Two private developers – Wexford Science & Technology LLC and CV Properties LLC – submitted a proposal last week to the I-195 Redevelopment District Commission seeking approval for a million-square-foot-plus multi-use project on parcel 22 and parcel 25 of the vacant former highway land, WPRI.com confirmed Wednesday.
“It is a major life sciences complex that includes lab space, academic research space, a hotel with meeting space and residential and retail components,” Eric Cote, a spokesman for CV Properties, told WPRI.com.
“It is a very large proposed complex,” he said. “The size that it may ultimately be will depend on our discussions with the 195 Commission, so it could change, but it’s currently envisioned as a project in excess of 1 million square feet.
As seen on the map above, we could finally be seeing some concrete results from the highway removal. Regardless of how you feel about them, this proposal, the PawSox stadium, the parking garage at the Garrahy complex, and the student housing proposed at Parcel 28 would transform this section of the city.
All of these proposals have the potential to not be terribly great urbanism depending on how they are designed. Richmond Street needs to be a lively pedestrian thoroughfare connecting the Jewelry District to Downtown, designs of these buildings and street level uses are vitally important.
The 195 Commission needs to follow the City’s zoning and push for the highest quality designs in these developments. We cannot be tempted to bend to the will of developers compromising design for the sake of a payday for the State. We don’t want to see the 195 Land become a 100-year mistake.