I-195 Commission shoots down three Link proposals

(Updated, 4:38 p.m.) The I-195 Redevelopment District Commission has rejected a proposal by the owners of 95 Chestnut St. to purchase Parcel 30 on the former highway land known as The Link, along with two other proposals. More

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I-195 Commission shoots down three Link proposals

COURTESY HECHT DEVELOPMENT LLC
A DRAWING SUBMITTED with Hecht Development LLC's parking lot proposal for Parcel 30 of The Link land shows what an expansion of the 95 Chestnut building could look like if it were redeveloped as an office building with ground-level retail. The I-195 Redevelopment District Commission rejected the Hecht proposal along with two others.
Posted 8/8/14

(Updated, 4:38 p.m.)

PROVIDENCE – The I-195 Redevelopment District Commission has rejected a proposal by the owners of 95 Chestnut St. to purchase Parcel 30 on the former highway land known as The Link, along with two other proposals.

In his proposal, Kenneth W. Hecht of Hecht Development LLC suggested a buying price of $343,000 for Parcel 30, which directly abuts the 95 Chestnut property and which he said he planned to turn into a parking lot with approximately 65 spaces.

Though the parking lot was Hecht’s only formal proposal to the commission, he also said the space could later be used for future development of a new building featuring retail, dining and spaces for public art on the first floor of a building on Parcel 30, with residential housing or office space on the upper floors.

The housing units Hecht envisioned could provide housing for the entrepreneurs who travel to 95 Chestnut to participate in Betaspring’s 12-week accelerator program, Hecht said, although he added that construction of such an expansion at 95 Chestnut is “not economically viable today.”

I-195 Commission spokeswoman Dyana Koelsch said the commission rejected Hecht’s proposal because parking lot development is one of several uses specifically excluded from the commission’s purview.

Betaspring spokeswoman Melissa Withers told Providence Business News the startup accelerator had no part in drafting the proposal and did not request that Hecht consider building housing on Parcel 30 as Hecht stated in his proposal. Hecht did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

The two other rejected proposals were submitted by CV Properties and Michael Integlia & Co. CV Properties proposed building a 150-room hotel and apartment units on Parcel 42 that would serve as “the last piece of the South Street Landing” redevelopment of the South Street Power Station by connecting Point Street to the new park.

Michael Integlia proposed purchasing Parcel 37 with plans to build a 10-story office building with street-level retail and/or Parcels 34 and 38 to develop a mixed-use property containing retail on the first floor and office space and apartments on the upper floors, along with an above-ground parking garage with approximately 400 spaces.

Koelsch said each of the rejected proposals was “not accepted because they were either not the right fit, not a complete proposal or not a use that meets the mission of the commission.”

The original headline on this article may have implied incorrectly that Kenneth W. Hecht’s vision for housing and office space on Parcel 30 was a part of the formal proposal made to the I-195 Redevelopment District Commission. It was not; the parking lot was Hecht’s only formal proposal.

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