Greater City Providence

IN PROGRESS: BCBS Building On Course

bcbsThe ProJo had a quick blurb about the continuing progress on the Blue Cross Blue Shield of RI building downtown. The short article is just a brief recap, but it’s a great excuse for me to put a really nice photo of this (thus far) handsome tower on the Greater City Providence site.

I’m really trying to enjoy every day of this skyscraper’s construction since, I’m sorry to say, this may be the last new construction we’ll see for some time. I don’t mean to be a downer but, given our current economy and with major new projects from Capitol Cove to the RISD Museum’s Chase Center to the Hampton Inn to the Dynamo House either approaching completion or done, there’s really, well, nothing solid in the pipeline beyond what is currently in-progress. Sure there’s a new phase of ALCO upcoming, and the T.F. Green station has broken ground, but in the city center everything planned that isn’t already underway (“W” tower, Empire at Broadway, Hotel Sierra, Grant’s Block, triangle parcel, etc.) seems to be approaching the status of vapor-scrapers. Think of the jobs involved in the creation and maintenance of these buildings that are lost as well…

This doesn’t mean good urbanism couldn’t and shouldn’t continue to be done. A downturn in the economy is a great opportunity to focus on the essentials of a competitive business climate, infrastructure development, and “infill” of existing lots and empty storefronts so that when the economy does turn around, we’re poised to take-off (more on this later).

But as far as bespoke structures go, however, enjoy BCBSRI richly right now. It might be the last new building we see until the 195 land comes on-line in 2012…

Bret Ancowitz

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