Tag Archives | Jewelry District

Providence Streetcar to apply for TIGER VI grant funding


The Obama administration announced a new round of Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery grants (known as TIGER VI) with an extremely short turn-around for submitting applications, they are due April 28th.

The City of Providence applied for a TIGER grant last year, RIDOT also submitted a bid for Apponaug which was supported by the Governor. The Apponaug project was awarded a TIGER grant, and while there isn’t direct competition built into the grant process per-say, it is thought that Providence’s streetcar bid lost out to Kansas City’s streetcar which had more secure funding in place at the time. Providence’s 2013 TIGER grant application included a funding plan, but unlike Kansas City’s successful application, steps had not yet been taken to implement that funding.

Capital costs for the project (costs incurred to build it) are estimated to be $117.8 million (2016 dollars). Funding will come from City TIF Bonds, Federal funds, Rhode Island Capital Plan funds, RIPTA CMAQ funds, and a RIDOT land transfer.

In the next month, Providence plans to work further toward implementation of funding by working with the Providence City Council Ordinance Committee to approve a TIF plan for the streetcar district. This funding represents 50% of the projected cost of the project and will be one of the sources for operations revenue after the project is complete.

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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).


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


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.


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


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.


→ ProJo: Firm chosen to broker former Route 195 land


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.”


→ PBN: Legal tangle hinders power station redevelopment


Ownership of the vacant power plant is hampered by multiple stakeholders, mortgages, deed restrictions and up to 20 mechanics liens tied to one of the most ambitious and ill-fated public-private partnerships in the state’s history.

And then there are the $26 million in state historic tax credits attached to Dynamo House that the partnership between Commonwealth Ventures LLC and Brown University intend to use to help finance construction. The current owners of the power station control the tax credits.

With this tangled legal web in mind, the city’s Davol Square Plan lays out a strong case for seizing the power station using the city’s powers of eminent domain if clearing the title through negotiation fails.


195 Redevelopment District Commission Meeting – January 13, 2014

A meeting of the I-195 Redevelopment District Commission will be held at the office of Rhode Island Economic Development Corporation, 315 Iron Horse Way, Suite 101, Providence, Rhode Island, on Monday, January 13, 2014, beginning at 4:00 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 Meetings Held on December 9, 2013.
  3. Executive Director’s Report – Review of Activities during Past Month/Action Plan and Target Activities January – February, 2014.
  4. Further Discussion of Developers Toolkit with Goody Clancy LLC.
  5. Discussion/Vote to Select Firm to Provide Snow Removal Services to the District.
  6. Approval of Selection of Jones Lang LaSalle to Provide Real Estate Brokerage and Advisory Services to the District.
  7. Chairman’s Report – Review of Activities in Past Month and Proposed Future Activities/ Tentative Agenda for February 10, 2014 Meeting.
  8. Vote to Adjourn.


What Cheer / What Jeer 2013

We’re running a little late this year but we’re finally ready to run down the What Cheers and What Jeers of 2013.


WHAT CHEER: South Street Power Station (Maybe)

In 2013 we got another plan to redevelop the moribund South Street Power Station. While numerous plans for the building, which at one point was known as the Dynamo House, have come and gone, this latest plan engenders optimism as Brown University is involved now.

In January the New York Times and then The Brown Daily Herald reported on rumors of the university becoming involved in the project. Then in June Brown announced it’s plans for the building in a letter to the campus community.

Those plans include a home for the long talked about URI/RIC Nursing School, office space for Brown, and some sort of retail component in the former power station building. Brown also has a developer engaged in building a student apartment building in the neighboring parking lot along Point Street and the City is involved in plans for a parking structure across Point Street from that.

The latest news on the project comes from the ProJo just before Christmas with reports that the PRA is considering condemning the building so the project can move forward.

While this could all be looked at as another in a long line of proposals for the building, Brown’s involvement makes this proposal seem more promising. 2014 will show us if this project actually moves forward.

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→ ProJo: RIPTA review to examine Providence bus ‘hubs’


The RIPTA board unanimously agreed to ask a consultant to expand a “comprehensive operational analysis” to include a look at how shifting bus routes to Providence Station and to the Garrahy Judicial Complex would affect service and the agency’s finances.

I’ve heard some talk about this in recent weeks. Without knowing too many details (and the consultant’s analysis will actually be bringing out more details), I think a hub in the Jewelry District helps with the fact that Kennedy Plaza is so far removed from the potential jobs district at that end of the city, and a hub at the train station helps with connectivity to rail. Done right, these hubs could help mitigate the mistake of moving the train station further from the Central Business District and the fact that our Central Business District is less centralized at Kennedy Plaza than it has been through history.