Edge College Hill

21st-century modernist construction for micro-loft student housing at the base of College Hill

About this Property


Edge College Hill was among a new wave of construction that came along at the end of the two-thousand tens. A lull in new building after the economic and real estate downturn of 2008, by almost ten years later the market picked back up and projects that were only in conceptual stages came into being. Notable during this period were the completion of South Street Landing, The Commons at Providence Station (Capital Center 2), the Providence River Pedestrian Bridge, Homewood Suites Extended Stay Hotel, the Nightingale Building, Chestnut Commons, Wexford Innovation Center, and the Residence Inn by Marriott.1

Vision Properties plans a second 15-story tower at 131 Canal St., but this has not yet been built. That building was scaled back from 15 stories to 11 stories during back and forth sessions with the Design Review Committee.Residents of College Hill had concerns about the height and mass of the building, which has a “L” shape with a 3-story and 7-story side to better meet with existing buildings.2 This proposal is still just that.

In March of 2018 the new building topped out. Edge College Hill includes fully furnished units as well as unfurnished studios, one-, and two-bedroom apartments. The company can rent by the bedroom and provides a roommate matching service for people interested in sharing a unit. Rents are in the $1,575 to $2,000 range, and they include everything except electricity.3

Current Events

Leasing information is available on the Edge College Hill website.


Since this is a new building, there is only history of the location — the land. In 1889 this parcel was bounded to the southeast by Almy’s Lane and to the northwest by Elizabeth St, still extant. On site was a livery and stable with a building housing wool waste along Canal Street.4 By 1900 Almy’s Lane was renamed to Blair Lane, and the Hotel Victor fronted North Main Street.5

By 1906 construction had started on the East Side Train Tunnel and viaduct to the rear of Union Station and the buildings on this site were mostly demolished.6 The line discontinued passenger service in 1937 but continued to haul freight until 1981. The viaduct was demolished and removed from this site as of 1983, and the lot has been used for parking until construction of the Edge began.

In the News

Construction starts at Edge College Hill

Press Release from DBVW Architects

DBVW Architects is working closely with Vision Properties on Edge College Hill, a new mixed-use residential project in downtown Providence at the base of College Hill. Located at 169 Canal Street, this new 15-story high-rise will include 202 micro-loft style apartments and first floor commercial space. Amenities for the residential units include a top floor common room and southwest facing terrace as well as a fitness center and first floor lobby/gathering space.

These modernly furnished apartments will primarily be marketed towards students. Features include over-sized windows, high-end finishes, 9’ 7” ceilings, fully equipped kitchens and fold-down beds that tuck into contemporary cabinetry when not in use. Residents will be able to choose from views of the Providence skyline, historic College Hill, and the Rhode Island State House.

169 Canal Street, formerly a surface parking lot, is a long vacant parcel of land that fronts the highly acclaimed Providence River Walk. When completed, this urban, car-free development will play an important role in fostering a more walkable and livable city. In addition to adding significantly to the number of residents living downtown, the project will encourage new businesses such as restaurants and markets to join Providence’s already exciting growth.

Construction of Edge College Hill is underway and completion is scheduled for summer 2018.

Captured on November 6, 2017 from http://www.gcpvd.org/2017/08/11/construction-starts-at-edge-college-hill/#comment-297207

  1. Parker, Paul Edward. “Providence rising: That buzz downtown is from these 10 construction projects.” Providence Journal: Web Edition Articles (RI), sec. News, 5 May 2018. NewsBank: America’s News, infoweb.newsbank.com/apps/news/document-view?p=NewsBank&docref=news/16BC0CE3AF69D140. Accessed 26 Dec. 2021. 

  2. Dunn, Christine. “Review panel sees new plan for Providence apartment tower.” Providence Journal: Web Edition Articles (RI), sec. News, 12 Feb. 2018. NewsBank: America’s News, infoweb.newsbank.com/apps/news/document-view?p=NewsBank&docref=news/16A1065F1505D600. Accessed 26 Dec. 2021. 

  3. Dunn, Christine. “Developers behind two large projects in Providence reach lofty goals.” Providence Journal: Web Edition Articles (RI), sec. News, 21 Mar. 2018. NewsBank: America’s News, infoweb.newsbank.com/apps/news/document-view?p=NewsBank&docref=news/16AD3349A13F2390. Accessed 26 Dec. 2021. 

  4. Sanborn Fire Insurance Map from Providence, Providence County, Rhode Island. Sanborn Map Company, Vol.2, Plate 48b, 1889. Map. Retrieved from the Library of Congress, www.loc.gov/item/sanborn08099_002/. 

  5. Sanborn Fire Insurance Map from Providence, Providence County, Rhode Island. Sanborn Map Company, Vol. 2, Plate 100, 1900. Map. Retrieved from the Library of Congress, www.loc.gov/item/sanborn08099_004/ 

  6. Sanborn Fire Insurance Map from Providence, Providence County, Rhode Island. Sanborn Map Company, Vol. 2, Plate 6, 1920–1921. Map. Retrieved from the Library of Congress, www.loc.gov/item/sanborn08099_008/