under the new agreement, developer Robert Roth of Brookline, Mass. – whose Capitol Cove LLC is building the $250-million development, starting with a 249-unit phase along Canal Street – has agreed to work exclusively with contractors that are affiliated with state-registered apprenticeship programs, according to Greg Mancini, executive director of the labor-management partnership BuildRI.
“Under this agreement, the developer will get his taxes stabilized, the contractors of the building trades will have an opportunity to be on the job and the residents of the city will have the opportunity to gain access and training for new employment opportunities on the project,” Mancini said. “This is a win-win-win situation.”
The new guidelines ensure that “because they will be enrolled in union apprenticeship programs they will have future career opportunities long after this job is completed,” Mancini said.
Much of the conversation regarding the development during the past two months has been about whether the development’s tax-stabilization agreement was violated when Roth gave work to non-union subcontractors. City Council members had requested a review by the Providence Internal Auditor and Law Department.
Roth said city councilors agreed that the language in the tax-stabilization code has to be reviewed and tightened. And, the developer said, he and the council agreed on the two main strengths of the tax-stabilization program: local labor hiring goals and creating financially tenable developments.
Council Majority Leader Terrence Hassett said Capitol Cove will serve as an “example,” so that “other developments will learn that we do take tax-stabilization plans and their provisions seriously.”
The first of three construction phases at the development, which includes two condominium complexes and an extension of the Providence Riverwalk, is expected to be completed in November 2008, Roth said.
BuildRI is a coalition of local construction-related unions and contractors that provides project permitting assistance, worksite safety information, and apprentice and journeyman training. To learn more, visit www.buildri.org.