Greater City Providence

News & Notes

Developers Rediscover Newark [National Real Estate Investor]

For four decades, no new hotels were built in the central business district of Newark, N.J. Crime rates were so high that lenders were reluctant to finance new construction.

But the city’s fortunes have been changing. The number of crime incidents fell from 47,000 in 1999 to 25,400 a decade later. And there is a sense in the business community that the beleaguered city’s time has come.

In April, contractors broke ground for a new $35 million Courtyard by Marriott. Nearby, a developer is proceeding with plans for an upscale, $23 million Hotel Indigo. But hotels are not the only sign of progress. Standard Chartered Bank, a major British institution, just completed a 12,000 sq. ft. expansion of its office space. And Pitney Bowes, a mail service firm, moved to a 76,000 sq. ft. location in Newark.

New Study: Infrastructure as a Strategic Priority [The City Fix]

Urban Land Institute, in collaboration with Ernst & Young, released a report on the global infrastructure trends and activities in 2011, and the U.S. infrastructure policies that aim to repair and rebuild the nation’s infrastructure, including roads, transit and ports. Within the theme, “Downscaling Ambitions and Finding Creative Solutions,” the findings of the study overwhelmingly point to a strain on U.S. cities to maintain assets and build infrastructure projects.

Montreal’s Bike Sharing Program – Bixi – Is Losing Money [alttransport]

The Montreal Gazette is reporting a troubling development in the bike-sharing world. Bixi, a world-renowned designer and operator of bike-share systems, is facing some dire financial difficulties and may have to be bailed out by the government of Quebec in order to continue operating. Bixi got its start in Montreal, whose bike share was successful enough to convince several major American cities, including Washington, DC and Minneapolis, to contract their own bike shares out to the pioneering Canadian company. But Bixi, like Amtrak, is learning that success doesn’t necessarily translate into cash.

D.C. To Impose New Fees On Booming Intercity Bus Industry [Tranportation Nation]

[Washington, DC] officials are attempting to regulate this largely unregulated new industry. D.C.’s Department of Transportation will start charging bus companies a public space rental fee for use of the curb, which could total $80,000 a year or more. DDOT will also now be able to prevent bus companies from operating in certain locations in D.C.

I see Megabus parked at the curb (too close to the corner per city and state law) boarding people who have taken over the entire sidewalk and I think, “shouldn’t they be paying for that?” Do they locally? I imagine not.

Reviving towns with roundabouts [CNN]

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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