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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

garrahy-garage-bing

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

169-Canal-1-canalelevation

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

grace-church

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

ljubljana- flickr

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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Providence shop local campaign and free holiday parking

holiday-parking

From the Mayor’s Office:


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

PROVIDENCE, RI – Mayor Jorge Elorza today joined local businesses owners and representatives from the Greater Providence Chamber of Commerce to kick-off the #ThinkPVD campaign encouraging residents and visitors to “think, shop and buy locally” in the City this holiday season.

“When you shop this holiday season, I ask that you not only to buy local when buying gifts for loved ones but to “#ThinkPVD in every aspect of your purchases,” said Mayor Jorge Elorza. “This Saturday as we celebrate Small Business Saturday nationwide– I encourage you to take advantage of the amazing Providence based shops and restaurants we have here in the creative capital.”

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Local News & Notes

sga-south-street-landing-parking-garage

Proposed South Street Landing parking garage. Rendering by Spagnolo Gisness & Associates, Inc.

I’ve been quite busy offline the last few weeks. Here’s a selection of local stories I’ve been trying to catch myself up on:


masslive.com New MBTA ‘bullet trains’ will get riders from Worcester to Boston in less than an hour

Riding the rails from Worcester to Boston should take less time come May. Lt. Gov. Karyn Polito on Wednesday announced the addition of a non-stop bullet train and two additional express trains on the Worcester/Framingham line.

“This is a game changer,” Polito said, referring to it as a quality of life issue. “For the first time ever, a non-stop train leaves Worcester and arrives in Boston in less than an hour.

Can the Providence line haz ‘bullet trains’ too pleaz?


The Providence Journal Fed-ordered drainage work will cost RIDOT $112 million

Faced with a consent decree requiring it to comply with federal clean water rules, the Rhode Island Department of Transportation has budgeted $112 million over the next decade to clean and repair its ailing network of drainage systems around the state.

DOT director Peter Alviti said the state agency plans to annually spend between $6.6 million and $16.8 million on drainage improvements as part of its 10-year strategic plan in a bid to correct years of inaction and reduce the amount of polluted stormwater that flows into Narragansett Bay and other local water bodies from state roads.

Look back to 2013 when Save The Bay highlighted the issue that surface run-off, not sewer overflow was what was most contributing to beach closures that year. RIDOT didn’t even know where it’s run-off was coming from, while we, the Narragansett Bay Commission rate-payers, are paying crazy sewer bills for a giant pipe to hold our poo.


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City Plan Commission Meeting – October 20, 2015

City Plan Commission Meeting
Tuesday, October 20, 2015 – 4:45pm
444 Westminster Street, First Floor

cpc-roundOpening Session

  • Call to Order
  • Roll Call
  • Approval of minutes from September 15 meeting – for action
  • Director’s Report

City Council Referral

1. Referral 3398 – 304-316 Branch Ave (Zone Change) – The petitioner is requesting that the properties at 304-316 Branch Ave and 19 Metcalf Street be rezoned from from C-1 to C-2 – for action (Charles, AP 71 Lot 563 and AP 74 Lots 1,3,8 and 9)

2. Referral 3399 – Zoning Ordinance Amendment – Flood Hazard Areas – Amendment of the zoning ordinance to delete Section 1105 Special Flood Hazard Areas and associated definitions in Section 200 – definition of general terms – for action

3. Referral 3400 – 19 and 21 Planet Street (Zone Change) – The petitioner is requesting to rezone AP 12 lots 32 and 303 from R-2 to C-2 – for action (College Hill)

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City Plan Commission Meeting – September 15, 2015

City Plan Commission Meeting
Tuesday, September 15, 2015 – 4:45pm
444 Westminster Street, First Floor

cpc-roundOpening Session

  • Call to Order
  • Roll Call
  • Approval of minutes from August 18 meeting – for action
  • Director’s Report

City Council Referral

1. Referral 3396 – 177 Everett Ave (Zone Change) – The petitioner is requesting that the property at 177 Everett Ave be included within the Historic District overlay and be included with the Providence Landmarks District – for action (Blackstone, AP 86 Lot 619)

2. Referral 3397 – 11 Biltmore Ave (Zone Change) – The petitioner is requesting that the lot at 11 Biltmore Ave be rezoned from R-2 to C-1 – for action (Elmhurst, AP 117 Lot 435)

Minor Subdivision

3. Case No. 15-034MI – 457-471 Angell Street (Preliminary Plan) – The applicant is requesting to subdivide the subject lot measuring approximately 22,891 SF into two lots measuring 16,799 SF and 6,093 SF respectively – for action (Wayland, AP 14 Lot 593)

Major Land Development Project – Public Hearing

4. Case No. 15-032 MA – 75 Virginia Ave (Master and Preliminary Plan) – The applicant is proposing to develop an 81 space parking lot to be used by neighboring businesses. Landscaping and drainage measures are proposed. The applicant is requesting to combine master and preliminary plan stages of review – for action (Washington Park AP 58 Lot 790)

Adjournment

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News & Notes

pedestrians

Image (cc) pedbikeimages.org by Barbara Gossett

CityLab: The Real Downtown ‘Parking Problem’: There’s Too Much of It

It’s not unusual for people to worry about parking in places where they totally don’t need to worry about parking. The consultancy Nelson\Nygaard recently surveyed parking availability in 27 mixed-use districts across the U.S. and found that parking supply exceeded demand by an average of 65 percent. In nine areas where parking was thought to be scarce, the oversupply ranged from 6 to 82 percent.


Vox: Houston just dramatically improved its mass transit system without spending a dime

How is Houston able to pull that off with no additional funding?

Well, as Jarrett Walker, one of the plan’s lead designers, explains, it’s all about prioritizing routes that will plausibly attract riders. The old system, like many bus routes in the United States, expended a lot of resources on very low-ridership routes for the sake of saying there’s “a bus that goes there.” The new plan says the focus should be to provide reasonably frequent service on routes where reasonably frequent service will attract riders. That does mean that some people are further than ever from a transit stop. But it means that many more Houstonians will find themselves near a useful transit stop.

Focusing transit planning on the goal of promoting transit services that are actually used strikes me as common sense. But it’s also the best way to create a virtuous circle of sound urban planning and transportation management. A system with a lot of riders is a system with a lot of advocates for expansion and improvement.


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