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→ ProJo: Secretive policies of Route 195 Redevelopment District Commission seen as ‘excessive’

The Route 195 Redevelopment District Commission’s policy not to identify developers who propose buying public land is more secretive than policies of other state agencies.

Without that information, Rhode Islanders will not be able to evaluate decisions by the commission to sell 17 parcels of land freed up for development by the relocation of Route 195.

Other state agencies, including the State Properties Committee and the Department of Environmental Management, withhold bidding details while seeking buyers for state land, to maintain leverage in negotiations. But none reached by The Providence Journal has set policies to keep secret the names of losing bidders once a deal is struck to sell land.

I can see where the Commission is coming from, but this Commission has to remain cognizant of the scrutiny they are under and leaning to the side transparency is in everyone’s best interest I think.

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195 Redevelopment District Commission Meeting – March 17, 2014

featured-195commission A meeting of the I-195 Redevelopment District Commission will be held at Rhode Island Commerce Corporation, 315 Iron Horse Way, Providence, Rhode Island, on Monday, March 17, 2014, beginning at 5 P.M., for the following purposes

I. Public Session

Call to Order: The Chairperson

  1. Welcome by Chairperson: Chairperson Colin Kane.
  2. Approval of the Minutes of the Commission Meeting Held on February 3, 2014.
  3. Executive Director’s Report – Review of Activities During Past Month/Action Plan and Target Activities March – April, 2014.
  4. Discussion of Proposed Agreement with Providence Flea LLC Regarding Use of Parcel 1A and Vote to Approve.
  5. Presentation by City of Providence Regarding Status of Providence Streetcar Federal Funding Application.
  6. Discussion of Petition of One Shipyard LLC to City of Providence to Abandon a Portion of Eddy Street Abutting Parcels 22 and 25 and Vote to Object.
  7. Public Hearing Regarding Fees to be Charged to Potential Purchasers of District Properties and Vote to Adopt.
  8. Presentation by Jones Land LaSalle Regarding Strategies to Market District Properties.
  9. II. Executive Session

    To consider and act upon such matters as may be considered at a meeting closed to the public pursuant to R.I.G.L. Chapter 42-46 (the Open Meetings Act), specifically matters to be so considered under subsection (1) (discussion of job performance) of § 42-46-5(a) of the Open Meetings Act.

  10. Performance Review of Executive Director.
  11. III. Public Session

  12. Chairman’s Report – Review of Activities in Past Month and Proposed Future Activities/Tentative Agenda for April 21, 2014 Meeting.
  13. Vote to Adjourn.

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→ ProJo: Handful of developers attend first public session with officials working on Providence’s Route 195 redevelopment

“I thought there’d be more people,” said Wayne Zuckerman of Sterling Properties in Livingston, N.J., who said he is familiar with Rhode Island. “I came because I wanted to see who the developers were… Nineteen acres in the city. You would think — I would have thought — the room would have been filled.”

Rhode Island leaders say the former highway land is the best chance for economic development in a state where the average unemployment rate last year of 9.5 percent was second-worst in the country. They hope projects on the land will generate jobs and create living spaces for people who would work in Rhode Island.

I really don’t see this as our “best chance.” It is one of many things we need to be working on in a little state with a devastated economy to turn ourselves around. This is a project that is going to take decades of work (see Capital Center) yielding milestones along the way that are smaller than the whole that we get so worked up talking about. It is 19 developable acres in a city that has far more than 19 developable acres already existing within it. When our ‘leaders’ get all hyperbolic about this project, I get worried(er).

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195 Redevelopment District Commission Meeting – February 3, 2014

featured-195commission A meeting of the I-195 Redevelopment District Commission will be held at Rhode Island Commerce Corporation, 315 Iron Horse Way, Providence, Rhode Island, on MONDAY, FEBRUARY 3, 2014, beginning at 5 P.M., for the following purposes

PUBLIC SESSION

Call to Order: The Chairperson

  1. Welcome by Chairperson: Chairperson Colin Kane.
  2. Approval of the Minutes of the Commission Meeting Held on January 13, 2014.
  3. Executive Director’s Report – Review of Activities during Past Month/Action Plan and Target Activities February –March, 2014 Including Update from DK Communications.
  4. Further Discussion of Developers Toolkit with Goody Clancy LLC and Revised Request for Information/Vote to Approve Final Forms of Each.
  5. Presentation by Jones Lang LaSalle Re: Strategies to Market District Properties.
  6. Presentation Re: Proposed Interim Uses of District Parcels/Discussion/Vote to Approve Interim Uses.
  7. Discussion Re: Proposed Fees to be Charged to Potential Purchasers of District Properties and Procedure for Adoption.
  8. Chairman’s Report – Review of Activities in Past Month and Proposed Future Activities / Tentative Agenda for March 17, 2014 Meeting.
  9. Vote to Adjourn.

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→ PBN: Parking, bus plans ‘Link’-ed

garrahy-courthouse

The two projects carry estimated price tags in the neighborhood of $40 million each and one of the bus hubs will likely share a location with the parking garage at the Garrahy Judicial Complex on Dorrance Street.

[...]

As central as The Link [195 Redevelopment District] is to the state’s economic-development strategy, by itself the second RIPTA bus hub planned adjacent to the Providence Train Station could be a larger project than the combined Garrahy proposal.

That’s because the hub is being looked at as part of a public-private partnership including, potentially, expansion of the train station, more garage parking and mixed-use development of the vacant land next door owned by Capital Properties Inc.

Planned correctly, these projects could greatly enhance the city’s transportation system. It is good to see divergent players looking at all the pieces together and seeing how they fit.

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→ ProJo: Land of opportunity: Route 195 panel close to seeking developers’ proposals

195-land-aerial-ridot

Aerial image of the 195 redevelopment area from RIDOT

The “meds and eds” complex that Rhode Island’s political leaders envisioned when they formed the commission in 2011 may not be what’s in store for the prime real estate, commission Chairman Colin P. Kane and Executive Director Jan A. Brodie say.

The market will dictate what goes onto the land, they say.

They talk about “live, work and play” uses — residential development, restaurants, laboratories and hotels — that would attract employees for jobs in biotechnology, food science, design and other fields.

Nice to see them steering the discussion away from “meds and eds” as some sort of secret sauce that is gonna save Rhode Island.

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→ ProJo: Firm chosen to broker former Route 195 land

195-land-aerial-ridot

195 Land aerial. Photo © RIDOT.

The commission charged with developing 19 acres of former highway land in the heart of Rhode Island’s capital city is gearing up to accept proposals from developers interested in building on the land.

At a Monday meeting, the Route 195 Redevelopment District Commission gave approval for Executive Director Jan A. Brodie to draw up a contract with the real-estate firm Jones Lang LaSalle, one of four firms that bid to broker the land. Brodie recommended the Boston office of the Chicago-based firm, she told the commission, for its competitively priced bid, its experience in the national and international real estate markets and its very large “Rolodex.”

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195 Redevelopment District Commission Meeting – January 13, 2014

A meeting of the I-195 Redevelopment District Commission will be held at the office of Rhode Island Economic Development Corporation, 315 Iron Horse Way, Suite 101, Providence, Rhode Island, on Monday, January 13, 2014, beginning at 4:00 p.m., for the following purposes:

Public Session

Call to Order: The Chairperson

  1. Welcome by Chairperson: Chairperson Colin Kane.
  2. Approval of the Minutes of the Commission Meetings Held on December 9, 2013.
  3. Executive Director’s Report – Review of Activities during Past Month/Action Plan and Target Activities January – February, 2014.
  4. Further Discussion of Developers Toolkit with Goody Clancy LLC.
  5. Discussion/Vote to Select Firm to Provide Snow Removal Services to the District.
  6. Approval of Selection of Jones Lang LaSalle to Provide Real Estate Brokerage and Advisory Services to the District.
  7. Chairman’s Report – Review of Activities in Past Month and Proposed Future Activities/ Tentative Agenda for February 10, 2014 Meeting.
  8. Vote to Adjourn.

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What Cheer / What Jeer 2013

We’re running a little late this year but we’re finally ready to run down the What Cheers and What Jeers of 2013.

what-cheer-south-street-power-station

WHAT CHEER: South Street Power Station (Maybe)

In 2013 we got another plan to redevelop the moribund South Street Power Station. While numerous plans for the building, which at one point was known as the Dynamo House, have come and gone, this latest plan engenders optimism as Brown University is involved now.

In January the New York Times and then The Brown Daily Herald reported on rumors of the university becoming involved in the project. Then in June Brown announced it’s plans for the building in a letter to the campus community.

Those plans include a home for the long talked about URI/RIC Nursing School, office space for Brown, and some sort of retail component in the former power station building. Brown also has a developer engaged in building a student apartment building in the neighboring parking lot along Point Street and the City is involved in plans for a parking structure across Point Street from that.

The latest news on the project comes from the ProJo just before Christmas with reports that the PRA is considering condemning the building so the project can move forward.

While this could all be looked at as another in a long line of proposals for the building, Brown’s involvement makes this proposal seem more promising. 2014 will show us if this project actually moves forward.

Continue Reading →

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195 Redevelopment District Commission Meeting – December 9, 2013

featured-195commission A meeting of the I-195 Redevelopment District Commission will be held at Rhode Island Commerce Corporation, 315 Iron Horse Way, Providence, Rhode Island, on Monday, December 9, 2013, beginning at 5:00 p.m., for the following purposes

I. Public Session

Call to Order: The Chairperson

  1. Welcome by Chairperson: Chairperson Colin Kane.
  2. Approval of the Minutes of the Commission Meeting Held on November 18, 2013.
  3. Discussion/Vote Regarding Request by City of Providence to Store Snow on District Parcels.
  4. Executive Director’s Report – Review of Activities during Past Month/Action Plan and Target Activities November – March, 2014.
  5. Chairman’s Report – Review of Activities in Past Month and Proposed Future Activities/ Tentative Agenda for January 13, 2014 Meeting.
  6. II. Executive Session

    To consider and act upon such matters as may be considered at a meeting closed to the public pursuant to the Open Meetings Law, specifically matters permitted to be so considered under subsection (5) (disposition of public property) of Rhode Island General Laws, Section 42-46-5(a) (the Open Meetings Law).

  7. Discussion/Vote to Select Firm to Provide Real Estate Brokerage and Advisory Services to the District.
  8. Presentation of Developers Toolkit by Goody Clancy LLC/Discussion.
  9. III. Public Session

  10. Vote to Adjourn.

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→ PBN: India Point project is the first out of I-195 box

esplande-india-point

Developer Churchill & Banks wants to be a pioneer of Providence’s Interstate 195 land frontier.

The downtown developer hopes to build apartments, stores and offices on the former highway properties south of Wickenden Street on the city’s East Side.

But with the redevelopment process for those state-controlled parcels still some way off, Churchill & Banks is moving ahead with a mixed-use project on land it already owns next door, a development it hopes will influence the tone and direction of construction in the neighborhood going forward.

This fall the company unveiled plans for The Esplanade at India Point, a six-story, 29,000-square-foot expansion of the former Fuller Iron Works Building at 39 Pike St., now home to the Vanity lounge and headquarters of technology firm Swipely.


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