Categories

Tag Archives | Knowledge District

→ PBN: Legal tangle hinders power station redevelopment

dynamo

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.

0

News & Notes

new-york-wetlands

Wetlands to provide a storm surge buffer for New York City. Image from Architecture Research Office

→ Fast Company: A Plan To Hurricane-Proof New York, With A Ring Of Wetlands

In the wake of Hurricane Sandy, there have been a flurry of ideas on how to deal with the prospect that storms of such magnitude may no longer be once-in-a-lifetime events but the most visible manifestation–if you’re not a polar bear–of the havoc wreaked by climate change.

Seawalls. Levees. The kinds of things the Army Corps of Engineers typically builds to protect low-lying places like New Orleans just aren’t feasible for a place like Manhattan, says Stephen Cassell, the cofounder of New York’s Architectural Research Office. “It’s hard to predict how bad climate change will be,” Cassell says, noting that Sandy’s devastating surge was nearly 14 feet, which wasn’t even the worst-case scenario. “What if we build a barrier and the surge goes beyond that?”

Yes Providence, what if the storm surge is higher than our storm surge barrier?


→ New York Post: Growing NY through smarter taxes

How might two-tiered taxation work? In New York, land and improvements in residential areas are subject to an 18.6 percent property tax.Thus, land with a taxable value of $10,000 would be taxed $1,860, and improvements with a similar taxable value of $10,000 would owe another $1,860, a total of $3,720. Under a two-tier system, the tax rate for land could jump by, say, 50 percent, while the rate for improvement could be halved.In that case, the owner would pay $2,790 in land taxes and $930 for improvements — keeping the total to $3,720.

But here’s the payoff: The owner’s tax bill under that scheme would climb another $2,790 if he purchased a second lot with a taxable value of $10,000 — but by only $930 if he used that money toward building.Thus, hoarding would be discouraged; development encouraged.

The two-tier property tax has a proven record of success. In 1979, Pittsburgh began taxing land at a rate six times higher than improvements. In the ensuing decade, building permits increased by 70.4 percent.

Via: Nesi’s Notes


Continue Reading →

2

News & Notes

TriMet: MAX and Bus on Portland Mall

MAX train and bus in Portland, OR. Photo (cc) TriMet.

→ The Atlantic Cities: Can Light Rail Carry a City’s Transit System?

We often think of light rail as a single component of a larger transit system, but if it’s done right it can just as soon serve as the foundation. Since 1981 a dozen American cities have built light rail lines atop bus-only systems. In five of them — Dallas, Portland, Sacramento, Salt Lake City, and San Diego — light rail now accounts for at least 30 percent of all transit ridership in the metropolitan area, even as it covers less than that much service space in the region.

Thompson and Brown settled on three key factors in the success of these systems. First, a great light rail system anchors a transit network that’s dispersed throughout a metro area. Second, it acts as an express regional alternative to the local bus network. And third, it promotes transfers between the bus and rail systems. The researchers believe these traits can serve as guides for future light rail planners “by setting forth attributes that these services need to possess in order to attract substantial ridership.”


→ Boston.com: Car-free commuting push pays off in Kendall Square

Doug Taylor used to get to work the way most Americans do, driving alone. Then he switched jobs to one of the many Kendall Square companies that offer financial incentives for employees to leave their cars at home. After trying the commuter rail, the 48-year-old Medford resident soon discovered he could pocket even more by biking.

Taylor is part of a set of statistics so surprising it looks like a mistake. ­Despite the rapid expansion in and around Kendall Square in the last ­decade — the neighborhood absorbed a 40 percent increase in commercial and institutional space, adding 4.6 million square feet of development — automobile traffic actually dropped on major streets, with vehicle counts falling as much as 14 percent.

Not for nothing but, modern day Kendall Square is a model City and State leaders are looking toward in regards to the (so-called) Knowledge District. Though leaders have not been looking enough at the transportation aspects of the area.


Continue Reading →

0
Link

Boston.com: Construction report: 10 projects that will change the innovation landscape in Boston and Cambridge

If you drive around Boston and Cambridge, you can’t help but notice that the construction cranes are clustered in three neighborhoods these days: Kendall Square, the Innovation District, and Longwood Medical Center.

What exactly will be in all those new buildings? Here’s my report on ten projects, all currently underway, that will upgrade our city’s innovation infrastructure. You’ll notice that most of it is being driven by life sciences companies like Biogen and Novartis, and also healthcare delivery institutions like Boston Childrens Hospital.

Let’s get some of those cranes down to Providence!

0

New Downtown Zoning Regulations Signed

Jewelry District Built Out

Jewelry District and 195 Land Built Out. Click Image to Enlarge.

Mayor Taveras Announced New, Streamlined Zoning Regulations for Knowledge District

Simplified, predictable zoning plan provides guideline for development of I-195 land and downtown Providence into vibrant, mixed-use economic corridor

PROVIDENCE, RI – Mayor Angel Taveras today announced new city zoning regulations that provide simple, predictable guidelines for development of the Interstate 195 land and downtown Providence.

The new zoning regulations will be implemented by both the city and the I-195 Redevelopment District Commission charged with overseeing development of 22 acres of land made available in the heart of Rhode Island’s capital city into a thriving Knowledge District of academic and health care institutions, research and development companies, residences and other uses, linked together by a network of open space.

“The relocation of I-195 and new development downtown is an incredible opportunity for Providence to attract new businesses, open up new revenue-generating property, and build a stronger economy in Providence and Rhode Island,” said Mayor Taveras. “Providence’s new zoning plan clears red tape and gives developers and business owners a more predictable path forward as we work with our academic and health care institutions and our partners at the State House to grow Providence’s Knowledge District into a 21st century economic engine.”

Continue Reading →

1

195 Redevelopment District Commission Meeting – January 30, 2012

A meeting of the I-195 Redevelopment District Commission will be held at the offices of Rhode Island Economic Development Corporation, 315 Iron Horse Way, Suite 101, Providence, Rhode Island, on MONDAY, January 30, 2012, beginning at 2:00 p.m., for the following purposes:

Public Session

  1. For presentation and discussion regarding the national and regional real estate market.
  2. For presentation and discussion regarding activities and/or plans of Johnson & Wales University, Lifespan, Care New England, and Brown University in and around the Knowledge District, downtown activity and local market conditions.
  3. For presentation and discussion of best practices and examples from other markets

6

News & Notes

kendall split

Kendall Square in Cambridge. Photo (cc) Lucy Orloski.

News & Notes→ MIT injecting life into Kendall Square [Boston.com]

For all of its success as a center of commerce, Kendall Square in Cambridge remains something of an urban desert, with unused spaces and buildings isolated by wide streets, exaggerating the sense of emptiness.

In discussing the so-called “Knowledge District” in Providence, I am all the time saying I don’t want to see us make the mistake of creating another Kendall Square.

“MIT’s proposed new development has the potential to transform Kendall Square into a vibrant dynamic place where the activity at the ground is as cutting-edge as the science above,” said Cambridge’s city manager, Robert Healy.

We have the opportunity to learn from Kendall Square and get the right mix from the get go, not have to fix it later.

See also: Harvard looks to private partners to jump start development in North Allston. A model for Providence? [GC:PVD]


→ Experts struggle to express direness of infrastructure problem to a wary public [The Washington Post]

Alaska’s bridge to nowhere is so seared in the minds of voters as the epitome of wasteful federal spending that experts say hardly anyone is willing to pay more to revitalize the nation’s aging highways, bridges and transit systems.

Despite dire warnings that a cancer is eating away the networks that carry people from place to place and goods to market, there is little urgency among the American people or political will in tight times on Capitol Hill to address the issue.


Continue Reading →

0

City Plan Commission Meeting, November 15

City Plan Commission

Notice of Regular Meeting
Tuesday, November 15, 2011 – 4:45pm
Department of Planning and Development
1st Floor Meeting Room
444 Westminster Street, Providence

OPENING SESSION

  • Call to Order
  • Roll Call
  • Approval of meeting minutes from October 18th 2011 – for action
  • Director’s Report – Update on the Downtown Knowledge District Study and zoning of the I-195 East Side parcels

PROVIDENCE TOMORROW

1. Comprehensive Plan Update
Presentation of proposed updates to Providence Tomorrow: The Interim Comprehensive Plan based on the results of neighborhood charrettes and public input – for discussion.

CITY COUNCIL REFERRAL

2. Referral 3341 – Petition for underground easement on Thayer Street
Petition for underground easement measuring approximately 230 SF for installation and maintenance of underground conduits and utilities servicing buildings at 315 and 300 Thayer Street. – for action. (College Hill, AP 13 Lot 16 and AP 10 Lot 577)

Continue Reading →

0

Providence Downtown – Knowledge District Development Framework study Community Meeting, October 26

Downtown - Knowledge District Development Framework Study

The Providence Department of Planning and Development (DPD) is pleased to announce that the third Community Meeting for the Providence Downtown – Knowledge District Development Framework study will be held on Wednesday, October 26, 2011. Please join us as we present the draft development framework and preliminary zoning recommendations for Downtown and the Knowledge District, and solicit your input and ideas.

Community Meeting: Providence Downtown – Knowledge District Development Framework study
Wednesday, October 26, 2011 • 5:30pm – 7:00pm
Meeting Location:
444 Westminster Street, first floor
Providence, RI 02903

Continue Reading →

0

City plan for streamlining development Downtown and in the “Knowledge District”

The Mayor’s office today issues a press release outlining their plans for streamlining the redevelopment of the Route 195 land, Downtown, the Hospital District, and the Jewelry District:

Taveras Enacts Plan for Streamlining I-195 Development

Public and private sector stakeholders will work with federally funded design firm to create comprehensive, streamlined zoning and planning regulations for land made available through relocation of I-195

PROVIDENCE -Mayor Angel Taveras today announced that his administration will put into place a transparent and efficient process to create new comprehensive zoning and planning regulations for all of downtown Providence, with a special emphasis on maximizing the economic opportunities of land made available by the relocation of I-195.

Since work on the I-195 project began in earnest in 2002, City and State leadership have explored a series of ideas for fully maximizing the value of an unprecedented opportunity to reshape the Providence City skyline. Taveras’ effort will streamline the development process of the I-195 properties and reduce barriers to development of approximately 20 acres of property.

Continue Reading →

2