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GC: Photos

Flickr totally changed the sharing function on their website, and frankly it sucks and causes me to have to rewrite a bunch of code to properly share people’s photos, and a bunch of great photographers who share in our group have changed their share settings; so I haven’t done a GC: Photos post in quite a while. But there’s some really great stuff in there, so I suffered through it. Some of these photos go back a while, hence the snow:

Photo © Donna St.Pierre

Photo © Anthony Nathan Photography

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195 Redevelopment District Commission Meeting – July 9, 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 WEDNESDAY, JULY 9, 2014, beginning at 5 P.M., for the following purposes

Public Session

Call to Order

  1. Pavilion: Discussion and Recommendations for Program of Uses for the built structure in the West Side Park and Proposed Design of the structure.
  2. East Side Park: Discussion and Recommendations for Interactive Features and Overall Proposed Design.
  3. West Park and Pedestrian Bridge: Discussion and Recommendations for Design Plans.
  4. Water Feature: West Side Park water feature options for Ship Street Triangle.
  5. Historic Markers: Discussion and Recommendations for design of inset Historic Markers at key locations in the District.
  6. Vote to Adjourn.

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ProJo: Route 195 panel seeks more park designs for former highway land in Providence

West Side Park Pavillion

Landscape architects and designers offered plenty of images to the Route 195 Redevelopment District Commission Monday night of what the public parks on the now-vacant former highway land might become, noting at times that they’ve made some changes over the last 8-1/2 months to reduce the cost to build the parks.

But as the commissioners viewed designs, they pushed back, saying they’d like to see other proposals before plans are finalized and questioned whether designers might develop other possibilities for a proposed pavilion. Commissioners debated whether designs should include public restrooms.

[Commissioner Mark T.] Ryan stressed it would be foolish to do more design work if the commission doesn’t like that design.

“I don’t like it,” commissioner John M. Kelly said.

“I think it’s beautiful,” commissioner Barbara A. Hunger said.

“I think the architect should come up with some options,” Ryan said.

What exactly are the 195 Commissioners’ (or RIDOT’s for that matter) qualifications for designing parks?

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195 Redevelopment District Commission Meeting – June 30, 2014

West Side Park Pavilion

Conceptual design of pavilion on West Side park.

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, JUNE 30, 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. Executive Director’s Report – Review of Activities in Past Two Weeks and Proposed Future Activities.
  3. Presentation by CDR Maguire of West Side Park, East Side Park and Pedestrian Bridge Design Plans and Discussion.
  4. Discussion of Latest Interim Use Submissions for District Property and Vote to Select Interim Installations.
  5. Discussion of Pending Liquor License Applications for New Nightclubs Near District Property and Vote Regarding Position of District with Respect to Those Applications.
  6. II. Executive Session

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

  7. Discussion and Review of Proposals to Purchase and Develop District Property.
  8. III. Public Session

  9. Chairman’s Report – Review of Activities in Past Two Weeks and Proposed Future Activities/ Tentative Agenda for July 21, 2014 Meeting.
  10. Vote to Adjourn.

195 Parks

West Side Park Design
East Side Park Design

Find further items related to this meeting and minutes of past meetings on the 195 District website.

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PBN: Garrahy parking garage seen as lure for development

garrahy-garage-bing

Image from Bing Maps

Contrary to conventional wisdom, things may be looking up for the future of Providence’s former Interstate 195 lands.

At least five organizations have confirmed making formal bids to build on the 19 developable acres freed by the removal of the highway.

One of them, a plan by Ocean State Angels and Cambridge Biolabs to build a life science accelerator at the corner of Richmond and Clifford Streets, is just the kind of “Knowledge District” concept envisioned by state leaders when they created the I-195 Redevelopment District Commission in 2012.

And perhaps even more favorable for commissioners, the General Assembly last week approved the construction of a $45 million, seven-level parking garage explicitly intended to boost interest in the land.

It would be enlightening to know what if anything those five bidders have said about parking. But since those discussions are held in closed door Executive Session meetings not open to the public, I guess we’ll never know.

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ProJo: Route 195 redevelopment panel hears pitch for life-science accelerator facility

195-land-aerial-ridot

ProJo gets some info about what took place in “Executive Sesion.”

A lawyer, a doctor and an architect met behind closed doors Monday night with the Route 195 Redevelopment District Commission and Governor Chafee to pitch their idea to build a life-sciences accelerator in Providence with laboratories and all the co-working space necessary for 15 to 20 nascent companies to work at any given time to build their companies.

They foresee health care, information technology and diagnostic medical companies working together on the former highway land now available for development, in a building on the western side of the Providence River. It would also have room for lawyers, venture-capital investors and others who work with such companies, the three told reporters after meeting with the commission.

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195 Redevelopment District Commission Meeting – June 16, 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, JUNE 16, 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 Meetings Held on May 19, 2014.
  3. Executive Director’s Report – Review of Activities During Past Month/Action Plan and Business Plan for June – December, 2014.
  4. II. Executive Session

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

  5. Meetings with Parties Which Submitted Proposals to Purchase and Develop District Property; Discussion and Review of Proposals.
  6. III. Public Session

  7. Discussion Regarding Extension of Deadline for Second Round of Submission of Proposals to Purchase District Property from August 1 to October 15, 2014 and Vote.
  8. Discussion Regarding Public Disclosure of Proposals and Disclosure Policy.
  9. Discussion Regarding License Agreement with City of Providence on Parcel 1A and Vote.
  10. Discussion and Update Regarding Role of State Historic Preservation Officer and Selection of Consultants for Disposition of District Property.
  11. Chairman’s Report – Review of Activities in Past Month and Proposed Future Activities/ Tentative Agenda for June 30, 2014 Meeting.
  12. Vote to Adjourn.
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195 Redevelopment District Commission Meeting – May 19, 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, May 19, 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 Meetings Held on April 21, 2014.
  3. Executive Director’s Report – Review of Activities During Past Month/Action Plan and Target Activities May – June, 2014.
  4. Discussion Regarding Public Disclosure/Confidentiality of Proposals to Purchase District Property and Vote Regarding Policy.
  5. Discussion of Proposed Business Terms for Letters of Intent and Purchase Agreements.
  6. Executive Session

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

  7. Review and Discussion of Proposals to Purchase and Develop District Property Received as of May 1, 2014 and Vote to Proceed/Reject.
  8. Public Session

  9. Discussion Regarding Extension of Date for Second Round of Submission of Proposals to Purchase District Property from Current Date of August 1 and Vote.
  10. Chairman’s Report – Review of Activities in Past Month and Proposed Future Activities/ Tentative Agenda for June 16, 2014 Meeting.
  11. Vote to Adjourn.

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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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