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Tag Archives | 195 Relocation Project

I-195 Redevelopment District Commission Meeting – April 27, 2015

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, April 27, 2015, beginning at 4pm, for the following purposes

Public Session

  1. Welcoming Remarks by Chairperson Joseph Azrack.
  2. 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).

  3. Presentation Regarding Acquisition and Development of District Property.
  4. III. Public Session

  5. Vote to Adjourn.
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I-195 Redevelopment District Commission Meeting – April 6, 2015

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, APRIL 6, 2015, beginning at 5 P.M., for the following purposes

I. Public Session

  1. Welcoming Remarks by Governor Raimondo.
  2. Welcoming Remarks by Mayor Elorza.
  3. Welcome by Chairperson Joseph Azrack.
  4. Executive Director’s Report and Review of Materials, and Introduction of Commission Consultants, Fuss & O’Neill and DK Communications.
  5. Presentation by Lisa Pinsonneault of Rhode Island Attorney General’s Office regarding Open Meetings Act.
  6. Discussion and Adoption of Revised 2015 Commission Meeting Schedule, May – December.
  7. Discussion and Vote regarding Adoption of the 2014 City of Providence Zoning Ordinance.
  8. 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).

    III. Public Session

  9. Chairman’s Remarks.
  10. Vote to Adjourn.
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ProJo: Developers say lack of state support stalled project for I-195 land

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A lawyer and a doctor who hoped to build life-sciences laboratories on former highway land in the capital city have given up on their efforts because they say they haven’t received necessary state support.

Timothy H. Ehrlich, a Boston lawyer who represents biotechnology companies, and Dr. Johannes Fruehauf, president of the Cambridge Biolabs project in Massachusetts, pitched a Providence Biolabs project last June to the I-195 Redevelopment District Commission. They hoped to encourage start-up companies to develop into viable entities whose scientific research might lead to new treatments for diseases and might otherwise improve people’s health.

“We had to suspend our Providence Biolabs initiative when it became clear that there was not sufficient state support available to bring a shared laboratory to Providence,” Fruehauf told The Providence Journal.

This article does not have any comment from the Governor’s office and only a non-specific comment from the 195 Commission’s spokesperson, so take that as you will. It however does not sound very good.

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ProJo: Raimondo administration steps up role on I-195 land

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State officials are looking at the wisdom of adding to the land that falls under control of the I-195 Redevelopment District Commission and the feasibility of allowing a stadium on the vacant state property in downtown Providence.

[…]

The Rhode Island Commerce Corporation, which Pryor leads as commerce secretary, last Friday began the search for a consultant to help devise a real-estate development strategy for the land opened by the highway relocation project.

The agency released a request for proposal that contemplates the highway commission controlling development of property adjacent to the highway corridor in downtown Providence, as well as evaluating “special purpose uses” for the land, including “athletic/stadium/entertainment facilities, structured parking, etc.” The request was made in conjunction with the commission and the City of Providence.

It is good that this Governor is actively working to develop this land. I do however worry about the State’s involvement in developing downtown. I don’t have too much faith in the understanding of urbanism and what makes a good city at the State level (Exhibit 1: State House surface parking).

Continue Reading →

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WPRI: Sources: New PawSox owners want to move to Providence

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McCoy Stadium in Pawtucket. Photo (cc) Drew Bennett.

The new owners of the Pawtucket Red Sox want to move the team to a privately-financed stadium in Providence, according to multiple sources with direct knowledge of the situation.

The stadium would be paid for by the new owners, but they would require the state to give them land at no cost, according to sources. The owners are eying the vacant former I-195 land downtown, which the state borrowed $38.4 million to buy back in 2013. The money, plus interest, is supposed to be repaid with the proceeds from selling the land.

On Twitter there was speculation of them wanting to use the West Side 195 park, I would say absolutely not to that, we were promised parks, not ballparks.

“We were briefed last night,” [Pawtucket Mayor Don] Grebien said Monday. “It knocked the wind out of us.” The new owners told Grebien they want the team to play in an “urban district with transportation,” he said.

They said ‘urban’ and ‘transportation,’ :swoon: But wait, this needs lots of vetting, don’t try to trick me!

Continue Reading →

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I-195 Redevelopment District Commission Meeting – February 16, 2015

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 16, 2015, beginning at 5pm, for the following purposes

I. Public Session

  1. 1. Welcome by Chairperson: Chairperson Colin Kane.
  2. Approval of the Minutes of the Commission Public Session Meeting Held on January 20, 2015.
  3. Executive Director’s Report and Review of Operational Priorities.
  4. Review and Consideration of the Request by Phoenix Lincoln, Contract Purchaser of Parcel 28, to Extend Time Periods to Complete Due Diligence and Obtain Tax Stabilization Agreement and Vote.
  5. 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).

  6. Approval of the Minutes of the Commission Executive Session Meeting Held on January 20, 2015.
  7. III. Public Session

  8. Chairman’s Remarks.
  9. Vote to Adjourn.

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Governor Raimondo nominates six new members to the 195 Commission

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Press release from the Governor’s office:


Raimondo Takes First Steps in Attracting Economic Growth to I-195 Land

PROVIDENCE, R.I. – Governor Gina Raimondo today announced six nominations for the I-195 Redevelopment Commission as a first step in advancing efforts to revitalize the vacant parcel in Providence. Raimondo is submitting the six nominees for consideration to the Rhode Island Senate for confirmation. “We’re focused on expanding opportunity and creating jobs for Rhode Island families, and the 195 land can be a key lever to attract businesses and boost economic growth,” Raimondo said. “We are grateful to Colin Kane and the other former commissioners for their public service to the people of Rhode Island, which helped lay the groundwork for our efforts. I want to thank Joe, Bob, Beppie, Melissa, Ed and Sandra for their commitment to this critical project, which has the potential to move our state forward and create real economic opportunities for Rhode Islanders.”

The Governor is submitting the following names to the State Senate for confirmation:

  • Joseph F. Azrack (Raimondo’s choice for chair of the commission) of Little Compton
  • Robert C. Davis of South Kingstown
  • Elizabeth (Beppie) Huidekoper of Providence
  • Melissa Husband of Providence
  • Edwin J. Santos of North Kingstown
  • Sandra Smith of Providence

“We need to catalyze Rhode Island’s economy by capitalizing upon resources such as the developable land where I-195 once stood,” said Commerce Secretary nominee Stefan Pryor. “I am excited to work closely with the Commission on the build out of this land as an important part of our overall economic development effort.”

Continue Reading →

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WPRI: Colin Kane resigns as chairman of 195 Commission

The chairman of the commission tasked with overseeing the development of roughly 40 acres of land in downtown Providence left vacant by the relocation of I-195 has resigned.

“Colin offered his resignation, and the governor accepted,” Raimondo spokeswoman Marie Aberger told WPRI.com. “We asked for his continued advice and counsel, and he has agreed to stay on through the transition process. The governor is grateful for Colin’s dedicated service to the people of Rhode Island, which helped lay the groundwork for this project. We will have more details on what’s next for the commission in the coming days.”

Speculation has been since election-day that Raimondo wants to refresh the 195 Commission. The Governor campaigned on a manufacturing innovation hub being established on the 195 land. This contrasts with the current plans to sell off the land and allow the market to determine what gets built there.

Such a hub would not occupy all the land and there would be room for much of it to be sold off and developed independent of a state imposed framework for it.

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I-195 Redevelopment District Commission Meeting – January 20, 2015

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 Tuesday, January 20, 2015, beginning at 5pm, for the following purposes

I. Public Session

  1. Welcome by Chairperson: Chairperson Colin Kane.
  2. Approval of the Minutes of the Commission Public Session Meeting Held on December 15, 2014.
  3. Executive Director’s Review of Activities During the Past Month.
  4. Presentation by Conley Law Offices regarding the 2014 City Of Providence Zoning Ordinance in comparison to the Ordinance of 2012.
  5. Vote Formalizing the Creation of a Project Design Review Subcommittee.
  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. Approval of the Minutes of the Commission Executive Session Meeting Held on December 15, 2014.
  8. Review of Status of Proposals to Purchase and Develop District Property. Vote regarding execution of purchase agreement for District parcel.
  9. III. Public Session

  10. Chairman’s Report – Review of Activities in Past Month and Proposed Future Activities
  11. Vote to Adjourn.

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I-195 Redevelopment District Commission Design Review Committee Meeting – January 12, 2015

featured-195commission A meeting of the I-195 Redevelopment District Commission Design Review Committee will be held at Rhode Island Commerce Corporation, 315 Iron Horse Way, Providence, Rhode Island, on MONDAY, January 12, 2015, beginning at 11am, for the following purposes

Public Session

  • I-195 Redevelopment Commision: Commisioners Colin Kane, Barrett Bready, Diana Johnson – Jan Brodie, Executive Director
  • Commission Consultants: Shawn Martin, Fuss & O’Neil – Ted Sanderson, RI HP&HC
  • Development Team: John Cappellano, Phoenix Lincoln – Michael Liu, The Architectural Team

Call to Order

  1. Discusion regarding the zoning, planning, and design of the proposed buildings and site plan of Parcel 28.
  2. Vote to Adjourn.

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I-195 Redevelopment District Commission Meeting – December 15, 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, December 15, 2014, beginning at 5 P.M., for the following purposes

I. PUBLIC SESSION

  1. Welcome by Chairperson: Chairperson Colin Kane.
  2. Approval of the Minutes of the Commission Public Session Meeting Held on November 17, 2014.
  3. Discussion of Change to January Meeting Date and Vote to Set New Date.
  4. Approval by the Parks Design Subcommittee of the Minutes of the Parks Design Subcommittee Meeting Held on December 1, 2014.
  5. Executive Director’s Review of Activities During the Past Month.
  6. Discussion and Comment on EPA P30 Clean Up Grant Application.
  7. Discussion Regarding Creation of a Project Design Review Subcommittee.
  8. 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).

  9. Approval of the Minutes of the Commission Executive Session Meeting Held on November 17, 2014.
  10. Review of Status of Proposals to Purchase and Develop District Property. Vote regarding execution of purchase agreement for District parcel.
  11. Review of Status of Proposed Declaration of Covenants and Restrictions for District Properties.
  12. III. Public Session

  13. Chairman’s Report – Review of Activities in Past Month and Proposed Future Activities
  14. Vote to Adjourn.

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Downtown Design Review Committee Meeting – December 8, 2014

featured-drc Downtown Design Review Committee
Monday, December 8, 2014 – 4:45pm
Department of Planning and Development, 1st Floor Conference Room 444 Westminster Street, Providence, RI 02903

Opening Session

  • Call to Order
  • Roll Call
  • Approval of Meeting Minutes of September 8, 2014
  • Acceptance of 2015 DDRC Meeting Schedule

New Business

jwu-artist-rendering1

1. DRC Application No. 14.19: 75 Chestnut Street (Public Hearing) The applicant, Johnson and Wales University, is proposing to construct a new academic building at 75 Chestnut Street. The applicant is requesting waivers from D?1 Regulations for the transparency and multiple entrance requirements at the ground floor level on the Pine and Friendship Street elevations of the new building.

Adjournment


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I-195 Redevelopment District Commission Parks Design Subcommittee – December 1, 2014

featured-195commission A meeting of the I-195 Redevelopment District Commission Parks Design Subcommittee will be held at Rhode Island Commerce Corporation, 315 Iron Horse Way, Providence, Rhode Island, on MONDAY, DECEMBER 1, 2014, beginning at 4:45pm for the following purposes:

Public Session

I-195 Redevelopment Commission: Commissioners John Kelly, Barbara Hunger, Diana Johnson Jan Brodie, Executive Director
Department of Transportation: Lambri Zerva
Architects and Engineers: David Freeman, CDR Maguire
Nina Brown, Brown Richardson Rowe (?) Kelly Carr, BETA (?)

Call to Order

  1. Discussion regarding bridge height and other suggestions relative to River activation, views and pathways – Director Lewis’s letter
  2. Discussion concerning other design issues impacted by item 1, including water feature, river edge terracing.
  3. Other matters that still need resolution before DOT/Designers can proceed beyond 30%.
  4. Vote to Adjourn.

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PBN: Developer negotiating with panel for Fox Point land

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Image from Google Streetview

A city developer has entered into exclusive negotiations with the I-195 Redevelopment District Commission to purchase a piece of former highway land in the city’s Fox Point neighborhood.

Richard Baccari II, principal of Royal Oaks Realty LLC, confirmed in an email Monday that his group had signed a “letter of intent” to buy a property between Pike Street and Tockwotten Street from the commission.

I’ve heard some very preliminary information on this project, and it sounds interesting. See previous post about the project here.

In response to a public records request from Providence Business News, I-195 commission Executive Director Jan Brodie earlier on Monday said by email that the commission had signed two letters of intent, one more than had been made public last week when the panel approved a purchase and sales agreement with a Dallas developer planning a student apartment building.

See, this a problem. As I’ve said before, I understand the need for discretion when doing real estate deals, but the fact that PBN had to do a public records request is troubling. Private citizens can do public records requests too, but how many of us do? The perception of the Commission this creates is not good. And it is not like this is any kind of state secret. This project has been reported in the media, people in the industry are well aware of this project, which makes all the secrecy all the more annoying.

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UPDATED: ProJo: 195 Commission agrees to deal on $50-million, 500-bed student housing development

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Image from 195 District Parcel 28 – Google Streetview

Updated: January 12, 2015

The Journal’s Kate Bramson reports from the 195 Commission Meeting that the developer of Parcel 28 has entered into an agreement to buy the nightclubs on the corner of Richmond and Friendship Streets. This will give the developers a full block to develop. It appears the developer plans to tear down the building where the nightclubs are and construct a second building.

Bramson also tweeted this rendering from the presentation.

parcel-28

Original post

The I-195 Redevelopment District Commission voted behind closed doors Monday to sign a purchase and sale agreement with a Texas development firm that specializes in privatized student housing to build a $50-million, six-story housing development that will accommodate 500 renters on the west side of the Providence River.

Kane said the commission authorized him to sign the purchase and sale agreement, which will be a binding document requiring the firm to break ground by August 2015. Brodie said the firm expects to open its doors Sept. 1, 2017, ready for people to move into its rental units.


First, yes, it is going to be great to get something built on the 195 Land, and work is projected to begin next summer. With 20,000 square feet of retail space, this project should be able to provide some badly needed retail services to the Jewelry District neighborhood. And having 500 units of housing dropped from the sky has the potential to really have a positive impact on the neighborhood.

However, as the commenters at ProJo said, this deal literally took place behind closed doors. However, people involved in development and real estate all seemed to know this deal was coming, it was just the general public that may be surprised to hear about this this morning. So, if the people most involved in the process, pretty much know what is going on through industry chatter, where’s the need for the secrecy? I know there is a degree of discretion needed to complete a real estate deal, but the Commission really needs to do something about the perception that these Executive Sessions send to the public.

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ProJo: Symposium offers wish list of ideas to spur development of Route 195 land

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Photo from RIDOT

Jan A. Brodie expects there’ll be a groundbreaking in 2015 on the vacant former highway land in the heart of the capital city, but she unveiled a holiday wish list Friday afternoon for what she thinks would push forward pending development projects.

Brodie, executive director of the I-195 Redevelopment District Commission, would like no sales tax and no corporate taxes for projects built on the nearly 19 acres available for development after the state’s highway-relocation project. She’d like an “institutionalized, predictable” tax-stabilization agreement for city property taxes that would last at least 15 years, she told about 60 people gathered for the final session of the Providence Preservation Society’s year-long symposium, “Building the New Urban Experience.”

No one on the panel supported Chapel View as a vision for what should be done on the 195 land. Thank goodness.

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195 Redevelopment District Commission Legal Issues Subcommittee Meeting – November 5, 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, November 5, 2014, beginning at 11:30am, for the following purposes

I. Public Session

Call to Order

  1. Approval of the Public Session Minutes of the Legal Issues Subcommittee meeting held on October 15, 2014.
  2. 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).

  3. Approval of the Minutes of the Executive Session of the Legal Issues Subcommittee meeting held on September 30, 2014.
  4. Approval of the Minutes of the Executive Session of the Legal Issues Subcommittee meeting held on October 15, 2014.
  5. Review of Proposals to Purchase and Develop District Property.
  6. III. Public Session

  7. Discuss and approve Rules and Regulations, including Permitting Mapping matrix as prepared by Conley Law Office and Fuss & O’Neill.
  8. Vote to Adjourn.

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195 Redevelopment District Commission Legal Issues Subcommittee Meeting – October 27, 2014

featured-195commission A meeting of the I-195 Redevelopment District Commission Legal Issues Subcommittee will be held at Rhode Island Commerce Corporation, 315 Iron Horse Way, Providence, Rhode Island, on MONDAY, OCTOBER 27, 2014, beginning at 10:30am, for the following purposes

I. Public Session

Call to Order

  1. Approval of the Public Session Minutes of the Legal Issues Subcommittee meeting held on October 15, 2014.
  2. 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), specificaly matters permitted to be so considered under subsection (5)(acquisition and disposition of public property).

  3. Approval of the Minutes of the Executive Session of the Legal Issues Subcommittee meeting held on September 30, 2014.
  4. Approval of the Minutes of the Executive Session of the Legal Issues Subcommittee meeting held on October 15, 2014.
  5. Review of Proposals to Purchase and Develop District Property.
  6. III. Public Session

  7. Vote to Adjourn.

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