Greater City Providence

Big East to stay in Providence

Gateway Center in 2005, prior to the construction of Waterplace and BCBS, photo by Jef Nickerson

There has been some concern recently that The Big East Conference which was formed in Providence in 1979 was preparing to leave. Probably because Brown University failed to renew their lease in the in the building in the Jewelry District which is to become home to Brown’s Alpert Medical School.

PBN reports today that The Big East will be moving into Gateway Center (aka The AmEx Building). The Gateway Center, located in Capital Center between Providence Place and the train station has been vacant since 2008 after Fidelity completed their move to Smithfield.

According to PBN, The Big East and it’s 32 employees will be using a quarter of the 135,110 square feet. Not a lot of employees, not a fully leased building, but keeping jobs in Rhode Island and bringing more workers to Capital Center is a win, even if a small one. And the news comes just as Providence is suffering a case of March Madness, preparing The Dunk for the NCAA Tournament.

Jef Nickerson

Jef is Greater City Providence's co-founder, editor, and publisher. He grew up on Cape Cod and lived in Boston; Portland, Maine; and New York before settling in Providence. In addition to urbanism, Jef is interested in art, design, and ice cream. Please feel free to contact Jef if you have any question or comments about Greater City Providence.


  • The ProJo Blog Post on the move says that the Big East plans to rename the Gateway Center to Big East Court. Cute.

    Can we rename Finance Way too?

  • Can’t we just name things things that won’t actually ever be able to leave? How many times are we going to rename stuff after companies who eventually leave? They should have to submit a performance bond saying that they’ll be here for 100 years, or until RI is swallowed by the sea, or they have to repave all the streets in Providence and pay for new street signs. Something like that. Street names should not be just given away willy-nilly. Hurrumph. Hey, you kids–off my lawn!

  • I thought Gateway Center was just the name of the building? Finance Way…now that’s different. Maybe now it should be called “Exorbitant Health Care Costs this” Way.

    With regards to the Big East. They are leasing 32000 sf. for 32 employees? 1000 sf per employee. My house is just about 1200 sf. Man, those are going to be some nice offices!

  • I thought the same thing Dan, re: the footage. I’m guessing they’ll have lots and lots of conference/meeting space in there. With the league now at 16 teams from up and down the east coast and midwest, I’d guess they bring in quite a bit of visitiors to the city.

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