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→ ProJo: Land of opportunity: Route 195 panel close to seeking developers’ proposals

195-land-aerial-ridot

Aerial image of the 195 redevelopment area from RIDOT

The “meds and eds” complex that Rhode Island’s political leaders envisioned when they formed the commission in 2011 may not be what’s in store for the prime real estate, commission Chairman Colin P. Kane and Executive Director Jan A. Brodie say.

The market will dictate what goes onto the land, they say.

They talk about “live, work and play” uses — residential development, restaurants, laboratories and hotels — that would attract employees for jobs in biotechnology, food science, design and other fields.

Nice to see them steering the discussion away from “meds and eds” as some sort of secret sauce that is gonna save Rhode Island.

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→ ProJo: Residential construction, office space eyed for Fox Point land

The existing 3-story building on the one-acre lot now houses Vanity Restaurant. That portion of the development will house commercial tenants with the existing 11,000-square-foot structure expanded to 40,000 square feet of commercial space. The residential portion of the project will be new construction that includes 52 one- and two-bedroom apartments, including two penthouse suites. It will also have a rooftop garden. There will be 170 parking spaces for tenants and visitors.

vanity

Image from Google Maps

This project was on the Downtown Design Review Committee agenda in September. The project is being called, Esplanade at India Point.

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News & Notes

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Wetlands to provide a storm surge buffer for New York City. Image from Architecture Research Office

→ Fast Company: A Plan To Hurricane-Proof New York, With A Ring Of Wetlands

In the wake of Hurricane Sandy, there have been a flurry of ideas on how to deal with the prospect that storms of such magnitude may no longer be once-in-a-lifetime events but the most visible manifestation–if you’re not a polar bear–of the havoc wreaked by climate change.

Seawalls. Levees. The kinds of things the Army Corps of Engineers typically builds to protect low-lying places like New Orleans just aren’t feasible for a place like Manhattan, says Stephen Cassell, the cofounder of New York’s Architectural Research Office. “It’s hard to predict how bad climate change will be,” Cassell says, noting that Sandy’s devastating surge was nearly 14 feet, which wasn’t even the worst-case scenario. “What if we build a barrier and the surge goes beyond that?”

Yes Providence, what if the storm surge is higher than our storm surge barrier?


→ New York Post: Growing NY through smarter taxes

How might two-tiered taxation work? In New York, land and improvements in residential areas are subject to an 18.6 percent property tax.Thus, land with a taxable value of $10,000 would be taxed $1,860, and improvements with a similar taxable value of $10,000 would owe another $1,860, a total of $3,720. Under a two-tier system, the tax rate for land could jump by, say, 50 percent, while the rate for improvement could be halved.In that case, the owner would pay $2,790 in land taxes and $930 for improvements — keeping the total to $3,720.

But here’s the payoff: The owner’s tax bill under that scheme would climb another $2,790 if he purchased a second lot with a taxable value of $10,000 — but by only $930 if he used that money toward building.Thus, hoarding would be discouraged; development encouraged.

The two-tier property tax has a proven record of success. In 1979, Pittsburgh began taxing land at a rate six times higher than improvements. In the ensuing decade, building permits increased by 70.4 percent.

Via: Nesi’s Notes


Continue Reading →

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AS220 Mercantile Block Sneak Preview

AS220 Mercantile Block Sneak Preview
Sunday, June 6, 1pm-3pm
Enter at 131 Washington Street

AS220’s new live studios ar the Mercantile downtown Providence are expected to be ready by the October. If you are interested in a live space in this beautifully restored building, join us for our open house.

Tours, rental informtation and applications available.

More info

See also, how the Mercantile Building looked last November.

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