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Developer Conley sets sights on medical facility for his Providence waterfront land [ProJo]
I don’t really understand why a medical complex would want to locate itself on this site. The future zoning is still very much up in the air, it is a brownfield, and current transit isn’t terrific. Personally, I’d want to see the medical complex described either build on one of the many surface lots in the hospital area, or somewhere in the Jewelry District.

Pecha Kucha, Tonight [Providence Daily Dose]

RIPTA sets hearings on proposed fare hike [ProJo]
In July, across the state.

Daniel Baudouin: In defense of the Blue Cross headquarters tower [ProJo]

Broad Street Pawtucket Pepsi Refresh Challenge [Pepsi Refresh Project]

We envision a revitalized Broad Street that is vibrant, walkable, and attractive. We propose the following programs to help revitalize Broad Street:

  • Providing $75,000 in grants to small businesses
  • Creating a 3 mile bike path
  • Develop 3 community gardens
  • Legalize and encourage sidewalk cafes on Broad St
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What Cheer/What Jeer: January 2009

whatcheerWashington Trust

What Cheer to Washington Trust for moving from their suburban style drive-thru ridden Washington Street location to a nice urban non-drive-thru location on Westminster.

Bonus points for a most excellent sign at the new location.

washington-trust

whatcheerSymmes Maini & McKee Associates

What Cheer to Symmes Maini & McKee Associates for their design of the new Blue Cross Blue Shield Rhode Island headquarters building in Capital Center.

While reaction to the designs of the adjacent Waterplace Condo towers and new GTECH Headquarters has been mixed, the BCBS Tower design seems to integrate the best of both projects to seamlessly fit into Capital Center. The building features a glass curtain wall on the north and south sides of the building, with the south facade feature a very pleasing curve. The design of the glass facade borrows from the glass found on the GTECH Headquarters. On the east and west facade we see a pre-cast treatment reminiscent of the Waterplace Towers (but many would say more pleasing than the Waterplace Towers). In addition to it’s aesthetics, the BCBS building also seeks LEED Silver certification. According to an article in the New England Real Estate Journal the BCBS building will feature high-performing insulated glass curtain walls, daylight penetrating the full-height glass wall will enable sensors to dim or turn off building perimeter lighting, two “green” vegetated roofs, rainwater collection for use in the building’s cooling the equipment, and interior finishes such as furniture and finishes that are low-voc emitting, rapidly-renewable, and regionally developed.

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IN PROGRESS: BCBS Building On Course

bcbsThe ProJo had a quick blurb about the continuing progress on the Blue Cross Blue Shield of RI building downtown. The short article is just a brief recap, but it’s a great excuse for me to put a really nice photo of this (thus far) handsome tower on the Greater City Providence site.

I’m really trying to enjoy every day of this skyscraper’s construction since, I’m sorry to say, this may be the last new construction we’ll see for some time. I don’t mean to be a downer but, given our current economy and with major new projects from Capitol Cove to the RISD Museum’s Chase Center to the Hampton Inn to the Dynamo House either approaching completion or done, there’s really, well, nothing solid in the pipeline beyond what is currently in-progress. Sure there’s a new phase of ALCO upcoming, and the T.F. Green station has broken ground, but in the city center everything planned that isn’t already underway (“W” tower, Empire at Broadway, Hotel Sierra, Grant’s Block, triangle parcel, etc.) seems to be approaching the status of vapor-scrapers. Think of the jobs involved in the creation and maintenance of these buildings that are lost as well…

This doesn’t mean good urbanism couldn’t and shouldn’t continue to be done. A downturn in the economy is a great opportunity to focus on the essentials of a competitive business climate, infrastructure development, and “infill” of existing lots and empty storefronts so that when the economy does turn around, we’re poised to take-off (more on this later).

But as far as bespoke structures go, however, enjoy BCBSRI richly right now. It might be the last new building we see until the 195 land comes on-line in 2012…

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