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City announces free parking for local shopping for the holiday season, #ThinkPVD

think-pvd-elorza

Photo from the Mayor’s Office

From the Mayor’s Office:


Mayor Elorza Relaunches #ThinkPVD Campaign, Free Holiday Parking for Shoppers

Mayor Jorge Elorza today joined local businesses representatives and community members to relaunch Providence’s #ThinkPVD campaign encouraging residents and visitors to “think, shop, and buy locally” in the City this holiday season.

“This Saturday as we celebrate Small Business Saturday nationwide – I encourage you to take advantage of the amazing local shops and restaurants we have here in Providence,” said Mayor Jorge Elorza. “As you shop this holiday season and throughout the year, I ask that you support our business community by continuing to #ThinkPVD when making all of your purchases.” This is the second year of the #ThinkPVD campaign which aims to build upon the success of Small Business Saturday by promoting celebration and support of the local economy.

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Atwells at Knight – Proposed Mixed-Use Building on Federal Hill

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Rendering of Atwells at Knight by Northeast Collaborative Architects

At their November 15th meeting, the City Plan Commission will be reviewing a proposal to construct a 5-story building with ground floor commercial with apartments on the upper-floors at 434 Atwells Avenue on Federal Hill. The proposed project contains 40 parking spaces partially enclosed and partially in an open surface lot.

The CPC’s agenda item:

The applicant is requesting master plan approval to construct a mixed use development in the C-1 zone that will provide forty residential units, forty internal parking spaces and retail space on the ground floor. A height of 50 feet and five stories is proposed. The applicant is seeking a dimensional adjustment from the 45 feet, 4 story height limit of the zone and an adjustment for two parking spaces – for action (AP 28 Lot 150 – 9,993 SF, AP 33 Lot 508 – 10,353 SF, Federal Hill)

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Capital Center Commission Meeting – November 9, 2016

Capital Center Commission Meeting
Wednesday, November 9, 2016 – 12:00 noon
Doorley Municipal Building
444 Westminster Street, 1st Floor Conference Room Providence, RI 02903

ccc-roundAgenda

  1. 1. Roll Call
  2. 2. Minutes
    Meetings of June 15, 2016 and July 27, 2016
  3. 3. State Parking Study
    Presentation by Gerald Salzman of Desman Parking Specialists on the progress of the parking study.
  4. 4. Chairman’s Report
  5. 5. Adjournment
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News & Notes

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Residential parking. Photo (cc) Laura Bittner

The New York Times: Actually, Many ‘Inner Cities’ Are Doing Great

“Inner city,” in short, is imprecise in describing today’s urban reality. It captures neither the true geography of poverty or black America, nor the quality of life in many communities in central cities. But politically, its 1970s-era meaning lingers.


The Boston Globe: ‘Inner cities’ are a solution, not a problem

The current GOP presidential nominee talks about urban America in similarly apocalyptic terms. “Inner-city crime is reaching record levels,” he’s insisted, even though rates of violence in most cities have plunged over a generation. “You walk down the street, you get shot,” he said in Monday’s debate.

It’s not just Trump. The stereotype of “inner cities” as hopeless pits of chaos and despair still resonates with lots of anxious exurbanites who seldom venture downtown. It’s code language that pulls public policy in the wrong direction. It also draws attention away from the role that cities could play in making the entire economy stronger.


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City Plan Commission Meeting – October 18, 2016

holiday-inn-pine-street

Rendering of Holiday Inn Express proposed for Pine Street.

Providence City Plan Commission Notice of Regular Meeting
Tuesday, October 18, 2016, 4:45pm
Joseph Doorley Municipal Building, 1st Floor Meeting Room
444 Westminster Street, Providence, RI 02903

cpc-roundOpening Session

  • Call to Order
  • Roll Call
  • Approval of minutes from the September 20, 2016 meeting – for action
  • Director’s Report

Minor Subdivision

1. Case No. 16-042 MI – 25 Balton Road – The applicant is proposing to subdivide a lot in the R-1A zone measuring 40,750 SF into five lots. Two of the lots will measure approximately 8,750 SF. The other lots will approximately measure 7,727 SF, 8,024 SF and 7,500 SF – for action (AP 93 Lot 347, Blackstone)

Major Land Development Project Public Hearing

2. Case No. 16-043MA – 148 West River Street – The applicant is requesting a major change/amendment to an approved plan. The CPC approved a two (2) story 12,000 SF addition and atrium to a medical office building in September 2016, which the applicant is proposing to alter to a three (3) story 17,000 SF atrium and addition. The property is zoned M-1 – for action (AP 100 Lots 15 and 49, Mt. Hope)

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ProJo: Plans for six story apartment building by Providence train station move forward

Rendering of ‘The Commons at Providence Station’ as it was proposed in 2014

Plans are proceeding for a multi-story apartment building by Canal Street downtown that would be built on land by Providence Station and across from the Roger Williams National Memorial, according to documents filed with the city’s planning department.

The developer, Capital Cove Development LLC, has applied to the Building Board of Review Review for a variance to allow construction. The application describes the planned structure as six stories high, with the first two floors used as parking, with 169 spaces.

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City Plan Commission Meeting – August 16, 2016

Providence City Plan Commission Notice of Regular Meeting
Tuesday, August 16, 2016, 4:45pm
Joseph Doorley Municipal Building, 1st Floor Meeting Room
444 Westminster Street, Providence, RI 02903

cpc-roundOpening Session

  • Call to Order
  • Roll Call
  • Approval of minutes from the July 19, 2016 meeting – for action
  • Director’s Report

City Council Referral

1. Referral 3406 – Petition to abandon Tanyard Lane – The petitioner, One Neighborhood Builders, is requesting to abandon Tanyard Lane for its’ inclusion within a development proposed by the applicant. The applicant owns the lots surrounding the street – for action (Manton)

2. Referral 3407 – Rezoning of 10 Swift Street – The petitioner is requesting to rezone 10 Swift Street from R-2 to C-3 – for action (AP 77 Lot 301, Charles)

Institutional Master Plan

3. Rhode Island School of Design (RISD) Institutional Master Plan (IMP) amendment – RISD is proposing to amend their IMP to reflect expansion of the sculpture and glass programs. The amendment also includes updates on campus development since the last IMP amendment – for action

Major Land Development Project Public Hearing

4. Case No. 16-039 MA – 550 Veazie Street – The applicant is proposing to construct a single story building providing approximately 20,000 SF of space to be used as a self-storage facility. The building will be adjacent to an existing self-storage facility. The applicant is requesting to combine master and preliminary plan stages of review – for action (AP 78 Lot 450, Wanskuck)

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Rhode Island Assembly, Speeds Approval for Parking Garage, No Money for Commuter Rail Station

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Location of proposed Garrahy Parking Garage

In wee-hours of Saturday morning, the Rhode Island General Assembly passed a bill to speed the construction of a parking garage in Providence, but failed to provide funding for a proposed commuter rail station in Pawtucket / Central Falls.


The Providence Journal: R.I. House passes bill to speed garage project by Providence courthouse

A bill speeding construction of a $45 million parking garage next to the Garrahy Judicial Complex downtown passed the House Friday night and is one step from clearing the General Assembly.

Requested by the I-195 Redevelopment District Commission to advance a planned life sciences development, the bill would eliminate a requirement that the commission reach agreements to sell three parcels of the property it controls on the former interstate highway land before the garage would be built.

[…]

Instead of requiring three purchase-and-sales agreements on the I-195 land before the garage could be built, the bill would require Wexford/CV to lease at least 400 parking spaces.

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Capital Center Commission Meeting – June 15, 2016

Capital Center Commission Meeting
Meeting Notice – Wednesday, June 15, 2016 – 12:00 noon
Doorley Municipal Building
444 Westminster Street, 1st Floor Conference Room
Providence, RI 02903

ccc-roundAgenda

  1. Roll Call
  2. Minutes – Meeting of April 13, 2016
  3. Parcel 3S: One Citizens Plaza – Proposal to install a new exterior door, stair and landing on the east side of the building
  4. Parcels 3E and 3W: parking lots – Proposal to install new urban landscaping
  5. Parcel 1: Union Station Parking Lot – Request for Extension of Parking Attendant Booth and Pylon Sign Approvals
  6. Parcel 15: RI Credit Union – Request for Extension of Parking Approval
  7. FY 2016 Budget
  8. Other Business
    • Providence Foundation Letter
    • Presentation on Restructuring Design Review Regulations
  9. Adjournment
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City Plan Commission Meeting – May 17, 2016

Providence City Plan Commission Notice of Regulare Meeting
TUESDAY, MAY 17, 2016, 4:45 PM
Joseph Doorley Municipal Building, 1st Floor Meeting Room
444 Westminster Street, Providence, RI 02903

cpc-roundOpening Session

  • Call to Order
  • Roll Call
  • Approval of minutes from the April 26, 2016 meeting – for action
  • Director’s Report

Major Land Development Project Public Hearing

1. Case No. 16-006MA – 249 Thayer Street – The applicant is seeking preliminary plan approval to demolish an existing building at 249 Thayer Street and construct a five story building providing for a mix of uses including a restaurant, commercial, and residential space. An extension of the sidewalk for provision of public space is also proposed. The applicant is seeking a dimensional adjustment from the 50 foot/four story height limit in the C-2 zone, proposing a building height of 57 feet and five stories – for action (AP 13 Lot 49, College Hill)

Minor Subdivion

2. Case No. 16-026 MI – 348-R Woodward Road – The applicant is proposing to subdivide a lot measuring approximately 65,340 SF into three lots measuring 43,560 SF and two lots measuring 10,316 SF. No street creation is proposed as part of the subdivision – for action (AP 78 Lot 372, Wanskuck)

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Capital Center Commission Meeting – April 13, 2016

Capital Center Commission Meeting Notice
Wednesday, APRIL 13, 2016 – 12:00 Noon
Doorley Municipal Building
444 Westminster Street, 1st Floor Conference Room Providence, RI 02903

ccc-roundAgenda

  1. Roll Call
  2. Minutes
    2.1 Approval of Commission Meeting Minutes of January 13, 2016 and March 9, 2016
    2.2 Acceptance of Design Review Committee Meeting Minutes of December 15, 2015 and February 16, 2016
  3. Parcels 10 and 13: Providence Place Mall
    Request for approval of Phases 2 and 3 of the proposed improvement plan for sidewalk and landscape modifications along the mall’s frontage on Francis Street, and proposed changes to the former JC Penny building façade (south elevation) and Park Street and Hayes Street garage entrances. Phase 1 of the improvement plan was approved by the Commission at the March 9, 2016 meeting.
  4. Adjournment
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Proposed building at 169 Canal Street

Developer Charles Tapalian is presenting plans for a new 10-story residential building at 169 Canal Street at the Downtown Design Review Committee meeting on March 14th.

The 10-story building would contain 144 studio and one-bedroom apartments with ground floor retail. It appears to be targeting the student market. As far as I can tell, the plan is for no on-site parking with ample bike parking provided within the building.

This is an informational meeting only, the DRC will be offering opinions on the proposal, but no approvals will be given. The developer is presenting two options for the new building. The architect is Jo Ann Bentley Architects of Fall River.

Option 1

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Elevation along Canal Street

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Downtown Design Review Committee Meeting – March 14, 2016

Proposed buildings on two surface parking lots

Downtown Design Review Committee
NOTICE OF REGULAR MEETING
MONDAY, MARCH 14, 2016 4:45 PM
Joseph A. Doorley, Jr. Municipal Building
444 Westminster Street, 1st Floor Conference Room Providence, RI 02903

drc-roundOpening Session

  • Call to Order
  • Roll Call
  • Approval of Meeting Minutes of January 11, 2016 and Special Meeting Minutes of February 16, 2016

New Business

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Parking lot next to Grace Church along Westminster Street – Image from Google

1. DRC Application No. 16.05: 175 Mathewson Street (Grace Church) – Proposal by Grace Church to construct a new parish hall addition and stair tower.

2. DRC Application No. 16.06: 92 Dorrance Street (Dorrance Building) – The applicant is requesting approval for a sign installed on the Dorrance Street elevation of the building. The work was completed without DRC review.

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News & Notes

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Ljubljana – Photo (cc) Gilad Rom

BuzzFeed News It Will Soon Be More Expensive To Jaywalk Than To Drink And Drive In Nova Scotia

This year the province is upping its fines for jaywalking to $700 for a first offence. It’s $1,272 for a second offence and a whopping $2,422 for a third offence.

[…]

Ultimately, said [Ben] Wedge [chair of the Halifax Cycling Coalition], pedestrians are already careful because they know that they’re the ones who are going to be injured in a collision, not the driver.

“The punishment has to be proportional to the crime committed,” he said.


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Scott Douglass: Why you should care about Brown’s surface parking lot

thayer-street-1990-flickr-will-hart

Thayer Street in 1990. (cc) Will Hart

Scott Douglass is a South Coast Massachusetts native living and working in Providence. Currently collaborating with Boston based urban design and architecture company Principle Group LLC. Scott is an Alumnus of both the Providence Country Day School and the University of Miami School of Architecture.

It has become fashionable to bemoan the pacification of Thayer street in recent years. The Nostalgia that a gritty district known for variety stores and record shops engenders is impressive, although it speaks largely to the quality of the Urban fabric which allowed it to thrive. There are no Thayer streets popping up in shopping malls. in fact, Thayer street has remained a pleasant destination even as the grit and hipness has faded. Even in its more recent role as the food court for RISD and Brown, it has retained its fine grained collection of prewar shops and houses which have incubated the charm which made it a destination in the first place.

Recognizing that the greatest asset the Thayer Street area possesses is its character, it lays in the hands of the stewards of the community to protect and enhance this character over time.

This is not to say that Thayer Street must be as a fly in amber, in fact, many large developments fostered by Brown over the last 20 years have done an adequate job at tiptoeing around their context. In fact some buildings, like the Nelson Fitness Center, have improved upon their context and healed a wound on the edge of one of the largest unstructured parks in the East Side, Pembroke Field.

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City Plan Commission Meeting – January 19, 2016

Providence City Plan Commission Notice of Regular Meeting
TUESDAY, JANUARY 19, 2016, 4:45 PM
Joseph Doorley Municipal Building, 1st Floor Meeting Room
444 Westminster Street, Providence, RI 02903

cpc-roundOpening Session

  • Call to Order
  • Roll Call
  • Approval of minutes from December15 regular meeting and December 1 special meeting – for action
  • Election of Officers – for action
  • Director’s Report

Institutional Master Plan

1. Brown University Institutional Master Plan Amendment – Presentation of amendment to Brown University’s Institutional Master Plan. The amendment includes creation of new parking space and improvements to certain athletic facilities. A special use permit will be required for the proposed parking – for action (College Hill)

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ProJo: Brown plans to knock down 7 College Hill buildings for new parking lot

Brown University intends to flatten half of a city block near Thayer Street in the College Hill neighborhood to create a commercial parking lot.

In an amendment to the school’s master plan filed with the Providence Planning Department, Brown officials wrote they want to raze seven multifamily houses that the school owns between Cushing Street, Meeting Street and Brook Street. The amendment document calls the two-unit buildings “unsightly.”


I’m just going to leave this collection of Google Streetview images Frank Mullin posted on Facebook right here.

brown-demolitions

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ProJo: Plans for downtown bus hubs proceeding slowly

Video release last year by RIDOT on future plans for transit in the state.

More than a year after Rhode Island voters overwhelmingly approved a $35-million bond for two new downtown bus hubs, state officials are only now beginning to fill in details of the projects.

The future of the transit hubs was a popular topic at a recent public transportation forum, particularly among Providence business leaders who pushed for them and questioned why so little information about them had been made available.

Bonding for a bus hub at the train station in Providence was approved by voters. The possible sub-hub at the proposed Garrahy Courthouse parking garage is being developed by the Convention Center Authority which has the power to raise its own bonds without voter approval.

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