As we start to look towards redeveloping 19 acres of land in the center of our city, during the worst economic downturn in a generation, it is apparent that we need to start thinking outside the proverbial box.
Envelope A+D of Oakland, California shows the way with Proxy. The project looks for a temporary use for a block of surface parking along San Francisco’s recently rebuilt Octavia Street. Octavia Street/Boulevard itself being an interesting story of elevated freeway removal, not entirely disimilar to the Iway project (though SF simply removed their freeway instead of moving it elsewhere as the Iway does). The city wishes to see the parcels developed with a permanent structure, however the economy is conspiring against that for the near future.
Proxy will use recyclable and re-usable materials to build a temporary structure housing retail, food, entertainment, and other community uses. The small retail spaces are envisioned to be occupied by local vendors in various configurations through the 2 to 3 year lifespan of the structure. For more details visit the Envelope A+D site.
Would a project like this be a good fit for Providence and the Iway land? If so, where should a project like this go and who should occupy it (Taqueria Pacifica perhaps)?