Greater City Providence

Downtown Providence Living Tour

home_live_buttonThe Providence Foundation hosts a Downtown Living Tour next weekend, details:

Downtown Providence Living Tour
Saturday, June 27th
12|5 PM

Tour lofts, apartments and condos in downtown Providence, the heart of the Creative Capital! Imagine living downtown, within walking distance to restaurants, coffee shops, live music venues, theaters and fabulous shopping.

See for yourself why downtown residents love living at 333 Atwells, the 903, Westminster Lofts, Regency Plaza, The Promenade, Waterplace, and the Residences at the Westin. Visit all seven properties in one afternoon!

  • Tours are FREE!
  • Register here by Friday, June 26th in order to enter a raffle.
  • Walking and biking are encouraged.
  • FREE shuttle service will be available, provided by All Occasion Transportation.
  • Parking available at Regency Plaza, The Promenade, Grants Block, and meters throughout downtown.
  • Downtown is a great mixed-use neighborhood. While you’re downtown, check out our unique shops, cafes and galleries along the way!

Join us at Aspire at 5PM for drinks, food and fun! Mingle with downtown residents and residential staff right after the tour to learn more about the downtown experience.

Even if you’re not looking to live in one of the properties listed right now, this should be an interesting look at the housing options currently existing Downtown. Many people think, that with the crash in the real estate market, that people aren’t living Downcity. However, yesterday I saw movers moving someone into Peerless, and last week I met some new residents of the Conrad Building. People do live Downcity and even now, people are still coming.

Yesterday at the Gourmet Heaven opening someone said that a typical Rhode Island response to a new market opening Downcity is that there used to be a market Downcity and it closed. Well yes, that is true, but barely anyone lived Downcity then. According to ProvPlan 2,678 people lived Downtown at the time of the 2000 census. Since then, all the Cornish lofts have opened, Waterplace and the Westin have come online (though their occupancy rates may currently be disappointing), numerous other buildings have become residential such as the Cosmopolitan and the residences at the Strand, and a whole ton of RISD students moved into 15 Westminster. It will be interesting to see what the downtown population figures reveal after the 2010 census.

More residents of course support more retail such as Gourmet Heaven and the new CVS Pharmacy in the mall (Downcity did not have a pharmacy, a basic residential need until now). Residents also serve as eyes on the street, making the streets safer for all of us.

I do have to wonder what people will think of the Promenade, the 903, and 333 Atwells if they do the tour on foot as suggested. The connection from Downcity to the promenade properties is horrible. The dank passageways under the mall being the chief foot connection. To get to 333 Atwells you have to walk through Parking Lot LaSalle Square, then cross the two Service Roads before arriving on the Hill (not to mention cross the Dean Street intersection with no walk signals and no respect from drivers for pedestrians). Also, the Promenade and the903 are a stones throw from Federal Hill, but heaven help you if you try to walk between the two.

The city needs to do a lot more to integrate Downcity into the fabric of the surrounding neighborhoods. If it is so difficult and unpleasant to get from the rest of the city into the core, then people may simply get in their cars and head out of town, where there is ample parking. 🙁

Jef Nickerson

Jef is Greater City Providence's co-founder, editor, and publisher. He grew up on Cape Cod and lived in Boston; Portland, Maine; and New York before settling in Providence. In addition to urbanism, Jef is interested in art, design, and ice cream. Please feel free to contact Jef if you have any question or comments about Greater City Providence.

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