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Downtown Design Review Committee Meeting – April 14, 2014

narrow-building

The George C. Arnold (“Narrow”) Building on Washington Street.

Downtown Design Review Committee
Monday, April 14, 2014 – 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 March 10,2014
  • Annual Election of Vice Chair

New Business

1. DRC Application No. 14.4: 250 Westminster Street (Alice Building) Proposal by Cornish Associates to replace the existing window system with a new window system, and to install a new awning system on the Union Street elevation of the building.

Full disclosure: I work for Cornish Associates.

2. DRC Application No. 14.5: 100 Washington Street (Arnold Building) Proposal by David Stem to restore the entire building, including the installation of new storefronts on the Washington Street elevation.

Adjournment

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City announces transfer of ownership, redevelopment of the ‘Narrow Building’

narrow-building

I almost made this a What Cheer for 2013, but it all didn’t quite come together before the end of the year. If the renovations go forward as planned, expect to see a What Cheer for this project in 2014.


From the City:

Providence Transfers Ownership of Historic Arnold Building for Redevelopment

Top 5 Priority of Mayor Taveras’ Economic Development Action Plan; Mayor applauds action to redevelop key downtown property.

The Providence Redevelopment Agency (PRA) has transferred ownership of the historic and vacant George C. Arnold Building at 94-100 Washington Street and the City is providing $220,000 in federal block grant funding to help jumpstart the building’s redevelopment.

Mayor Angel Taveras praised the transfer of the building to a public-private entity for redevelopment. Removing barriers to redevelopment is a top goal of Mayor Taveras’ 20-point economic development action plan, Putting Providence Back to Work.

“This is a new beginning for downtown Providence’s historic Arnold Building,” Mayor Taveras said. “The collaboration of the PRA, Providence Revolving Fund, Providence Historic District Commission and the owners demonstrates what we can accomplish when we work together to revitalize historic buildings and grow our economy.”

The project is to be developed by 100 Washington Street LLC. Developers Dave Stem and Lori Quinn and the Providence Revolving Fund are partners in the project. The developers plan to restore the historic structure and construct three residential apartments and two ground-floor commercial spaces, eliminating a long-standing blight in the heart of the city’s business district.

Continue Reading →

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WPRI: Providence seeks to seize control of Arnold Building

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George C. Arnold Building (aka The Narrow Building), photo by Jef Nickerson

The Providence City Council is set to give Mayor Angel Taveras the green light to seize a landmark downtown building that’s been decaying for years.

The council’s Ordinance Committee voted unanimously on Tuesday to allow the Providence Redevelopment Agency to take over the George C. Arnold Building on Washington Street – potentially by eminent domain, a legal option that’s been rarely used in Providence in recent years.

The full council will vote Thursday on the measure, which would allow the agency to acquire the narrow, three-story structure by purchasing it or exercising its power of eminent domain.

Read the whole article to see Former Mayor Paolino still harping on how it should be torn down and how “they” shoulda let him build a parking garage there years ago.

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City Plan Commission Meeting – May 21, 2013

City Plan Commission Meeting
Tuesday, May 21, 2013 – 4:45pm
444 Westminster Street, First Floor

cpc-roundOpening Session

  • Call to Order
  • Roll Call
  • Approval of minutes from April 23, 2013 meeting – for action
  • Director’s Report

City Council Referral

1. Referral 3362 – Petition for zone change from R-2 to M-1 at 230 Carolina Ave. Petition to rezone the property at 230 Carolina Ave from R-2 to M-1 subject to the use of the property being restricted to parking – for action (AP 58 lots 704-724, 726 and 730, Washington Park)

2. Referral 3363 – An ordinance in amendment of the Downtown Providence Renewal Official Redevelopment Plan Review of the amendment, which proposes acquisition and redevelopment of the building at 94 Washington Street, for conformance with the Comprehensive Plan – for action (AP 25 Lot 354, Downtown)

The “Narrow Building

3. Referral 3364 – Petition to abandon a portion of Beach Ave. Petition to abandon the portion of Beach Ave along the eastern edge of the property at AP 17 Lot 416 – for action (Fox Point)

Beach Avenue appears to be a paper street which runs along the Seekonk Riverfront from the Gano Street off-ramp from 195 to Fremont Street. Lot 416 sits along Gano Street between the off-ramp and East Transit Street. The existence of that street would allow for public access to the water.

Minor Land Development Project

4. Case No. 13-014 MI – 207 Waterman Street (Preliminary Plan Stage) The applicant is proposing to demolish the existing building to construct a four story (50 feet), 30 unit multifamily development on a lot measuring approximately 11,677 SF. The applicant is proposing to provide 23 internal parking spaces, 45 are required. The development will require dimensional relief from height, parking and density requirements – for action (AP 14 Lot 516, Wayland)

Adjournment

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Narrow Building better secured

narrow-building

The ground floor of the Narrow Building has been pretty much wide open for weeks now, allowing anyone to enter and “accidentally” start a fire, or oops get hurt, and then result in the building being declared a “public safety hazard.” I reported it to the City a few weeks ago and am glad to see that someone has finally done something to tighten up the building. The result is ugly as hell, but the building keeps being real close to be redeveloped, it would be tragic for something to happen to it.

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Providence Preservation Society 2012 Ten Most Endangered Properties

This week the Providence Preservation Society announced their 2012 list of the city’s Ten Most Endangered Properties.

  • George C. Arnold Building (“The Narrow Building”)
  • Jerothmul B. Barnaby House (“Barnaby’s Castle”)
  • Flower Shop and Green House at 398 Hope Street
  • Foreclosed Multifamily Housing Stock
  • Cathedral of St. John
  • Kendrick-Prentice-Tirocchi House
  • Narragansett Electric Lighting (Dynamo House)
  • former Rhode Island Department of Transportation Headquarters and Garage
  • Roger Williams Park Seal House
  • Ward Baking Company Administration Building

Find more information about each building and the Providence Preservation Society website.

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Downcity Design Review Committee Meeting – November 14, 2011

Narrow Building

George C. Arnold (aka Narrow) Building

Notice of Regular Meeting
Monday, November 14, 2011 – 4:45pm
Department of Planning and Development
1st Floor Meeting Room
444 Westminster Street, Providence

Agenda

Opening Session

  • Call to Order
  • Roll Call
  • Approval of Meeting Minutes of September 12, 2011 and October 17, 2011

New Business

1. DRC Application No. 11.18: 100 Washington Street (George C. Arnold Building) Continued review of the proposal to restore the building, including the installation of new storefronts.

Continue Reading →

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Downcity Design Review Committee Meeting (Narrow Building) – October 17, 2011

Narrow Building

George C. Arnold (aka Narrow) Building

NOTICE OF REGULAR MEETING
Monday, October 17, 2011 – 4:45pm
Department of Planning and Development
1st Floor Meeting Room
444 Westminster Street, Providence, RI 02903

Agenda

Opening Session

  • Call to Order
  • Roll Call
  • Approval of Meeting Minutes of August 15, 2011 and September 12, 201

New Business

DRC Application No. 11.18: 100 Washington Street (George C. Arnold Building)
Proposal to restore the building, including the installation of new storefronts.

Adjournment


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Fire in the Narrow Building!

There was a fire in The Narrow Building on Washington Street this afternoon.

narrow-bldg-fire-001

narrow-bldg-fire-002

narrow-bldg-fire-003

Photos by Jef Nickerson

I took these photos around 5:45pm and the fire seemed to be out. Mathewson, Washington, and Union Streets were shut down and the URI Building had been evacuated. No word on the cause or amount of damage. Work had been taking place in the building in recent weeks.

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