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PBN: Boutique shops build momentum

The downtown boutique retail scene has been growing for many years and appears to be picking up momentum again after weathering the recession and end of the historic-tax-credit program that helped fuel it in the previous decade.

With major residential-commercial redevelopment projects soon to be completed at the Arcade and former National Grid buildings, downtown boosters are preparing for more growth on the horizon.

A good read for people who only come Downcity once every 10 years and think it is still 1982 down here.

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Mass.gov: MassDOT Goal – Triple Travel by Bicycle, Transit, Walking

MassDOT Secretary and CEO Richard A. Davey today in Springfield announced a statewide mode shift goal of tripling the share of travel in Massachusetts by bicycling, transit and walking.

With the mode shift goal MassDOT will be able to foster improved quality of life by improving our environment and preserving capacity on our highway network; by letting other travel options absorb travel demand that contributes to highway congestion that is slowing our potential for economic growth. In addition, we will achieve positive public health outcomes by providing more healthy transportation options.

As noted by DC Streetsblog, Secretary Davey is the only state transportation head in the country who does not own a car. :swoon:

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WPRI: Projo trying to sell Providence HQ for $10M, move to top floors

The Providence Journal is exploring a $10 million sale-leaseback deal for its historic headquarters on Fountain Street, executives disclosed last week.

Dallas-based parent company A.H. Belo has valued The Journal’s “non-core” real estate holdings in Providence at $18.85 million, executives said last Thursday in a presentation at its annual investor day.

The Journal’s parent company has been trying to sell the paper’s real estate holdings since at least 2008.

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PBN: Procaccianti sells Westin to Omni

The Procaccianti Group has agreed to sell the Westin Providence Hotel to Omni Hotels & Resorts in a deal that is expected to close in December, the two companies announced early Friday evening.

The article does not state it in the body, but the caption of the accompanying photo notes that the Westin will become an Omni Hotel. The article also states that The Procaccianti Group will retain ownership of the residential portion of the complex.

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WPRI: Providence looking to host IndyCar race

City officials led by Providence Mayor Angel Taveras have spent the past few months trying to lure IndyCar to Rhode Island’s capital city after learning the organization is considering bringing a Grand Prix race to New England. Taveras attended a race in Baltimore last Saturday as part of the effort.

When I saw the Mayor Tweet about this last week, my immediate thought was I did not like the idea. I suppose I can see the economic impact benefit, but it just doesn’t seem Providence to me, if that makes any sense.

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ProJo: $7-million Arcade revival taking shape

Seven months after unveiling a plan to transform the landmark Arcade building into a mix of retail and loft apartments, the owner of America’s oldest indoor mall says the project is taking shape.

Evan Granoff, of 130 Westminster Street Associates LLC, says four “unique” restaurants and 14 other small retail shops may occupy the first floor of the 1828 granite building as early as the end of September.

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Fast Lane: Obama Administration says “We Can’t Wait,” tells states to use idle earmarks to improve transportation and put people to work

At DOT, we know that America’s transportation infrastructure is in need of attention, while construction workers across the country remain eager to get back on the job repairing, replacing, and modernizing our roads, rails, and runways.

Over the last decade, Congress has set aside $473 million in transportation funds that were never spent. These idle earmarks have sat on the shelf as our infrastructure continues to age and fall into disrepair, and hundreds of thousands of construction workers look for work. That ends today.

I’m excited to announce that this Administration is freeing up this unspent money and giving it right back to the states so that they can spend it on the infrastructure projects they need most.

As President Obama said today, “My administration will continue to do everything we can to put Americans back to work. We’re not going to let politics stand between construction workers and good jobs repairing our roads and bridges.”

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Politico: Obama offers states $470M for roads, bridges

The Obama administration is making nearly half a billion dollars in unspent highway funds available to states that promise to use the money to create jobs and improve transportation.

A White House official says Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood will announce Friday that more than $470 million will be made immediately available for projects such as repairing crumbling roads and bridges. The official spoke on condition of anonymity because the plan has not been publicly announced.

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PBN: Transportation plan needed for I-195 land

The former Interstate-195 lands need a transportation plan as only seven of the 23 parcels slated for redevelopment there can accommodate a building with sufficient on-site parking, a consultant told the I-195 District Commission Monday.

John Chambers, a civil engineer with Fuss & O’Neil Inc., said because so many parcels are “odd-shaped lots” that do not have space for a building and garage, coming up with a transportation strategy for the district would be needed to maximize development value.

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Boston.com: Construction report: 10 projects that will change the innovation landscape in Boston and Cambridge

If you drive around Boston and Cambridge, you can’t help but notice that the construction cranes are clustered in three neighborhoods these days: Kendall Square, the Innovation District, and Longwood Medical Center.

What exactly will be in all those new buildings? Here’s my report on ten projects, all currently underway, that will upgrade our city’s innovation infrastructure. You’ll notice that most of it is being driven by life sciences companies like Biogen and Novartis, and also healthcare delivery institutions like Boston Childrens Hospital.

Let’s get some of those cranes down to Providence!

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