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Tag Archives | Jewelry District

Wexford Science & Technology / CV Properties enter purchase agreement for 195 parcels

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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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Providence Preservation Society 2016 Most Endangered Properties List

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Atlantic Mills in Olneyville

From the Providence Preservation Society:


  • Atlantic Mills, 100 Manton Avenue (1863)
  • Bomes Theatre, 1017 Broad Street (1921)
  • Cranston Street Armory, 315 Cranston Street (1907)
  • Historic Jewelry District Buildings As exemplified by:
    Barstow Stove Company (known as Tops Electric Company), 120 Point Street (c. 1849)
    Ward Baking Company Administration Building, 145 Globe Street (1908-1956)
  • Historic Middle School Buildings As exemplified by:
    Gilbert Stuart Middle School, 188 Princeton Avenue (c. 1930)
    Roger Williams Middle School, 278 Thurbers Avenue (1932)
    Nathanael Greene Middle School, 721 Chalkstone Avenue (1929)
  • Historic Religious Buildings As exemplified by:
    Broad Street Synagogue, 688 Broad Street (1910)
    Congregation of the Sons of Jacob, 24 Douglas Avenue (1905-1912, 1920)
    United Presbyterian Church, 619 Chalkstone Avenue (1895)
  • Industrial Trust Building, 111 Westminster Street (1928)
  • Kendrick-Prentice-Tirocchi House, 514 Broadway (1867)
  • Meader Street School, 20 Almy Street (1891)
  • Rhode Island Hospital Southwest Pavilion, 593 Eddy Street (1900)
  • Sheffield Smith House, 334 Smith Street (1855)

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ProJo: RIPTA turns focus to expansion near Rhode Island Hospital

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Rhode Island Hospital area. Image from Bing Maps

Although RIPTA still expects to create a bus stop or stops at Garrahy, transit planners don’t envision a “hub” or terminal there and actually see more potential for expansion farther south, near Rhode Island Hospital.

“Rhode Island Hospital is a huge ridership area for us,” said Amy Pettine, RIPTA’s executive director of planning. “Garrahy emerged as an opportunity, but with the hospital as a key anchor, we will probably need something further south.”

RIPTA is working with the Rhode Island Convention Center Authority, which is building the Garrahy garage, on determining what kind of mass transit presence makes sense, from a regular stop, to a “super stop” with passenger amenities and a place for drivers to take a break.


We need to consider the 195 Land and the Jewelry District as part of downtown. Operationally, I think it could work out better to have hubs on the periphery of downtown (Train Station Hub and Hospital Hub) rather than one on the edge and one kind of in the middle (Garrahy Garage). Hubs on the edge with routes from north and south converging at them allows for through-routing buses on narrowly defined corridors through downtown, creating corridors with high-frequency service.

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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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ProJo: Plans for downtown bus hubs proceeding slowly

Video release last year by RIDOT on future plans for transit in the state.

More than a year after Rhode Island voters overwhelmingly approved a $35-million bond for two new downtown bus hubs, state officials are only now beginning to fill in details of the projects.

The future of the transit hubs was a popular topic at a recent public transportation forum, particularly among Providence business leaders who pushed for them and questioned why so little information about them had been made available.

Bonding for a bus hub at the train station in Providence was approved by voters. The possible sub-hub at the proposed Garrahy Courthouse parking garage is being developed by the Convention Center Authority which has the power to raise its own bonds without voter approval.

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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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ProJo: Redeveloped Jewelry District building will include 57 apartments, restaurant space

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Image from Google Streetview

Work will begin soon on the redevelopment of an historic Jewelry District building into 57 apartments and ground-floor restaurant space, and the new owners hope to have the building reopened by the end of 2016.

[…]

[Brian] Poitras [president of Waldorf Capital Management LLC] said architects Martha Werenfels and Ed Cifune of Durkee, Brown, Viveiros & Werenfels are leading the design project. He said the building will include a restaurant space and some common areas on the ground level and apartments on all six floors.

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PBN: JWU purchases former Club Karma for $1.6M

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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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WPRI: Downtown parks, pedestrian bridge on track after setbacks

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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

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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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More PawSox News

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Rendering of a theoretical Victory Place stadium for the PawSox in the Jewelry District.

ProJo: PawSox owner Lucchino scouts Victory Place site

PawSox principal owner Larry Lucchino late Wednesday afternoon walked among the weeds of the Victory Place property in the Jewelry District as he looked for options to the team’s search for a new ballpark site.

[…]

Lucchino decided to look at the privately-owned Victory Place site in the Jewelry District, he said, after the people who packed a Tuesday forum on the Pawtucket Red Sox ballpark plan once again brought up the site as an alternative to the team’s preferred Providence River site.


ProJo: Federal agency insists on reimbursement if park land used for PawSox stadium

Months after the Pawtucket Red Sox first raised the prospect of building a baseball stadium in downtown Providence, discussions between state and federal officials continue about whether it’s permissible to commit the team’s preferred site to a private use.

If the site set aside years ago to become a public park is used for a commercial enterprise, the Federal Highway Administration would ask the state to repay the fair market value of that land, FHWA spokesman Doug Hecox told The Providence Journal.

The Feds aren’t liking giving the PawSox free land I guess. Feds might also be looking for money if we don’t end up building the Providence River Pedestrian Bridge, sigh.


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City Plan Commission Meeting – July 21, 2015

City Plan Commission Meeting
Tuesday, July 21, 2015 – 4:45pm
444 Westminster Street, First Floor

cpc-roundOpening Session

  • Call to Order
  • Roll Call
  • Approval of minutes from June 16, 2015 meeting – for action
  • Director’s Report

Development Review Regulations

1. Amendment of Development Review Regulations – A discussion on the amendments to the City Plan Commission’s Development Review Regulations – for discussion

Zoning Ordinance Amendment

2. Referral 3394 – Zoning Ordinance Amendment regarding student homes – Proposed amendment to the zoning ordinance to create regulations for student homes – for action

City Council Referral

3. Referral 3395 – Abandonment of DeWolf Street1 – The applicant is requesting to abandon the entirety of DeWolf Street, which lies between Audrey Street and Appleton Street to merge it with their abutting property – for action (Olneyville)

Minor Subdivision

4. Case No. 15-024 MI – 32 Luke Street (Preliminary plan approval) – The applicant is proposing to subdivide a lot measuring approximately 15,912 SF into two lots measuring approximately 5,000 SF and 10,912 SF – for action (AP 97 Lot 948, Charles)

5. Case No. 15-028 MI – 342 Eddy Street (Preliminary and Final plan approval)2

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Rendering of proposed parking garage at South Street Landing by SGA.

The applicant is proposing to create a new lot measuring approximately one acre from Lot 429 which measures approximately 6.5 acres. The applicant is requesting to combine the preliminary and final plan stages – for action (AP 21 Lot 429, Downtown)

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City seeks ideas to light the Route 95 Eddy Street underpass

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From the Providence Department of Planning and Development:


Request for Proposals for a Lighting Installation for the Eddy Street Underpass

Project Background and Context

The City of Providence is soliciting creative designs for a lighting installation that would activate and enhance the safety and visual appeal of the Eddy Street underpass. The improvement of this space through unique artistic design would not only make the underpass significantly safer and more inviting for pedestrians, but it would also define a sense of place, effectively connecting the City’s emerging Hospital District with the more established, pedestrian-friendly Jewelry District. Activation of this space provides a significant opportunity to establish a well-designed, identifiable connection between these two vital districts, while promoting a safe, pedestrian-oriented environment. Furthermore, this project allows for an exciting opportunity to utilize the abundant local artistic talent, further enhancing the identity of Providence as “The Creative Capital.”

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News on the Providence River Pedestrian Bridge

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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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