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Downtown Design Review Committee Meeting – June 12, 2017

Downtown Design Review Committee – Notice of Regular Meeting
Monday, June 12, 2017 – 4:45pm
Doorley Municipal Building
444 Westminster Street, 1st Floor Conference Room Providence, RI 02903

drc-roundAgenda

Opening Session

  • Call to Order
  • Roll Call
  • Meeting Minutes of March 13, 2017, April 10, 2017, May 1, 2017 (Special Meeting), and May 8, 2017

New Business

1. DRC Application No. 16.30: 91 Chestnut Street (I-195 Redevelopment District Parcel 30) – Request by Waldorf Capital Management, LLC for modifications to the approved design of a new 6-story mixed-use apartment building to be constructed on the site. The applicant was granted final approval at the December 5, 2016 DDRC meeting.

2. DRC Application No. 17.08: 150 Empire Street (Providence Public Library) – Proposal by the Providence Public Library to conduct exterior alterations to the Empire Street building.

See also: Greater City Providence – Providence Public Library Planning Renovations

3. DRC Application No. 17.12: 350 Eddy Street (South Street Landing) – Public Hearing – The subject of the hearing will be an application by the CV Properties LLC, requesting a waiver from Providence Zoning Ordinance Section 1607(E), Freestanding Signs, which prohibits freestanding signs in the D-1 Zone. As per Section 1601(D), the DDRC is authorized to grant a waiver to sign regulations as part of their review and approval. Continued from the April 10, 2017 DRC meeting. The applicant is also requesting a waiver from Providence Zoning Ordinance Section 604(C)(4), Fences and Walls, which limits the height of fences to six (6) feet in height. As per Section 604(C)(4) the DDRC is authorized to grant a waiver to the provisions of the Zoning Ordinance relating to fences and walls. The applicant is proposing to install an approximately nine (9) foot high fence, and an approximately 30’ tall, double-faced, internally illuminated freestanding sign at 350 Eddy Street. The DRC will be reviewing the sign and fence design at this meeting.

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Providence Public Library Planning Renovations

Proposed LED sign panels on the Providence Public Library facade

The Providence Public Library is planning a major renovation to their Empire Street building.

Providence Public Library (PPL) is planning to undertake the state’s largest-ever library renovation beginning later this year. The project will address required life safety systems upgrades, as well as make major infrastructure improvements to PPL’s downtown buildings. The approximately 85,000-square foot project will transform the Library’s 1950s wing, auditorium, and special collection areas to provide 21st-century library services for Providence and Rhode Island residents.

Read more about the PPL planned renovations on their website.

The proposed LED screens on the Empire Street facade of the building (shown rendered at the top of this post) is causing some sturm und drang among some preservationist and others. Providence Business News reports on the controversy. Personally, I kind of like the screens. I’m all about more light and signs downtown, especially proximate to LaSalle Square.

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Downtown Design Review Committee Meeting – March 13, 2017

Downtown Design Review Committee Meeting
Notice of Regular Meeting
Monday, March 13, 2017 4:45pm
Doorley Municipal Building
444 Westminster Street, 1st Floor Conference Room Providence, RI 02903

drc-round

Opening Session

  • Call to Order
  • Roll Call
  • Meeting Minutes of 1/9/17

New Business

View of proposed building as seen from the corner of Washington and Mathewson Streets (Cube3 Architects)

1. DRC Application No. 17.07: 66 Fountain Street and 78 Fountain Street (commercial building and parking lot) – Public Hearing – The subject of the hearing will be an application by 78 Fountain JV Owner LLC, to demolish the existing structure located at 66 Fountain Street, and to construct a new 6?story, mixed?use building on the site at 78 Fountain Street. The applicant is requesting a Downtown District Demolition Waiver (Zoning Ordinance Section 1907.2), and a waiver from Zoning Ordinance Section 606.E.1 Building Facades/Ground Floor Transparency. At the conclusion of the hearing, the DDRC will take action with respect to these items.

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Downtown Design Review Committee Special Meeting – November 7, 2016

Downtown Design Review Committee
Notice of Special Meeting
Monday, November 7, 2016 – 4:45pm
Doorley Municipal Building
444 Westminster Street, 1st Floor Conference Room Providence, RI 02903

drc-roundAgenda

Opening Session

  • Call to Order
  • Roll Call

New Business

chestnut-commons-001

chestnut-commons-002

Renderings of proposal for 91 Chestnut Street

1. DRC Application No. 16.30: I-195 Redevelopment District Parcel 30/91 Chestnut Street – Proposal by Waldorf Capital Management, LLC to construct a new mixed-use building on the property. The DRC will conceptually review the project and make a recommendation to the I-195 Redevelopment District Commission.

Pre-Application Review

2. 217 Washington Street (Providence Public Library) – Proposed exterior renovations to the Empire Street building (1954 addition). This item is for discussion only. No action will be taken by the DRC at this meeting.

Adjournment

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Downtown Design Review Committee Meeting – July 11, 2016

Downtown Design Review Committee
Notice of Regular Meeting
Monday, July 11, 2016 – 4:45pm
Doorley 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 March 14, 2016 and May 9, 2016

New Business

1. DRC Application No. 16.15: 76 Westminster Street (Turks Head Building) Proposal to replace an existing storefront window with a new double door, transom and awning.

Pre-Application Review

2. 217 Washington Street (Providence Public Library) – Proposed exterior renovations to the Empire Street building (1954 addition). This item is for discussion only. No action will be taken by the DRC at this meeting.

Adjournment

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GC: Photos

Flickr totally changed the sharing function on their website, and frankly it sucks and causes me to have to rewrite a bunch of code to properly share people’s photos, and a bunch of great photographers who share in our group have changed their share settings; so I haven’t done a GC: Photos post in quite a while. But there’s some really great stuff in there, so I suffered through it. Some of these photos go back a while, hence the snow:

Photo © Donna St.Pierre

Photo © Anthony Nathan Photography

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City announces agreement to maintain Providence Community Libraries

Library

Announcement at Smith Hill Library. Photo from Mayor Taveras’ Facebook page.

At a press conference this morning on Smith Hill, the Taveras Administration announced an agreement which will allow the Providence Community Library (PCL) to gain control of their branch library buildings and initiate much needed renovations of the buildings. The announcement ends a dispute between the PCL, the Providence Public Library (PPL), which maintains the main library on Empire Street, and the City of Providence.

The dispute had left employees at PCL uncertain about their future, community members uncertain about the continued operation of thier neighborhood libraries, and PCL unable to acquire loans or grants to fix and maintain their buidlings.

Taveras Administration Reaches Agreement to Save Libraries
City will lease neighborhood branches for 20 years under mediated settlement

PROVIDENCE, RI – The administration of Providence Mayor Angel Taveras has reached an agreement with the two independent organizations that operate the libraries that serve city residents that will preserve city branches and protect every neighborhood library in the city.

Under the agreement mediated by retired Superior Court Judge Mark Pfeiffer, the Providence Public Library (PPL), which operates the downtown library and owns seven of the city’s nine neighborhood library buildings, will transfer the seven buildings to the City as a 20 year lease-purchase, at the end of which the City will own the buildings outright.

The City will make an initial payment of $250,000 to PPL from funds held in escrow during the dispute over the future of the libraries. Additionally, the City will make 18 annual payments to PPL in the amount of $264,000, beginning in 2014. The total cost of acquiring the seven neighborhood libraries will be $5 million. The assessed value of the seven buildings is approximately $11 million.

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News & Notes: Things in the ProJo you should read Edition

The Journal had a few good articles this weekend that we all should be reading:

Editorial: Stop Route 195 commission

The overriding state interest in the land is its federally mandated sale at fair-market value. A commission is not required for that. Indeed, a commission may retard both the land’s sale and its development.

Instead, the land should be sold to be developed under existing municipal authority. Let market forces guide its progress. That would be much more efficient than seven commissioners and their train of agencies, lawyers, consultants and other hangers-on. In fact, as of now the bill looks as if it is intended to create the next secure feed bag for the well-connected.


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