“Eddy Street is so vibrant,” no one will say, ever.

In #WALKinPVD, Parking, Pedestrians by Jef Nickerson20 Comments

south-street-landing-garage

Rendering of proposed parking garage wall along Eddy Street at South Street Landing. Image from the new South Street Landing website.

About the Author

Jef Nickerson

Twitter

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.

Comments

  1. No first floor commercial spaces? ? I’m really surprised that the developer got an exception from the first floor commercial spaces in garages requirement.

  2. Where are all these people on the street in the rendering walking to? Nothing on that block that I can see.

  3. Where is the commercial area on the sidewalk! Come on PRovidence…..get your ass over to Washington and look at the parking garage with Ken’s Ramen and ELLE’s fantastic bakery! We need to fire everyone who approved this!

  4. This is the exactly the same garage as 2 Howe Street (South Frontage Road CT-34) in New Haven.

  5. Or at least the main facade is exactly the same. Eddy Street has two more decks and they made a pattern on the facade along the sidewalk, unlike New Haven’s open fence work and pathetic landscape. If they light the Eddy Street Garage the same way as New Haven, the facade lighting should look decent.

  6. I always thought the parking garage was going on the other side where there was an exiting lot.

    This is pretty awful for Dyer Street, which should be one of the most lively corridors in the I-195 land.

  7. I wrote to them, expressing genuine disappointment. I know it won’t accomplish much, but an occasional nudge of disapproval doesn’t hurt either.

  8. The renovated power plant and student residences should liven up the area and create more pedestrian traffic. I walk by that site 5 days a week, its not like people are non-existent. Plus in the morning and afternoon before and after work, a parking garage is very busy.

  9. This entire deal is a mess.

    Wish more of the “Anti-Stadium”/”No New 38 Studios” sect would pay attention to whats happening right under our noses!

  10. Do, this is the reply I got.

    “Thank you for your recent comment about the inclusion of retail in the ground level of the parking garage at the South Street Landing project. Unfortunately, the placement of retail in the lower level of the parking garage would have consumed too much of the space that is needed to maximize the number of available parking spaces.

    However, there will be retail food service open to the public on the ground floor of the main South Street Landing building that will house the RI Nursing Education Center and Brown University administrative offices. This will certainly contribute to the inviting streetscape that we agree is an important component of the ongoing revitalization of the Jewelry District.
    Thank you again for sharing your concerns.

    Sincerely,
    Cara Klein
    Outreach Coordinator”

  11. I don’t get that. How much more would it cost to build another level of parking so that the ground floor could include retail? Surely, they’d make more money off the retail space rents than the parking spots it would eat up. And that could pay for that extra level. And, hey… if there’s a baseball stadium nearby, they could jack up the parking rates to help cover the costs… #justsayin

  12. At $35,000-$40,000 per individual parking space, it could add up to quite bit. Another way to look at this, is how many spots could be spared for a single small retail shop, such as a coffee shop? A typical Providence parking space is 8.5′ x 18′ or 153 SF. Three parking spaces would equal 459 SF, which would be lavish for a tiny retail establishment.

  13. 459 sq ft retail at price of three parking spots ($120k) doesn’t sound bad at all.

    I’d happily pay for that type of space.

  14. Peter, my thought process more or less parallels yours. Anything to break up that long wall, even a couple of micro-shops. Sacrifice (at most) five or six parking spaces. They’re really going to tell us they can’t spare that?

    Not buying it. Is there a plan in place to incentivize some of the people who will be working here to use transit? That would ease some of the “pain,” if parking is such a desperately short commodity.

    This would be a lot easier to push if the streetcar was anything more than a proposal at this point.

  15. I’m assuming they just don’t want to take the risk that the retail spaces will sit empty. The mechanical alone for a restaurant/café space would be more than the cost of the entire parking space installed cost. Nevermind the rest (framing, windows/nanawalls, fixtures, sheetrock/mudding, plumbing, electrical, flooring, etc.).

    It’s short sighted.

  16. KCB,

    Perhaps you’re right. And if so, how very different from the approach Yale has taken in New Haven! But maybe Brown isn’t ready to play in the big leagues yet …

  17. Author

    While Brown has a large financial investment in South Street Landing, and will have offices there, they are not driving the truck on this development. I think if Brown were in charge, this parking garage would look different.

    Brown owns these buildings across the street on the corner of Eddy and Elm which their parking garage wraps around:

    Brown

    Maybe Brown could be persuaded to develop the ground floor of these buildings so the street is not a complete loss.

  18. Brown has student housing and offices involved here, plus their flagship school across the street, plus ownership of several other buildings in the district, as you reference. Seems to me that they’re banking a lot on the Jewelry District to carry their brand forward and they should want it to be as appealing a place as possible.

    The SSL website seems to speak to that:

    “Residential development is a cornerstone of helping to create a 24 hour live/work community that thrives economically, socially and culturally. The River House is seen as a key building block to other future residential developments in and around the Jewelry District and former I-195 land.”

    Now, I’d LIKE to give the benefit of the doubt here and suppose that maybe the developers would be willing to design the garage so that a portion of the streetfront could be converted into retail later WHEN the entire district is a more vibrant place. But of course, they aren’t saying that. Is that a concession they would make? Has anyone asked the question?

    And whether Brown is driving the cart or not on this one, you know their voice has weight. Indeed, we go back to the project website and find that the project arose at Brown’s initiative and in response to Brown’s institutional needs and wants:

    “Brown had already invested more than $200 million in the Jewelry District and stood ready to contribute to the area’s economic development through a new partnership opportunity. As a partial owner of Davol Square, CV Properties responded to Brown’s solicitation for development of student housing from various developers with a proposal to develop a student housing complex on the Davol Square parking lot, in close proximity to Brown’s recently relocated medical school.”

    So I can’t help but think that a little leadership from Brown, just a nudge in the right direction, would go a long way here. 😉

Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.