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Tag Archives | Parks/Open Space

I-195 Redevelopment District Commission Meeting – November 15, 2017

Rendering of Kendall Hotel Group’s proposal for Parcel 1A along the Providence River.

A meeting of the I-195 Redevelopment District Commission will be held at Rhode Island Commerce Corporation, 315 Iron Horse Way, Suite 101, Providence, Rhode Island, on Wednesday, November 15, 2017, beginning at 5:00 P.M., for the following purposes:

I. Public Session195-round

  1. Welcoming remarks by Chairperson Davis.
  2. Approval of the Minutes of the Commission meeting held on October 16, 2017.
  3. Executive Director’s Report.
  4. Update and discussion on the proposed development by Waldorf Capital Management on Parcel 30; Vote to consider a reduction in the purchase price for Parcel 30.*
  5. Commission discussion on the possible use of park parcels for ancillary uses such as a visitor’s center and sculpture garden.
  6. Discussion of proposed 2018 Commission meeting schedule.
  7. Vote to ratify the approval of a Level 1 application as submitted by the Kendall Hotel Group for the proposed hotel development on Parcel 1A.*
  8. Chairperson’s Report/Agenda for next meeting on Wednesday, December 11, 2017 at 5:00 P.M.
  9. Vote to Adjourn.

*To the extent then complete, proposed resolutions under agenda items 4 and 7 will be posted on the Commission’s website www.195district.com at 12pm on November 15th.

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ProJo: Bustling recreational destination planned for vacant Shooters site in Providence

Former “Shooters” Building in 2010

Seven years after Rhode Island voters approved buying the former Shooters nightclub site on the Providence waterfront to turn it into a recreational destination, plans to redevelop the vacant lot may finally be inching forward.

The state Department of Environmental Management wants to build a fishing pier, transient boating marina and ferry dock at the site, which the agency purchased for $3.2 million with the proceeds of a 2010 state bond.

The details and budget for these shoreline projects are still being worked out, but DEM Director Janet Coit said Thursday that preliminary plans show a 200-plus-foot, L-shaped fishing pier that could accommodate the Providence-Newport ferry, boat slips and dinghy storage.

Advocates for developing the site hope that finishing plans for the marina will allow action to kick into gear on the long-languishing 1.4-acre land side of the property.

David Dadekian, founder of Eat Drink Rhode Island, hopes to build a public food market on the site, but has so far made only minimal progress and said he needs the state to finish its plans for the entire property before he can seek financing.

This has great potential to be a wonderful attraction for residents and visitors alike. Our options to enjoy the waterfront are sadly limited, and active uses of the waterfront are needed. As lovely as India Point Park is, people want things to do, like eating and drinking.

To truly succeed, the City and State have to commit to maintaing the waterfront. The walk under the highway is a trash strewn and weed overgrown shamehole that no one wants to visit, that needs to change. Also, the Wickenden/Point, South Main, South Water interchange was poorly designed and throws up another barrier to pedestrians and cyclists who want to reach the waterfront. The completion of the Providence River Pedestrian bridge will provide a much needed connection between downtown and the Fox Point waterfront, it needs to be maintained and be safe and attractive.

The maintenance part is where we so often lose the plot around here.

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Groundbreaking for new Playground in Burnside Park

From the Downtown Providence Parks Conservacy:


An ocean of fun is coming to Burnside Park this summer!

We are thrilled to announce that today in Burnside Park, the Downtown Providence Parks Conservancy broke ground on Brandon’s Beach at Burnside Park, a new destination playground for children of all abilities located in the heart of historic Downtown Providence.

The groundbreaking on Brandon’s Beach at Burnside Park marks a significant new investment in Burnside Park, and serves to enhance Greater Kennedy Plaza’s status as a welcoming city center and family destination. The completed playground will be sensory rich, with musical equipment, swings, and spinners. It will be appropriate for toddlers and young children of all abilities.

The DPPC also used the occasion to announce enhancements to the Imagination Center, which features new amenities made possible by a generous grant from the Hasbro Children’s Fund. It will work in concert with the new playground to establish Burnside Park as a compelling draw for families.

“These are major investments that enhance Greater Kennedy Plaza as a thriving, vital city center and destination for Providence residents and visitors,” said DPPC Executive Director Cliff Wood.

Read more to learn about the inspiration and design of the playground, funding sources, and the impact it’s expected to have on the community.

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Community Conversation on the future of Kennedy Plaza – February 16, 2017

From the Mayor’s Office:


Mayor Jorge O. Elorza will be hosting a Citywide Conversation focusing on a long-term vision for Kennedy Plaza. The Mayor will provide remarks on his vision for the space and community members will be able to participate in working groups to provide thoughts, ideas, and feedback.

WHO: Mayor Elorza; Community Members
WHAT: Citywide Conversation on Long-Term Vision for Kennedy Plaza
WHERE: Joseph A Doorley Jr. Municipal Building, 444 Westminster Street, Providence
WHEN: Thursday, February 16, 2017 at 5:00PM

Event listing on Facebook
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ProJo: Pedestrian bridge moving forward in Providence

providence-river-pedestrian-bridge-001

The fate of a long-delayed pedestrian bridge across the Providence River is back on track, after a flurry in recent weeks of negotiations, meetings and budget deliberations.

The Department of Transportation expects to award a bid in October so the bridge can be completed by November 2018, spokeswoman Lisbeth Pettengill told The Providence Journal.

The DOT and the I-195 Redevelopment District Commission are pledging to spend about $6 million more than the DOT’s earlier estimate to build the bridge.

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Boo City at Burnside Music Series + Beer Garden – July 7, 2016

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Boo City – Image courtesy of the Downtown Providence Parks Conservancy © Curt Allan

Canceled due to the imminent risk of severe weather.

The weekly Music Series + Beer Garden kicks off for the season this Thursday at Burnside Park in Kennedy Plaza:


You’ve earned it, Providence: an entire season of afternoons in the park. The sun on your face, the breeze in your hair, a well-deserved drink in your hand, and FREE MUSIC!

Every Thursday this summer from July 7th to September 8th, Burnside Park will be transformed into your favorite restaurant, your family outing, your afternoon date, and your patio bar. Lounge on the grass, grab a bite from your favorite food truck, or sidle up to the tables and chairs at Trinity Brewhouse’s beer garden (open from 4:30-7:30 every Thursday!). Live music from 5:30-7 ensures that your personal dance hall, showspace, and musician’s salon is but a stroll downtown away.

Whether you’re wrapping up work, heading in for your shift, cavorting with friends, or just reveling in something other than winter, join us by the fountain Thursday afternoons. You work hard. You deserve it.

Facebook event page

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PBN: RIDOT moves up Providence River pedestrian bridge schedule

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Rendering of the planned Providence River Pedestrian Bridge

The process for building a pedestrian bridge connecting the two sides of the Providence River in the I-195 redevelopment district, will move forward this month, the R.I. Department of Transportation announced Tuesday.

[…]

The construction schedule, described in a recent reporting by the DOT, would have preliminary work beginning in the fall. Construction of the $13.2 million bridge project is expected to span two seasons, with completion anticipated in early 2018.


Yay!

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Providence Planning Department Neighborhood Planning Survey

From the City of Providence Department of Planning & Development:


square-p-01From 2007-2012, the Department of Planning and Development conducted extensive community outreach as part of the Providence Tomorrow neighborhood planning process. The neighborhood action plans were an important result of that process.

As several years have now passed, we feel that it is important to update the action plans for each neighborhood to make sure that they reflect current goals and issues. These documents will serve as a central repository for all planning-related issues, containing a prioritized list of issues and opportunities specific to each neighborhood including those pertaining to redevelopment, crosswalks and sidewalks, nuisance properties, parks and playgrounds, zoning, parking, schools, public transportation, drainage, historic preservation, and business needs, among many others.

Once the action items are updated to reflect current needs and goals, the Department of Planning + Development will work to identify funding to complete specific projects, build on opportunities that exist, and resolve other issues as needed.

Neighborhood Planning Survey: English | Español
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Local News & Notes

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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.


Continue Reading →

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WPRI: Downtown parks, pedestrian bridge on track after setbacks

providence-river-pedestrian-bridge-001

Plans to build two public parks and a pedestrian bridge in downtown Providence have resumed now that a proposal for a waterfront baseball stadium has fallen through.

State and city officials say they’re refocusing on developing the land, which was cleared after Interstate 195 was relocated. The project, which includes building a pedestrian bridge across the Providence River with a park on each side, has faced several setbacks.

On again, off again, on again…

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News & Notes – PawSox Edition

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PawSox dugout at McCoy Stadium. Photo (cc) Eric Kilby

WPRI: Lucchino responds to skepticism over proposed Providence ballpark

Lucchino, one of the team’s new owners, said the project is a clear economic engine for the local economy, and not just through baseball.

“We have to build a ballpark that has multiple uses, that can attract football and could attract concerts, that can have some art events at the thing,” he said. “Make it an major civic center for Providence.”

[…]

Lucchino believes the new park will not only boost the economy, but also revitalize downtown Providence. He hopes to bring a million people to the capital city by generating small businesses and jobs.


PBN: Pawsox greeted by skeptical I-195 commission and audience

Owners of the Pawtucket Red Sox presented a detailed plan for moving the AAA team to downtown Providence Monday, earning a skeptical if not critical reception from the commission that controls the site the team wants for its new ballpark.

In questions posed during the meeting of the Interstate 195 Redevelopment District Commission, commissioners questioned both the public cost and the tax benefits of the proposed development, and whether the state could find a more effective use for the site to attract highly desirable high-tech or life sciences development to the I-195 lands.

The question of other uses seems odd, so far as I know we still haven’t found a way out of the federal requirement for park land at this location.


Continue Reading →

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I-195 Redevelopment District Commission Parks Design Subcommittee – December 1, 2014

A meeting of the I-195 Redevelopment District Commission Parks Design Subcommittee will be held at Rhode Island Commerce Corporation, 315 Iron Horse Way, Providence, Rhode Island, on MONDAY, DECEMBER 1, 2014, beginning at 4:45pm for the following purposes:

195-roundPublic Session

I-195 Redevelopment Commission: Commissioners John Kelly, Barbara Hunger, Diana Johnson Jan Brodie, Executive Director
Department of Transportation: Lambri Zerva
Architects and Engineers: David Freeman, CDR Maguire
Nina Brown, Brown Richardson Rowe (?) Kelly Carr, BETA (?)

Call to Order

  1. Discussion regarding bridge height and other suggestions relative to River activation, views and pathways – Director Lewis’s letter
  2. Discussion concerning other design issues impacted by item 1, including water feature, river edge terracing.
  3. Other matters that still need resolution before DOT/Designers can proceed beyond 30%.
  4. Vote to Adjourn.
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News & Notes

Rendering of the Boston Public Market

Project for Public Spaces: Boston’s Public Market To Be a Hub for Local Food

PPS’ public markets team has just returned from Boston and is excited to announce that it has begun creating an implementation plan for the first floor of Parcel 7, a MassDOT-owned building that is slated to house a public market. Both local residents and vendors are energized by the decision to re-purpose Parcel 7 into a marketplace that will promote regional food, support the New England economy and foster social integration.

More on Boston’s new public market, set to open in 2015 at their website.

The American Conservative: What to Do With Waterfronts?

Many city waterfronts used to be seedy industrial spaces: Dickensian areas once characterized by water trade and commerce, marked occasionally by squalor or disrepute. But as cities have changed, grown, and gentrified, our waterfronts are changing too.

Nonetheless: changes, even good changes, have consequences. Waterfront projects—be they in wealthy, well-kept communities or in run-down spaces—need a sense of scale and structure in order to foster beneficial growth.

When I wrote about Alexandria’s waterfront project, New Urbanists Peter Katz and Philip Bess both offered a wealth of ideas and tips for excellent, human-scale waterfront development. There were a lot of things we discussed that I simply didn’t have room for in my story—so here are a few “bonus” comments from the two men. They explained five specific ways to help make a waterfront a good New Urbanist space:

I think the best piece of advise in this list is the building it for locals, not tourists. Tourists like local things, but locals do not always like tourist things.


Continue Reading →

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CNU New England: Vision for Greater Kennedy Plaza Walkabout and Panel Discussion – October 15, 2014

kennedy-plaza-historic

Vision for Greater Kennedy Plaza: Walkabout and Panel Discussion

Providence, Rhode Island
Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Please join CNU New England for a walkabout in Providence’s Kennedy Plaza and panel discussion at Aurora to review the progress, programming, and next steps for the Vision for Greater Kennedy Plaza. Through a public-private partnership between the Downtown Providence Parks Conservancy and the City of Providence, this project seeks to create a pedestrian-friendly environment, encourage transit ridership, bolster economic well-being, promote arts and culture, and encourage tourism. The first steps toward implementation of the long-term vision are under construction, so please come join us to discuss what’s next. “Ideas for admission” are encouraged at the door – provide your walkabout observations and thoughts regarding next steps toward implementation of the vision.


Continue Reading →

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ProJo: Wider Washington Bridge bike path across Seekonk River to open in November

washington-bridge-linear-park

An 11-foot-wide bike lane, yet to be paved, runs the length of the bridge from East Providence to Providence. Alongside it, but separate, is a partially poured, stamped-concrete 7-foot-wide path for walkers. At the center and widest part of the span, a small park is taking shape with expansive water views.

In the summer of 2012, the Department of Transportation closed the span — along with its narrow and harrowing path for bikers and walkers — to begin the $21.8-million “linear park” project. More than two years later, it’s expected to reopen, largely on schedule, in November.

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PBN: Long-planned pedestrian bridge closer to reality

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The original winning design scheme for the Providence River Bridge.

The first permanent structure to rise from Providence’s Interstate 195 lands almost certainly won’t be a new office or apartment building, but the long-planned pedestrian bridge crossing the Providence River.

After four years of planning, the 330-foot-long arc connecting new parks planned for both sides of the river is now nearly ready for bids from construction contractors.

[…]

“We are at 30 percent design and on schedule for the project to be bid out by the end of this year,” Bonnie Nickerson, Providence director of long-range planning, said last week. “The details being worked out now are very technical, such as levels of lighting. The structural elements and design decisions have been made and those are solid.”

The Providence Planning Department is having a public informational meeting about the bridge today (Sept. 29th) at 5pm.
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