The Bank of America Building in Providence, R.I., the state’s tallest structure, will go dark in the coming days when its only remaining tenant moves out. Bank of America only occupied one-fifth of the building’s floor space, but the building’s owners kept it fully lit at night. The bank’s exit has now prompted its owners to turn out the lights altogether.
The Blaze reports that the Massachusetts-based owners have expressed interest in converting the 26-story tower into an apartment building, but there is no timetable for the project. Both Rhode Island governor Lincoln Chafee and Providence mayor Angel Taveras have also proposed new uses for the building, but no official plan has been set. One Harvard real-estate professor said that the empty building could become “the ultimate urban pothole.”
The building’s desertion is a depressing symbol of Rhode Island’s worsening economy. The state currently faces one of the highest unemployment rates in the nation, 9.4 percent, and has experienced significant population loss in recent years.