Greater City Providence

North Main Street Update

Most of this update regards the more strip-plaza-esque portion to the North of the above urban vista but, thankfully, most of this is good news:

Urgent Care Opens:
One element of healthcare delivery that has become a standard elsewhere in the region that is oddly absent in Providence proper is the combined urgent care center/primary care office. Urgent cares are much less expensive for the health system than full-line emergency rooms to treat minor, acute medical issues and, for primary care doctors, they are fabulous conduits through which to build a bursting practice. Why Lifespan hasn’t jumped on this model I’m not sure…

Well, in the shadow of Miriam on North Main Street, the new East Side Urgent Care/Agape Primary care has opened. They’re in the former window retailer on North Main between 5th and 6th street that has long been vacant and they did a nice job renovating the building. The physicians and staff behind the center have been very successful with the same model in Lincoln, RI. In addition to urgent care and primary care there will also be radiology (Advanced Radiology), laboratory (Lifespan labs), and cosmetic medicine offered there as well.

New Chinese Restaurant:
Right across the street from the above urgent care and a stone’s throw from Sandwich Hut, the former Off Track Bedding building is being gutted into what is going to be, according to some, a new Chinese restaurant. Rumor says they may offer outside dining on the roof as well. The parking lot has been resurfaced, the facade refinished, and the interior stripped down in just the past 2 weeks, so they’re moving fast. Considering a successful Chinese restaurant just closed in the dying Shaw’s Plaza down the street, I wonder if the same folks are involved?

New Metal Fence:
Miriam Hospital’s parking lot across from the Penalty Box bar is now much less of an eyesore thanks to a very handsome metal fence similar in appearance to that which went up around the Roger Williams Landing in Fox Point. It replaced a brutal looking chain link fence, all of which should be banned from the city…

Hospice Care of RI:
The previously bland facade of the large, former office building across from the above lot on North Main Street has construction ongoing as the building is gutted to eventually house the main office of Hospice Care of RI, a vital organization.

North Main Street Housing Meeting:
Last, but certainly not least, there will be a public forum this Tuesday, November 11th, at 7:00PM at the administrative offices of The Providence Center (528 North Main Street across from Whole Foods) to discuss the possibilities of developing housing on North Main Street. There will be three speakers to talk about their experiences in housing development on similar projects and what some possible solutions would be. I’ll be there, as will others from GC:PVD, and we hope to see as many people as possible attend!

Bret Ancowitz


  • The Urgent Care building came out really nice. I don’t have an after photo, but here’s the before from Google Street View:

    View Larger Map

    It shows how even some of the craptacular buildings on North Main can be transformed to become well contributing to the urban vernacular.

  • And even that photo doesn’t capture how decrepit the building was. While the shape is the same, it’s been nicely refinished, especially inside, and the main entrance still is off the sidewalk.

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