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→ PBN: Riverfront revival in Pawtucket?

pawtucket

A central focus of Pawtucket and neighboring Central Falls for more than a decade, riverfront redevelopment slowed during the recession, giving local officials the chance to study, plan and prioritize for the recovery.

Now that the economy appears headed in the right direction, some of those plans are being put into motion[.]

An earlier city effort to redevelop [45 Division Street] focused exclusively on building a hotel there, but the winning bid from Carpionato Group stalled when the market collapsed and the city took back control of the land.

A hotel is no longer required and the city is open to a mixed-use project with apartments above first-floor shops.

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

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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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The suburbanization of Olneyville

mcdonalds-rendering

Rendering of proposed McDonald’s and Family Dollar store on Plainfield Street in Olneyville.

The City Plan Commission meeting scheduled for today has been canceled due to the impending storm. It is scheduled to take place now on January 28th.

After learning of plans for a drive-thru McDonald’s proposed on Plainfield Street in Olneyville, I requested plans for the proposal from the Planning Department.

The developer is seeking master plan approval from the City Plan Commission for the construction of a McDonald’s and Family Dollar store in a separate building on a site which was cleared of existing structures last year.

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→ ProJo: Firm chosen to broker former Route 195 land

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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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→ 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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News & Notes

Christmas Tree & Ice Rink

Campus Martius in Detroit – Photo (cc) Per Verdonk

→ The New York Times: Small-Scale Developers, Big Dreams

These activist microdevelopers are different from the slumlords and absentee owners who buy properties in bulk, rent them to vulnerable communities and spend nothing on refurbishment or services, compounding Buffalo’s woes.

Recently, Mr. Abell, who grew up in Buffalo but left after high school, recalled what brought him home a few years ago and has kept him enthralled. “What’s drawn me in deeper,” he said, “is the D.I.Y., roll-up-your-sleeves community-building ethos that has taken over the entire city. Everyone has three charities they’re working on. I’ve never seen a group of people who give more of themselves.”


→ Project for Public Spaces: Detroiters Work: The Lighter, Quicker, Cheaper Regeneration of a Great American City

Detroiters aren’t taking their city’s decline lying down—and a determinedly “can-do” attitude is driving everyone from individual activists to the community development groups, private investors, and philanthropic organizations that are reshaping the city. “Detroit is the type of city where you have to jump in and roll up your sleeves and do work,” says Community Development Advocates of Detroit Director Sarida Scott-Montgomery, a lifelong resident who will proudly tell you that she and her family chose to stay. “This is not an ‘easy’ city. But that, to me, has almost become an inherent part of being a Detroiter. Detroiters work. We are resilient.”


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