Greater City Providence

PBN: Citizens considering building campus for 4,000 employees in R.I.


Citizens Building (r) with the Waterplace towers under construction in 2006.

With its lease on its Cranston facility expiring in 2018, Citizens Financial Group Inc. is considering building a new campus somewhere in Rhode Island for approximately 4,000 employees.

The facility, if built, would encompass one or two buildings and be between 480,000 and 500,000 square feet. Employees who work at the Cranston facility, along with locations in Smithfield and Warwick, would be moved to the new site.

The company’s downtown Providence headquarters would remain.

If Citizens wants to attract and retain workers, they’d be smart to locate in Downtown Providence, today’s workers want to be downtown.

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.


  • No. Capital Properties of East Providence does, they master lease the land for development purposes. That land would be a possibility for Citizens.

  • Oh man, that would be EXACTLY what Providence needs. 1,000 new workers downtown right next to the train station and elimination of a large surface lot near the rivers. All while developing this simultaneously with the Cove #2 and the new Hotel on the triangle parcel. Could be adding close to 1,500 people foot traffic to the downtown area, that would be huge for Providence. It would also probably add ridership to the MBTA…which we need to see to drive more interest/justification in the feasibility of a Pawtucket/CF, East Greenwich, and Cranston commuter rail stops.

    I’d be nice to see a trend starting of RI (and non-RI) based businesses moving downtown, we need them to make our capital city more vibrant.

  • Why not Superman building? Go halfsies with Cornish and make it a mixed use commercial/residential building.

  • 4,000 new workers plus the hotel and the Cove 2… man, total game changer.

    They’d need some new apartments for all these people! Hopefully the State and City can stop being so short sighted and get the Superman building plan in motion. I think the High Rock plan is for 275 apartments, right?

  • PBN: Warwick courting Citizens for new campus

    The City Centre Warwick district, near a public transit hub, is a great location for the bank’s employees and customers, said Mayor Scott Avedisian.

    The mayor said city officials have had discussions for more than a year with a developer, whom he would not identify, who has applied for state tax credits to help finance a project that could include Citizens.

    “He’s been negotiating with Citizens as a potential tenant,” said Avedisian.

  • The first need article I saw on this possible Citizens move, which I THINK was a ProJo article, made reference to the amount of parking Citizens would like for its new campus to have.

    Did NOT make me optimistic about the available urban options.

  • I don’t know why Citizen’s would choose a more expensive method to locking up parking for its employees. Currently, they pay MetroPark for the parking spaces on four parcels behind their HQ in Providence. MetroPark has a short-term lease with Capital Properties. Capital Properties typically locks up tenants for uber-long leases, think 99 years with 50 year options. Citizen’s Providence is not going anywhere for a very, very long time.

    Instead of building a massive parking structure on a new suburban campus, why not build a substantially smaller structure and provide MBTA rail passes for unlimited travel between South Attleboro and Wickford Junction? I’m not saying like a complete Zone 10 rail pass, but something that just allows travel to the state line. It makes far more sense to promote mass transit options for Citizen’s than it does to pay the additional costs for a massive parking garage that can handle 4,000 employees versus maybe 1,500 parking spots. To put the size in context, the Providence Place Mall has 4,000 parking spots — we are talking a massive cost and size.

  • My numbers on the amount of parking spots that may be needed for 4,000 people are probably really off — but my point is that the amount of spaces needed to be built can be substantially decreased, and therefore cost of parking acquisition for employees can be much lower for Citizen’s if they embrace the MBTA.

  • Don’t mean to be a downer. Obviously, I would prefer a downtown Providence option. Honestly, I could possibly even get on board with a City Centre option, some variables depending, of course. But when a large corporation starts talking about relocation options and mentions parking amongst its concerns, I don’t immediately think “urban.”

  • Citizens only occupies 4 floors downtown currently and doesn’t pay for any parking.

  • Citizens Financial Group later this year will begin construction of a new corporate campus on an undeveloped parcel of land west of I-295 in Johnston.
    The new site is off of Greenville Ave in Johnston, where the state has agreed to build new exit ramps off of I-295. The Rhode Island Department of Transportation and Citizens Bank will split the cost of the new exits.



  • Thanks Towne Street for helping me find this historic post. I almost went off on twitter about the ramp, decided against it, but here are the problems I see:
    1) Suburban development on undeveloped land, despite lots of under utilized land in already developed areas all over the state.
    2) No transit access, so all employees will be driving[at least Sakonnet Cross has SOME transit accesibility]
    3) Increased traffic on Greenville Ave not only due to 2700+ daily commuters (and lunch trips), but also new traffic patterns because of new ramps. Why are we the public splitting the cost of ramps to benefit a private corporation that isn’t generating any new financial activity? Let them pay the full cost, or let Johnston do it, if that town wants the new tax revenue so badly.

    The only winner in this is Johnston, who gets a better tax rate on the site (eventually)

  • Just a horrible decision. I’m sure the state will justify it by saying they kept the jobs in Rhode Island and no tax incentives were used. However, it’s just more evidence that we don’t learn our lessons and keep making the same poor land use decisions.

  • Johnston will be giving some sort of 20 year TSA as I read in ProJo yesterday. I can easily imagine that someone at the state level was involved in helping with those negotiations.

  • This is a heartbreaking turn of events. This truly is a massive missed opportunity for the entire state. This is bad for the state, for the environment, for the city, for entry-level or low-income workers looking for opportunities, just across the board, it’s bad. The only real positive here is that they stayed in the state.

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