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CNU New England: Vision for Greater Kennedy Plaza Walkabout and Panel Discussion – October 15, 2014

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Vision for Greater Kennedy Plaza: Walkabout and Panel Discussion

Providence, Rhode Island
Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Please join CNU New England for a walkabout in Providence’s Kennedy Plaza and panel discussion at Aurora to review the progress, programming, and next steps for the Vision for Greater Kennedy Plaza. Through a public-private partnership between the Downtown Providence Parks Conservancy and the City of Providence, this project seeks to create a pedestrian-friendly environment, encourage transit ridership, bolster economic well-being, promote arts and culture, and encourage tourism. The first steps toward implementation of the long-term vision are under construction, so please come join us to discuss what’s next. “Ideas for admission” are encouraged at the door – provide your walkabout observations and thoughts regarding next steps toward implementation of the vision.


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UPDATED: Possible project at Parcel 12

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Image from Bing Maps

The so-called ‘triangle-parcel’ in Capital Center adjacent to Burnside Park could soon see a new development.

On the October 9th agenda of the Providence Redevelopment Authority is a:

Motion to approve lease with option to purchase Parcel 12 located at 5 Exchange Street, to First Bristol Corporation.

According to the Minutes of the PRA July 10th meeting , the lease would be for the construction of a hotel. First Bristol are the owners of the Hampton Inn & Suites on Weybosset Street.

The last proposed development on Parcel 12 was way back in 2006 when The Carpionato Group also proposed a hotel on the site. Let’s hope this one is a little less ugly.

Update: ProJo reports:

The company envisions a six-story building with 120 suites, with an estimated cost of $18 million to $20 million, Karam said.

First Bristol seems to be leaning toward an extended stay hotel concept.

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Providence Bicycle and Pedestrian Advisory Commission meeting – September 17, 2014

featured-bikeped Providence Bicycle and Pedestrian Advisory Commission Meeting
September 17, 2014, 4:30 PM
444 Westminster Street, First Floor

Agenda

  • 4:35 Denise Kaplin: International Walk to School Day
  • 4:50 Jef Nickerson: Pedestrian “Beg Button” ban proposal/action
  • 5:20 Eric Weis: Bike Path Updates – George Redman Linear Park, Blackstone Bikeway segment 1, and Woonasquatucket paths
  • 5:30 Nate Urso, Providence DPW: Road Construction Updates
  • 5:45 Dave Everett: Updates – Safe States Pedestrian Injury Prevention Program; Greater Kennedy Plaza Bike Hitches and Racks
  • 6:00 Adjourn

Public comment is welcome at BPAC meetings.

Full disclosure: I am a member of this Commission.
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Downtown Design Review Committee Meeting – July 14, 2014

featured-drc Downtown Design Review Committee
Monday, July 14, 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 May 12, 2014 and June 9, 2014

New Business

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159 Weybosset Street. Image from Google Street View.

1. DRC Application No. 14.13: 159 Weybosset Street Proposal to remove an egress door on the north elevation, create a new opening on the east elevation for a new egress door, and to construct a new handicap ramp on the property.

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Burnside Park. Image from Google Street View.

2. DRC Application No. 14.14 2 Kennedy Plaza (Burnside Park) Proposal to install a new pathway across the park, modify the existing fencing at new entry points, install new granite steps at the Burnside Statue, install lighting, and construct a new granite arch at the corner of Exchange Street and Exchange Terrace.

Adjournment


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RIPTA to relocate buses out of Kennedy Plaza to accommodate construction starting July 12, 2014

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From RIPTA:


RIPTA to Temporarily Relocate Bus Stops Out of Kennedy Plaza to Accommodate City of Providence Construction

All Routes Detoured Out of Kennedy Plaza Beginning Saturday, July 12, 2014

The Rhode Island Public Transit Authority (RIPTA) will temporarily relocate all bus stops out of Kennedy Plaza beginning Saturday, July 12, 2014 to accommodate City of Providence renovations of the Plaza. These renovations will create a large civic space, reorganize bus berth locations and improve pedestrian connections to and from the plaza. The work is expected to be complete Fall 2014. All routes will be slightly detoured to avoid entering Kennedy Plaza. Bus stops will be relocated to Exchange Terrace, Sabin Street, Exchange Street, Fountain Street and Steeple Street. Park N’ Ride service will be relocated from Exchange Terrace to Sabin St. but will continue to pick up passengers at other downtown locations. Peter Pan and Greyhound passengers will continue to load and unload at their current stop in front of the Kennedy Plaza Terminal.

Ticketing and other passenger amenities will remain open inside the Kennedy Plaza Terminal during the construction period. RIPTA’s Kennedy Plaza sales and information outlet will remain open during construction. Customers are advised to enter through the side door on the Fulton Street side, near City Hall.

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GC: Photos

Flickr totally changed the sharing function on their website, and frankly it sucks and causes me to have to rewrite a bunch of code to properly share people’s photos, and a bunch of great photographers who share in our group have changed their share settings; so I haven’t done a GC: Photos post in quite a while. But there’s some really great stuff in there, so I suffered through it. Some of these photos go back a while, hence the snow:

Photo © Donna St.Pierre

Photo © Anthony Nathan Photography

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2014 Burnside Park Music Series and Beer Garden

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The Thursday, September 11th Burnside Park Music Series and Beer Garden features music by Detroit Rebellion.

Toeing the line between jazz and no-wave, this blues driven garage duo creeps and grooves their way to a good time.

Visit the event page on Facebook for more details. This is the last beer garden of the season, so BE THERE!

The 2014 Season of the Burnside Park Music Series and Beer Garden kicks off this Thursday, June 26, 2014 at 4:30 with performers Supreme Satellite Band.

You’ve earned it, Providence: an entire season of afternoons in the park. The sun on your face, the breeze on your skin, a well-deserved drink in your hand, and the kind of music that means it drifting all around you.

Every Thursday this summer, Burnside Park will be transformed into your favorite restaurant, your family outing, your afternoon date, and your patio bar. Lounge on the grass, grab a bite from your favorite food truck, or sidle up to the tables and chairs at Trinity Brewhouse’s beer garden (open from 4:30-7:30 every Thursday!). Live music from 5:30-7 ensures that your personal dance hall, showspace, and musician’s salon is but a stroll downtown away.

2014’s Burnside Music Series will be filled with unstoppable rhythms, celestial harmonies, unparalleled musicianship, and good times.

Whether you’re wrapping up work, heading in for your shift, cavorting with friends, or just reveling in something other than winter, join us by the fountain Thursday afternoons. You work hard. You deserve it.

Visit the Burnside Park Music Series and Beer Garden Facebook event page for a listing of this summer’s performers.

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Bike to Work Day – May 16, 2014

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Date: Friday, May 16, 2014
Time: 7-10am; Mayor Taveras will speak at around 8:15am
Location: Burnside Park, rain or shine!

With spring in the air, the City of Providence and the RI Bicycle Coalition invite you to celebrate Bike to Work Day on Friday, May 16th as part of National Bike Month. Mayor Taveras urges everyone to bike to work or try cycling for fun, fitness or transportation. Free coffee and food will be provided to all participants at Burnside Park. Other activities include bike repair, vendors, and a raffle. Mayor Taveras will also announce the 2014 Providence Cyclovias!

Local sponsors include: City of Providence’s Healthy Communities Office, RI Bicycle Coalition, the Bicycle and Pedestrian Advisory Commission, Dash Bicycle Shop, Greater Kennedy Plaza, Whole Foods, New Harvest Coffee Roasters, and Legend Bicycle.

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News & Notes

Kennedy Plaza

Two ProJo articles last weekend about Kennedy Plaza:

The Providence Journal: A View from Providence: Hangout or hub, Kennedy Plaza certainly is quirky

People get off buses. Others get on. Some stand in line, others stand around. They wear headphones and backpacks, some carry bags.
The plaza draws folks from all walks. Students. Workers. Homeless. Peddlers. Visitors.

The Providence Journal: Some argue that good parks and public spaces can revitalize RI economy

In Kennedy Plaza, bus and vehicle traffic compete with people wanting to use the park. There is too much hard surface; too few trees. There’s too much noise; too little to do.

“If you leave public spaces barren you get this blight,” Wood said. “You create a draw for all sorts of undesirable activity.”

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Skating season at Providence Rink extended to March 23, 2014

joshmcginn-flickr

Photo (cc) Josh McGinn

Ice Skating Season at The Providence Rink at The Bank Of America City Center Extended Until Sunday March 23rd

PROVIDENCE – There’s good news and bad news about March weather. The bad news is that it looks like March temperatures will remain below normal for the rest of the month, delaying any spring-like weather for us. But there is good news! The unseasonably cold temperatures will allow the downtown Providence Rink at the Bank of America City Center to extend its ice skating season through March 23rd, one week later than originally scheduled. The later closing means more time to make reservations for birthday parties, business or social group outings and private events on full ice. Dates for reservations are currently open. Also, our new penguin skate aids are available for kids who may need some help to stay steady on their skates. Join us for ice skating in the center of Downcity as the Providence Rink at the Bank of America City Center marks the end of its 15th season.

Special Weekday Hours for Monday, March 17 to Friday, March 21: 5pm to 10pm
Saturday, March 22 and Sunday, March 23 hours: 11am to 10pm

Once the ice skating season draws to a close, The Providence Rink at the Bank of America City Center will transform into a premier event center from April to October. The Providence Rink is a perfect location to host all types of summer events, with over 14,000 square feet of space available in the heart of downtown. The versatile space can accommodate over 1000 guests for private events such as conferences and weddings and over 2000 guests for public events such as festivals and concerts. Open air, partially tented, or fully-tented, an event at the Providence Rink is a unique experience! Event applications are still being accepted for the upcoming 2014 summer and fall season.

For additional information on the ice skating and event center season, please visit ProvidenceRink.com or call 401.331.5544.

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ProJo: In Providence, moving bus shelters a first step toward new vision for downtown plaza

parcel-12

Image from Bing Maps

The city is proposing to move the two “eastern-most shelters” to a sidewalk of vacant land owned by the Providence Redevelopment Agency, an arm of the city’s Department of Planning and Development, on Exchange Street. The triangle-shaped, grass area next to the downtown post office is bordered by Exchange Terrace, Exchange Street and Memorial Boulevard.

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WPRI: ‘Superman’ building again seeks state support

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Superman Building banking hall. Image by Jef Nickerson

The owner of Providence’s tallest building said Monday he will again seek state support to help turn the vacant skyscraper into apartments.

David Sweetser, whose real estate investment firm High Rock Development owns 111 Westminster Street, is calling for a “public-private partnership” to renovate the building that he claims would create hundreds of jobs and generate millions of dollars in tax revenue for the state.

- WPRI
Full Disclosure: I work for Cornish Associates who are consultants for High Rock Development.
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PBN: Paolino purchases three properties downtown for $60M

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Image from Google Streetview

Paolino Properties has purchased a package of three high-profile properties in Providence’s Financial District for $60 million, the company announced Wednesday.

The acquisitions include the 20-story tower at 100 Westminster St., the five-story building next door at 30 Kennedy Plaza and the Weybosset Street Metropark lot across the street that features the propped-up façade of the former Providence National Bank Building.

The article goes into plans for the buildings and vacant parcel which all sound great, look at me, I’m all surprised over here. One wonders, and one is not just me people are talking, where the former Mayor is getting funds for all this. Wonders about funding instill fears about the viability of the proposed plans. Fingers crossed good things happen, would be very good for Kennedy Plaza as well as Westminster Street.

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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.

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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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