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PBN: Roger Williams University more than doubling downtown presence

one-empire-plaza

One Empire Plaza. Image from Google Streetview

Bristol-based Roger Williams University is planning to renovate and lease One Empire Plaza, more than doubling its presence downtown for adult learners when it opens in May of 2016.

The new location will provide expanded space for RWU’s School of Law, School of Continuing Studies and growing array of outreach and engagement programs, including the Latino Policy Institute, HousingWorks RI and the Community Partnerships Center.


It was remarkable how much energy was added to Empire Street for the short time 38 Studios was there, and how it evaporated when they left. It will be nice to have that vitality back.

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9 Responses to PBN: Roger Williams University more than doubling downtown presence

  1. Eric December 19, 2014 at 3:19 pm #

    This is terrific news! The only thing worse than a parking lot downtown is a vacant building…

  2. Paul December 20, 2014 at 1:43 am #

    Glad to hear that building we be back in use, and adding some more people to the area. What might help, in the short term, would be to replace the lighting on Empire Street – 3 streetlights are out and there is no special sidewalk lighting anywhere around the Pell-Chaffe theatre, the bus kiosk, and so on. As evening sets in, the street takes on a dark and unsafe feel about it.
    I was just like this last summer, when we walked in the Pride parade, and it is still the same now, 6 months later.

  3. Andy December 21, 2014 at 6:45 pm #

    Such a great move for RWU and to hopefully open up the location on Washington Street to more activity (perhaps a build-out of the surface lot in back?).

    I anticipate seeing students studying on the lawn adjacent to the Empire Street building come warmer months which will further activate this area. Exciting!

  4. Jack December 22, 2014 at 12:06 pm #

    Funny to see people celebrating another building being taken off the tax rolls. Don’t think they won’t get a sweet tax deal to occupy this monument to a financial debacle.

  5. Eric December 22, 2014 at 12:49 pm #

    Yes, because a better solution would be to let it sit empty for god knows how long, like the bazillion other vacant offices downtown.

  6. Eric December 22, 2014 at 12:50 pm #

    Also, they are LEASING the building, meaning it is still privately owned, and still on the tax rolls. It seems like the Projo is leaking trolls again.

  7. mike December 22, 2014 at 9:52 pm #

    let them troll.. all it does is grow cancer inside them 🙂 Happy Christmas

  8. Giovanni December 22, 2014 at 11:10 pm #

    Anyone besides academic institutions going to fill in vacant buildings/create development?

  9. Michael December 26, 2014 at 12:38 pm #

    Let us know when you relocate your business downtick Giovanni!!

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