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Tag Archives | Kennedy Plaza

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

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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.

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Champlin Foundation grant to fund gateway project at Burnside Park

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From the Downtown Providence Parks Conservancy:


$395,000 Champlin Foundations Grant Awarded to Downtown Providence Parks Conservancy’s Kennedy Plaza Project

Funds will build a pedestrian gateway within Burnside Park

The Champlin Foundations recently granted $395,000 to the Downtown Providence Parks Conservancy (DPPC) and The Providence Foundation to create a pedestrian gateway within Burnside Park. This significant investment will fund a detailed design and reconstruction of the park’s northeast corner, which is a critical element of capital improvement in Greater Kennedy Plaza. An attractive new entrance by the Burnside statue and a corresponding footpath will encourage more varied, healthy activities in our downtown public spaces. By ensuring that the passageway remains safe, clean and well-lit, this project will allow travelers to easily walk through the park on their way from the train station to the RIPTA bus hub, strengthening this connection. Construction is scheduled to begin next spring, with completion expected in late summer 2014.

First proposed during a community charrette led by international placemaking experts at the Project for Public Spaces in 2008, this gateway improvement project is one of several transformative changes planned within Greater Kennedy Plaza next year. The city of Providence has committed $1.7 million from its downtown circulator project to reconfigure traffic patterns around the parks. With support from RIPTA, plans call for the relocation of bus berths to the outside of Kennedy Plaza to make way for a pedestrian plaza and market.

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Christmas tree lighting in Kennedy Plaza – December 7, 2013

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All the details on this Saturday’s Christmas tree lighting ceremony and other festivities from the City of Providence:


Saturday, December 7, 2013 at 6pm

PROVIDENCE, R.I. – Families and residents are invited to kick-off the festive season of shopping and homecomings in the Capital City on Saturday, when Mayor Angel Taveras hosts the City of Providence’s annual Christmas Tree Lighting festivities.

The ceremony will take place on Saturday, December 7 at 6 p.m. at the Bank of America Skating Center. It will be emceed by Mayor Taveras and NBC 10′s Morning anchor, Barbara Morse Silva. Tony the Dancing Cop will be stationed at Washington Street and Dorrance Street at 5:30pm to welcome guests.

The ceremony will include performances by RPM Voices of Rhode Island featuring RPM Youth Voices, the Brown University Skating Band and the 4th and 5th grade chorus from the Lillian Feinstein at Sackett Street Elementary School. A figure skating demonstration by regional award winners will follow the ceremony, and Santa will be on the ice when public skating resumes.

Members of the Johnson & Wales University chapter of Phi Sigma Kappa will provide refreshments and sell ornaments to benefit Hasbro Children’s Hospital. Stanley Tree Service is donating crane service for the trees.

The event is sponsored by the Providence Department of Parks and Recreation, the Providence Tourism Council, Whole Foods Market University Heights, Dave’s Coffee and Zipcar Providence.

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Greater Kennedy Plaza summer season programming Survey

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Greater Kennedy Plaza is seeking your input on the outdoor programming that takes place there, see information below:

Many thanks for a great outdoor programming season in Greater Kennedy Plaza! Many of you have told us all season how much what we do improves the place we all share – and your ideas for improving on it – here is your chance to help us learn how to continually improve our programming and our public spaces downtown by filling out this quick online survey. Completing a survey gets you a chance to win one of two Prize Packs which include a membership to the Providence Children’s Museum, Fourpack for free ice skating & rentals to the Providence Rink, and a Dave & Buster’s power card. First winner will be drawn on Friday.

Take the Survey

Full disclosure: I am a member of the Downtown Providence Parks Conservancy Board.
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