To be honest, I am not a fan of Panera Bread, but people seem to love it. So, good news everybody!, according to the Capital Center Commission meeting agenda, Panera is coming to Providence Place. Word is it will be going to the space vacated recently by Napa Valley Grille. My personal feelings about Panera aside, this is good news for Providence Place and good news for Francis Street. Having that street side space in the mall vacant was doing no favors for the street life on Francis Street. Panera is a passive seating environment, so people will be able to grab their sandwiches and sit at tables on the street without waiting to be seated as they are at Cheescake Factory or Joe’s American or other Francis Street restuarants. People on the streets is good news in my book.
And, I may not like Panera, but I often hanker for an iced coffee when I’m in Providence Place and never want to drag my ass up to the 3rd floor to go to Dunkin Donuts. So likely, at some point, you will see me in Panera ordering an iced coffee.
Capital Center Commission – Meeting Notice
Wednesday, September 15, 2010 – 12:00 Noon
Department of Planning and Development
400 Westminster Street, 4th Floor Auditorium Providence, RI 02903
- Roll Call
- Approval of Commission meeting minutes of June 9, 2010
- Acceptance of DRC meeting minutes of April 13, 2010 and May 4, 2010
- Parcel 13: Providence Place
Proposal by Panera Bread to alter the existing storefront and to install awnings and signage on the Francis Street elevation. Presenter: Jim Mandeville
- Parcels 3E, 3W, 4E and 4W: Parking Lots
Request by Capital Properties, Inc for an extension of interim parking approval. Presenter: Todd Turcotte, Capital Properties
- Parcel 4W: Parking Lot Proposal by Capital Properties, Inc. to install a new concrete stairway in the existing slope to provide access from the parking lot to street level. Presenter: Todd Turcotte, Capital Properties
The last two items are to do with the massive swathe of parking lots behind the Citizens Building. Surface parking is not allowed in the Capital Center District, so item 4 is requesting an extension of a waiver to allow for it. Item 5 creates a stairwell so people don’t have to crawl up the slope. I guess if we’re going to have parking, and in this economy, it seems we are (nothing is being built here for quite some time), we should at least make it easier for those drivers to transition into pedestrians.