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195 Redevelopment District Commission Meeting – March 21, 2016

I-195 Redevelopment District Commission Public Notice of Meeting
A meeting of the I-195 Redevelopment District Commission will be held at Rhode Island Commerce Corporation, 315 Iron Horse Way, Suite 101, Providence, Rhode Island, on MONDAY, MARCH 21, 2016, beginning at 5 P.M., for the following purposes:

195-roundPublic Session

  1. Welcoming Remarks by Chairperson Joseph Azrack.
  2. Approval of the Minutes of the Commission Meeting held on February 15, 2016.
  3. Executive Director’s Report.
  4. Presentation by Robert Azar, City of Providence Department of Planning, regarding proposed Royal Oaks project on Parcel 8; vote regarding approval of project plan and design.
  5. Presentation of the District’s draft Analysis of Brownfield Cleanup Alternatives(ABCA), and proposed cleanup for Parcel 30 by Fuss & O’Neill.
  6. Presentation by Bonnie Nickerson, City of Providence Department of Planning on the proposed Downtown Enhanced Transit Corridor.
  7. Chairman’s Report/Agenda for March 21, 2016 meeting.
  8. Vote to Adjourn.
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Wexford Science & Technology / CV Properties enter purchase agreement for 195 parcels

wexford-cv-2016-01-edit

Wexford/CV proposal rendering. Eddy Street bottom, Ship Street left, Dorrance Street right. Click image to enlarge.

Baltimore-based Wexford Science and Technology and real estate developer CV Properties have signed a purchase and sale agreement for two parcels of land and plan to develop a three-phase project on the vacant former highway land with research and development space, offices, hotel and residential space and other attractions.


Phasing is not really allowed by the 195 regulations, one is not allowed to land-bank. Something like this can’t really be built any other way than in phases though, so I guess we’re just ignoring that for reality. Also, I better not see any ‘temporary’ surface lots anywhere between phases.


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I-195 Redevelopment District Commission Meeting – January 11, 2016

A meeting of the I-195 Redevelopment District Commission will be held at Rhode Island Commerce Corporation, 315 Iron Horse Way, Suite 101, Providence, Rhode Island, on MONDAY, JANUARY 11, 2016, beginning at 3 P.M., for the following purposes

195-roundPublic Session

  1. Welcoming Remarks by Chairperson Joseph Azrack.
  2. Presentation by HR&A Advisors, Inc. on their economic development report regarding the I-195 Lands.
  3. Approval of the Minutes of the Commission Meetings Held on December 14, 2015.
  4. Executive Director’s Report.
  5. Vote regarding adoption of the final rules and regulations for the I-195 Redevelopment Project Fund.
  6. Chairman’s Report/Agenda for February 15, 2016 meeting.
  7. Vote to Adjourn.
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Two 195 District projects advance

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Two renderings of Parcel 8 by Kite Architects

The 195 Commission made approvals on two projects at their meeting earlier this week. Providence Business News reports on Parcel 8:

The I-195 Redevelopment District Commission has approved the design plan for a mixed-use development that will occupy a one-third acre parcel in the Fox Point neighborhood.

The project, pursued by Royal Oaks Realty LLC, will occupy Parcel 8 in the former I-195 lands. The development will include the renovation of a historic building, part of the former Fuller Iron Works, as well as new construction of a seven-story building that will include apartments, office space and retail space.

The 195 Commission (in Executive Session) decided to enter a purchase and sale agreement with the much larger Wexford proposal on parcels 22 and 25, also reported by PBN:

The I-195 Redevelopment District Commission moved closer Monday to securing the sale of five acres of land for a biological sciences and mixed-use development.

In a vote taken in executive session, the commission agreed to authorize its executive director and chairman to execute a purchase and sale agreement for parcels 22 and 25, according to chairman Joseph F. Azrack.

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195 Redevelopment District Commission Meeting – December 14, 2015

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 14, 2014, beginning at 5 P.M., for the following purposes

195-roundPublic Session

  1. Welcoming Remarks by Chairperson Joseph Azrack.
  2. Approval of the Minutes of the Commission Public Session Meeting Held on November 16, 2015.
  3. Executive Director’s Report.
  4. Presentation by Robert Azar, City of Providence Department of Planning, regarding proposed Royal Oaks project on Parcel 8; vote regarding approval of project plan and design.
  5. Discussion and vote regarding the 2016 Commission meeting schedule.
  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) (disposition of public property).

  7. Review of Status of Proposals to Purchase and Develop District Property.
  8. Vote regarding authorization to execute purchase agreement for District Parcels 22 and 25.
  9. III. Public Session

  10. Chairman’s Report/Agenda for January 11, 2016 meeting.
  11. Vote to Adjourn.
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I-195 Redevelopment District Commission Meeting – November 16, 2015

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, November 16, 2015, beginning at 3 P.M., for the following purposes

195-roundPublic Session

  1. Welcoming Remarks by Chairperson Joseph Azrack.
  2. Approval of the Minutes of the Commission Public Session Meeting Held on October 19, 2015.
  3. Executive Director’s Report.
  4. Discussion on the Commission’s granting of Development Plan Review Approval Following Downtown Design Review Committee.
  5. Presentation on Development and Projects within the City of Providence by Bonnie Nickerson.
  6. Discussion on City Walk Study by Phoebe Blake of the Jewelry District Association and Dan Baudouin of The Providence Foundation.
  7. Chairman’s Report/Agenda for December 2015 Meeting.
  8. Vote to Adjourn.
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PBN: JWU purchases former Club Karma for $1.6M

karma-club

Image from Google Streetview

Johnson & Wales University has purchased the former Club Karma at 101 Richmond St. for $1.6 million.

The actual use of the building is not yet clear but will be either to accommodate JWU’s expanding academic programming or for student life services, the university said.

The developers of proposed student housing on the 195 Land Parcel 28 had proposed tearing down this building. Those developers have backed out of the deal to purchase that property however. Hopefully, Johnson & Wales will keep the building standing and find a good ground-floor use for it.

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Downtown Design Review Committee Meeting – November 16, 2015

Downtown Design Review Committee
Monday, November 16, 2015 – 4:45pm
Department of Planning and Development, 1st Floor Conference Room 444 Westminster Street, Providence, RI 02903

drc-roundOpening Session

  • Call to Order
  • Roll Call
  • Approval of Meeting Minutes of September 21, 2015

New Business

1. DRC Application No. 15.19: 39 Pike Street (Eastside I-195 Overlay District) – Public Hearing – The subject of the hearing will be an application by Royal Oaks Realty, LLC requesting a development incentive in the form of a height bonus for the proposed mixed-use building to be constructed at 39 Pike Street, Providence, RI. The applicant is seeking one additional story above the maximum height allowed in the zone. The applicant is also requesting final approval. (The project received conceptual approval at the 9/21/15 DRC meeting)

PowerPoint Presentation

2. DRC Application No. 15.18: 342 Eddy Street – Review of exterior concrete color samples and request for final approval for the construction of a new National Grid Substation Switchgear and Control Building. (The project received conceptual approval and waivers at the 9/21/15 DRC meeting)

Other Business

3. Downtown Design Review Committee Rules and Regulations – Approval of amended DDRC Rules and Regulations.

Adjournment

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Local News & Notes

sga-south-street-landing-parking-garage

Proposed South Street Landing parking garage. Rendering by Spagnolo Gisness & Associates, Inc.

I’ve been quite busy offline the last few weeks. Here’s a selection of local stories I’ve been trying to catch myself up on:


masslive.com New MBTA ‘bullet trains’ will get riders from Worcester to Boston in less than an hour

Riding the rails from Worcester to Boston should take less time come May. Lt. Gov. Karyn Polito on Wednesday announced the addition of a non-stop bullet train and two additional express trains on the Worcester/Framingham line.

“This is a game changer,” Polito said, referring to it as a quality of life issue. “For the first time ever, a non-stop train leaves Worcester and arrives in Boston in less than an hour.

Can the Providence line haz ‘bullet trains’ too pleaz?


The Providence Journal Fed-ordered drainage work will cost RIDOT $112 million

Faced with a consent decree requiring it to comply with federal clean water rules, the Rhode Island Department of Transportation has budgeted $112 million over the next decade to clean and repair its ailing network of drainage systems around the state.

DOT director Peter Alviti said the state agency plans to annually spend between $6.6 million and $16.8 million on drainage improvements as part of its 10-year strategic plan in a bid to correct years of inaction and reduce the amount of polluted stormwater that flows into Narragansett Bay and other local water bodies from state roads.

Look back to 2013 when Save The Bay highlighted the issue that surface run-off, not sewer overflow was what was most contributing to beach closures that year. RIDOT didn’t even know where it’s run-off was coming from, while we, the Narragansett Bay Commission rate-payers, are paying crazy sewer bills for a giant pipe to hold our poo.


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WPRI: Downtown parks, pedestrian bridge on track after setbacks

providence-river-pedestrian-bridge-001

Plans to build two public parks and a pedestrian bridge in downtown Providence have resumed now that a proposal for a waterfront baseball stadium has fallen through.

State and city officials say they’re refocusing on developing the land, which was cleared after Interstate 195 was relocated. The project, which includes building a pedestrian bridge across the Providence River with a park on each side, has faced several setbacks.

On again, off again, on again…

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ProJo: R.I. House Speaker Mattiello: Downtown PawSox stadium proposal is dead

pawsox-stadium-001

House Speaker Nicholas Mattiello said Saturday that PawSox managing partner Larry Lucchino told him late this week the drive has ended to move the Pawtucket Red Sox to former Route 195 land and Brown University property in Providence.

[…]

Lucchino said Governor Raimondo “communicated to our partners” that the site wasn’t suitable.

Negotiations for a Triple-A ballpark on that site have “ceased … The project is not going to happen at that site,” Mattiello said.

[…]

Lucchino said the team is still looking in Rhode Island, but he said he would not talk further Saturday night. He said he was returning The Journal’s phone call from his birthday celebration with family in Pittsburgh. Asked whether any Massachusetts communities have reached out to the team, Lucchino said, “No comment.”

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Downtown Design Review Committee Meeting – September 21, 2015

Downtown Design Review Committee
Monday, September 21, 2015 – 4:45pm
Department of Planning and Development, 1st Floor Conference Room 444 Westminster Street, Providence, RI 02903

drc-roundOpening Session

  • Call to Order
  • Roll Call
  • Approval of Meeting Minutes of June 15, 2015 and August 17, 2015

New Business

1. DRC Application No. 15.18: 342 Eddy Street (Public Hearing) – The subject of the hearing will be an application by The Narragansett Electric Company requesting waivers from D-1 Design Regulations for non-conforming new construction. The applicant is proposing to construct a new Substation Switchgear & Control Building at 342 Eddy Street, Providence, RI. The applicant is seeking waivers from the requirements for building height and fenestration.


kite-195-parcel-8

Proposed building for Parcel 8, image from Kite Architects.

2. DRC Application No. 15.19: 566 South Water Street and Parcel 8 (Eastside I-195 Overlay District) – Proposal by Royal Oaks Realty, LLC to construct a new mixed-use building on the property. The DRC will review the project and make a recommendation to the I-195 District Commission.

Adjournment

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195 Redevelopment District Commission Meeting – August 17, 2015

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, AUGUST 17, 2015, beginning at 5 P.M., for the following purposes

195-roundI. Public Session

  1. Welcoming Remarks by Chairperson Joseph Azrack.
  2. Approval of the Minutes of the Commission Public Session Meeting Held on June 15, 2015.
  3. Executive Director’s Report
  4. Presentation by Royal Oaks Realty, with Kite Architects, of their development project for Parcel 8.
  5. Discussion and Consent to Memorandum of Understanding with the City of Providence Planning Department.
  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 (1) (personnel matters) and subsection (5) (disposition of public property).

  7. Discussion and Vote regarding engagement of a new Executive Director.
  8. Review of Status of Proposals to purchase and develop District property.
  9. III. Public Session

  10. Chairman’s Report/Agenda for September 21, 2015 meeting.
  11. Vote to Adjourn.

See Also:

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Downtown Design Review Committee Special Meeting – August 17, 2015

Downtown Design Review Committee Special Meeting
Monday, August 17, 2015 – 12noon
Department of Planning and Development, 1st Floor Conference Room 444 Westminster Street, Providence, RI 02903

drc-roundOpening Session

  • Call to Order
  • Roll Call

New Business

  • Memorandum of Understanding between the I-195 Redevelopment District Commission and the Downtown Design Review Committee with respect to design review.

Adjournment

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News on the Providence River Pedestrian Bridge

providence-river-pedestrian-bridge-001

The Providence Journal: Pedestrian bridge over Providence River being ‘reevaluated’ by RI transportation officials

The Rhode Island Department of Transportation is now “reevaluating” the bridge project, RIDOT Director Peter Alviti Jr. said in a statement in response to questions from The Providence Journal.

“Given our current funding levels, RIDOT is reevaluating this project given the availability of funding,” Alviti wrote. “RIDOT must take into consideration the many needs for Rhode Island’s deficient bridges and deteriorated roadways. With reliable, predictable funding provided through the RhodeWorks program, RIDOT would be in a better position to schedule and fund projects such as the pedestrian bridge.”

The Feds let us use the money we’d save on not removing the piers in the river on the new highway. Will the Feds make us remove the piers if we don’t build the bridge?

Salisbury said his association would be “really disappointed” if the bridge isn’t built — plus, he questions what would happen to the old highway piers that once carried Route 195 over the river and now remain in the river, intended to carry the pedestrian bridge along the highway’s old path. Seven years ago, the DOT agreed to build the pedestrian bridge on those piers — and said the $2 million it would save by not demolishing them would go toward building the bridge. The DOT has already paid $1.4 million to design the pedestrian bridge, which was expected to cost $5.5 million.


Also, last week, PBN reported on possible changes to the design of the bridge.

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I-195 Redevelopment District Commission Meeting – June 15, 2015

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 15, 2015, beginning at 5pm, for the following purposes

195-roundI. Public Session

  1. Welcoming Remarks by Chairperson Joseph Azrack.
  2. Approval of the Minutes of the Commission Public Session Meeting Held on May 18, 2015.
  3. Executive Director’s Report.
  4. Discussion and Consent to Reschedule Date of December’s Commission meeting.
  5. Presentation by CV Properties and Wexford Science and Technology of their proposed mixed use development on Parcels 22 and 25.
  6. Discussion and approval of I-195 Tax Stabilization strategy.
  7. 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).

  8. Discussion Regarding Status of Proposals to Acquire and Develop District Property.
  9. III. Public Session

  10. Vote to Adjourn.
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ProJo: R.I. Senate Majority Leader Ruggerio wants state control of taxes on former Rt. 195 land, tax-stabilization deal

ridot-195

Senate Majority Leader Dominick J. Ruggerio expects to submit legislation Thursday that would establish state control over the taxes to be paid on former Route 195 highway parcels in the capital city, creating a 20-year tax-stabilization agreement for private developers and removing the city’s control over what taxes would be paid.

Ruggerio led work in 2011 to create the I-195 Redevelopment District Commission, which now owns 26 acres of former highway land and seeks to develop the land in a way that stimulates the state’s economy. The land panel just last week extended the deadline for a private developer seeking to build on the land to get a tax-stabilization agreement with the city.

“The administration and the I-195 commission have repeatedly stated they cannot successfully encourage development without the City of Providence creating tax-stabilization standards. Unfortunately, the establishment of clear and predictable tax rates for the I-195 district have not come to fruition,” Ruggerio said in a statement. “We cannot afford to wait any longer. The development of I-195 is critical to Rhode Island’s economic recovery and this legislation will encourage investment, job creation and economic growth.”

I think the City has not been fast enough in moving on their part of getting the land developed. However, I think the administration and the City Council are waiting to hear from the State how we’ll be reimbursed for creating these incentives that theoretically are boosting the economy of the entire state, not just Providence.

Providence carries a heavy burden of hosting so many jobs and so much infrastructure that makes the very existance of this state possible, but doesn’t get very much back for its trouble.

Ruggerio said he last met with Elorza probably in February, but he hadn’t shared his legislation with Elorza before releasing it today.

Well that is just rude. If you’re representing my city, and you’re moving to take away my taxing authority, a phone call or a text, maybe a fax, is in order.

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