Greater City Providence

Brown Daily Herald: Federal, state officials break ground on Dynamo project


Rendering of student housing building along Point Street

Private sector leaders gathered with federal, state and municipal officials in a ceremony Monday to kick off renovations to the Jewelry District’s South Street Power Station, popularly known as the Dynamo House.

The revamp — expected to be complete by the fall of 2016 — will result in a nursing education center shared by Rhode Island College and the University of Rhode Island, as well as graduate housing and administrative offices for the University.

Officials joked that this would be “the last groundbreaking at this particular site,” said Dick Galvin ’79, president and founder of Commonwealth Ventures Properties, poking fun at failed past projects that attempted to renovate the former power station, which is on the National Register of Historic Places. Prior to the actual groundbreaking, officials ranging from Galvin to Gov. Lincoln Chafee ’17 P’14 P’17 voiced their excitement about the project to a crowd of more than 200.


Project Plan

[alert type=”success”] Rendering and site plan from CV Properties South Street Landing Project Summary [/alert]

From the Project Summary:

The $206 million development includes three separate projects (1 commercial, 1 residential, 1 parking garage) that will be permitted, designed and constructed on different schedules between September 2014 and August 2016.

The first project is the South Street Landing. It consists of approximately 265,000 square feet of academic and office space located in the Jewelry District of Providence, Rhode Island. The Project, located in the vacant former South Street Power Station on the Providence riverfront, will be occupied as follows:

  • 130,000 square feet of state of the art teaching space for a Rhode Island College/University of Rhode Island’s nursing education center more commonly known as the NEC;
  • 135,000 square feet of space for Brown University, to be used as administrative offices, freeing up College Hill campus space for core academic growth;

The second project is the River House Student Housing Project (“River House”). This development consists of a 220-bed student housing development that will service the student housing needs of graduate, medical and upper level nursing students. The Project is a newly constructed 6-story, 134,000 square foot project in two buildings fronting Point Street and the Providence River. The ground floor will contain a lobby, a café/ restaurant and other neighborhood retail.

The third component of the development is a 650-space parking garage which will be constructed on land leased from NGRID adjacent to South Street Landing along Eddy Street. The garage will be privately owned financed and owned.

Combined with the plan to build 500-beds of student housing on Chestnut Street, the Jewelry District is about to get a lot more people populating it.

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.


  • Are they going to be required to conform to the new zoning that requires activation of the street level in the structured parking?

  • Jason, great question, I agree that this is super important, especially since the parking structure will be located closer to the core of the Jewelry District and the park…

  • The requirements for activated ground floors in garages was part of the July 2012 Downtown zoning update, so yes. Hopefully the uses will be a little more compelling than what Johnson & Wales has done with their garage.

  • ProJo: Redevelopment of South Street Power Station delayed

    [Richard] Galvin gathered on the site in December with city, state and federal politicians for a ceremonial groundbreaking on a patch of asphalt outside the power station.

    The participants noted the center was due for completion in time for the fall 2016 college semester. That meant school personnel would need access to the building next summer to prepare for the start of classes.

    Galvin has since had to push back to November 2016 the day when he will turn over the building to the schools. Construction was supposed to start yesterday.

    “The South Street Landing project remains on schedule for completion in late 2016 to allow classes at the Rhode Island Nursing Education Center to begin at the start of the Spring 2017 semester,” Eric Cote, a Galvin spokesman wrote in an email to The Journal.

  • WPRI: South Street nursing school project secures financing

    The Baltimore-based biomed realty company that wants to build a life-sciences complex on the vacant I-195 land has agreed to become the “capital funding source” for the nursing education center inside the old South Street Power Station.

    Wexford Science & Technology, a company known nationally for partnering with colleges and universities to create large-scale multi-use developments, will supply funding for the $220 million project, according to Dick Galvin, the president of the CV Properties LLC, the developer of the nursing center.