Greater City Providence

Downcity Design Review Committee (04/12)


MONDAY, APRIL 12, 2010 4:45 PM
Department of Planning and Development, 4th Floor Auditorium 400 Westminster Street, Providence, RI 02903


Call to Order
Roll Call
Approval of Meeting Minutes of March 8, 2010


1. DRC Application No. 10.03, 180 Washington Street (formerly First Bank and Trust Company Building, now vacant)
Continued review of the proposal to renovate the existing building for Coastway Community Bank. Work includes landscaping the adjacent parking areas. The project was conceptually approved at the 3/8/10 DRC meeting.

2. DRC Application No. 10.08, 180 Westminster Street (Dorrance Building)
Public Hearing The subject of the hearing will be an application by TD Bank requesting a waiver of DRC regulations for the installation of internally illuminated signage. The application also includes the proposal to replace a portion of the existing storefront on the Dorrance Street elevation.


Agenda [.pdf]

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.


  • Well, Coastway is moving from Green Street (which is Downtown-ish), but TD Bank will be new.

    I’m not sure what TD’s plans are, but Coastway is planning a substantial renovation of the building on Washington Street.

  • While I understand it’s “anything that pays the taxes right now”, and a bank does that pretty reliably, it’s a little too bad there isn’t something a little more interesting going into this storefront. That corner is as idyllic as it gets, there should be vibrant businesses in every single storefront there, but instead there isn’t a single one.

  • I still feel as though a full scale H&M would be perfect for the Dorrance location.

    • Retail frontage
    • A recognizable retail anchor for the Westminster Street shopping district
    • Moderate and affordable prices
    • Trendy clothier
    • Attracts a diverse demographic
    • Full scale means- Menswear, Women’s Apparel and Children’s
    • Corner location viewable from most directions providing a great anchor store location

    Another bank storefront is another limited source for an active urban pedestrian experience. Besides, I thought the Financial District was east of Dorrance… I suppose anything is better than nothing (or Dress Barn for that matter).

  • I like Andy’s idea. The problem with a bank is that they’ll likely close at 4. Having the anchor there be something that could stay open and draw people until 8 at night would be ideal. It’d be a great way to draw people there from the Kennedy Plaza area.

Providence, RI
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