You can read the interview, or listen to it HERE.
In a wide-ranging interview with Ian Donnis of Rhode Island Public Radio this morning, Chairman Joseph Azrack detailed development(s) in view on the 195 land. In his view, beginning with the signing of the Wexford-CV letter of intent for Parcel 42, the action has begun. And, as he notes, the neighboring South Street Landing project which is well underway will begin the transformation of the District, when it opens for business in 2017.
You can read the interview, or listen to it HERE.
When this magnificent machine showed up on the site of our future Jewelry District Park, one worried.
Had we missed something?
Was the Ball Park back in play? Were they starting work on Parcel 42? No to both and most other fanciful notions.
The Projo has the explanation which you can read about here. Seems the machinery is being staged there in preparation for driving the pilings to support the new parking garage that's an important part of the South Street Landing project.
To keep the public informed on progress and construction and news, South Street Landing has created an e-Mail UPDATE service. Subscribe and you'll receive updates as they are issued.
Just click: SouthStreetLanding.com On their site, look down to the lower center of the page and click on the blue GET UPDATES oval.
Of course, if you're more with it than we are, you can also Follow them on Twitter or Like them on Facebook.
To save time right now, here's the text of the latest Update.
Crossing Eddy/Dyer Street can be iffy at rush hour. South Street Landing has made some changes to take the excitement out of the experience:
January 28, 2016
When construction recently began on the South Street Landing parking garage, one of the two northbound lanes of Eddy Street adjacent to the project, along with the sidewalk and bike path, were closed. This closure will remain in place until construction is complete at the end of this year.
The lane closure required pedestrians walking along the east side of Eddy Street, closest to the Providence River, to cross over to the west side of Eddy Street using crosswalks. Thanks to a neighbor, it was brought to our attention that the mesh-covered fencing atop the jersey barriers used to close the Eddy Street lane was making it difficult for those using the crosswalk near Ship Street to see oncoming northbound traffic.
To help increase visibility of northbound traffic for pedestrians using the crosswalk at the intersection of Ship Street and Dyer Street, a section of the mesh material attached to the fencing was removed. (When heading north, Eddy Street turns into Dyer Street once you pass Ship Street). In addition, we have also placed a caution sign in the crosswalk so motorists are more aware of the possibility of pedestrians crossing the road. Additional pedestrian signs will be placed in the coming days.
We encourage all pedestrians walking along Eddy Street near the South Street Landing project to exercise extra caution when crossing Eddy Street and to do so only using crosswalks. If you can, please consider making the Eddy Street crossing at the intersection of Point and Eddy on the south end of the block and at Ship and Dyer at the north end.
To receive Updates, just click here: SouthStreetLanding.com When the home page pops on, look for the blue UPDATE oval in the lower center of the page.
With the announcement that they have signed an intent to purchase agreement, Wexford Science + Technology of Baltimore and CV Properties LLC, of Boston and Southport, Conn., signal the first major major move in the redevelopment of the former I-195 site.
Running through the middle of the District, the bare fields where once six lanes of traffic sped along (and not infrequently sat idling) may at last be coming to productive life.
The full details of how the development should proceed are contained in Kate Bramson's article from Sunday's Providence Journal. Read all about it HERE.
And, for a look at the proposal for the three-phase development project, click THIS.
The Providence Planning Department has announced the abandonment of the proposed trolley car line through the District. The Providence Journal reported the news, and you can get all the details here.
For some observers, this is, to quote Martha Stewart, "A good thing."
The grand dame of home organizing was a stickler for keeping things in order. Anyone who has taken a look at the intersection of Ship, Clifford and Chestnut comes away head-shaking in dismay. "You expect that crazy intersection to handle two-way streetcar, auto, bike and pedestrian traffic?!”
As it is, Chestnut Street poses enough traffic snarls right now. The yellow double line that separates the roadway for two-way traffic offers a full lane southbound but, because of parking spaces,less than a third of a lane north bound. Throw a streetcar into the mix… and dIsorder will be the order of the day.
Picture a streetcar heading on its route up Ship Street (even narrower than Chestnut). At Clifford, it would have to negotiate an elegant "S" curve within about 50 feet: swing left out of Ship St. and immediately veer hard right onto Chestnut.
That intersection is already full of excitement, even without a streetcar.
Westbound motorists on Clifford see green lights all the way from Richmond to East Franklin and, rising to the bait, power their way up the hill at Indy 500 speeds. Anticipating rush hour traffic, the engineers set the Clifford traffic lights to stay green much longer than the crossing lights for Chestnut. Because of the narrow sidewalk and the building on the corner, drivers on Chestnut Street only get a split-second look for high speed traffic from the right. With Rhode Islanders' penchant for regarding yellow lights as a signal to speed up, things go wrong very quickly.
Fortunately, since the traffic lights began operating, only one minor injury has been observed in the three accidents.
So, RIP streetcar, let the motorists live on to crash another day.
What's today's vision for the future of the 195 redevelopment land? To get right to the point, the vision is revealed in the area's new name: Providence Innovation and Design District
At the first 195 Commission meeting of 2016, HR&A Advisors Inc. unveiled the newly minted name to a standing room audience that included Governor Raimondo, Commerce Corporation Executive Director Stefan Prior the 195 Commission, the press and interested members of the public (including JDA President Salisbury and other JDA members). In a detailed presentation, the consultants outlined their new vision and its rationale.
Read the Providence Journal report of the meeting here.
See HR&A Advisors' presentation here.
To those still smarting from an earlier marketing concept, we're happy to say this awards the difinitive final grade of ZERO to the idea of The Knowledge District.
lMore construction in the District. Judging by the signs guarding the entrances of 95 Chestnut St., work is beginning that will eventually transform this National Historic Register building from offices to apartments. No more details yet. The new owners also own the Turks Head Building on Weybosset St.
Work has been advancing for several months on the outer walls of the power plant and, under wraps inside, structural work has been going on noisily, work is about to begin on the adjacent parking garage. One sign of progress will be barriers closing off one north-bound lane on Eddy Street as foundation work begins. You can get further details in Kate Bramson's article in the Providence Journal, here.
As further evidence of progress on the main complex, this rendering of the completed project has just appeared in banners on the fence surrounding the site. While the old stacks are gone, a gleaming new superstructure adds several floors to the already imposing structure.
At its biennial awards dinner on Thursday, December 10, at the Salvation Cafe in Newport, the Rhode Island Chapter of the America Society of Landscape Architects presented an Honor Award to L+A Landscape Architecture for their comprehensive plan for the urban pathway, CITY WALK, in Providence.
The RI ASLA Honor Award citation described the award winning project:
“CITY WALK is a network of connected urban landscape spaces enhancing the everyday life of the city. In 2014, a landscape architecture study for this 7.8 mile route culminated seven years of advocacy to incorporate CITY WALK into municipal and neighborhood planning, which it has successfully accomplished. Two principles guide the ambition of CITY WALK: connect eight Providence neighborhoods via a network of pedestrian paces/bicycle routes and improve equitable access to urban assets.
Accepting the award for Ron Henderson, Principal of L+A Landscape Architecture, were Phoebe Blake, for CITY WALK, and Katherine Dana, for L+A.
To see the project in detail, see the complete L+A Landscape Architects CITY WALK REPORT 2014, here.
Winding up an eventful year, the Jewelry District Association held its annual meeting at Clean Plate restaurant on Tuesday, December 8th. With new development moving ahead on a number of fronts, the meeting provided an opportunity for bringing the membership up to date.
Following a congenial social hour, two visual presentations gave us vivid glimpses of the way new developments promise to revitalize the District.
Bob Azar, Associate Director, Providence Department of Planning and Development offered a slide presentation of projects proposed, approved and/or underway in the District and Downcity. He detailed an exciting future of new hotels, new office space and a range of condo, apartment and student residences, from the complex at South Street Landing to two extended stay hotels now going through approval processes. He noted that something like 1,000 new living spaces are contemplated for the center city and the District; current occupancy approaches 99%. Presentation here.
JDA Board member Al Dahlberg showed us a Brown University video outlining long-range thinking and vital role of partnerships in the school’s major expansion going forward in the district. The video appears here.
President Salisbury called the business portion of the meeting to order. After a brief review of the financial state (healthy) of both the Jewelry District Association and the Jewelry District Foundation, he turned the floor over to Sharon Steele. She reviewed the JDA's major achievements in the past year, which ranged from the successful campaign to stop the PawSox relocation to the District's public park site on the river front and fighting for responsible night club operations to the creation, promoting and finding funding to launch the City Walk pathway linking Fox Point through the District to Roger Williams Park.
For complete details of the business meeting, see the JDA Annual Meeting Minutes, here.
Following the business meeting, special recognition was given for public service.
To Brown University (Christina Paxson, Russell Carey & Al Dahlberg) for:
"Demonstrating Extraordinary Corporate Citizenship, Cooperation and Responsibility in the Cause of the Betterment of Our Neighborhood & the City of Providence at large.”
“Over the years Brown University has used its major presence in the Jewelry District
in many positive and creative ways – providing facilities for our monthly meetings,
invaluable help with our annual clean up and the creation of the Ship Street pocket park,
to cite a few recent examples.”
“And because you include the Association in your forward planning process, we know Brown will continue to add new life and vibrancy to the place where we work, live, play and – yes – study.”
And to Janice O'Donnell, former JDA Board Member and past Executive Director of the Providence Children's Museum, for:
"Outstanding Citizenship, Willing Participation, Creative Initiative and Unstinting Effort in the Cause of the Betterment of Our Neighborhood & the City of Providence at large.”
“You have sought to make the Jewelry District a better place in which to live, work and enjoy throughout the year & despite hours devoted to the Jewelry District Association, you found time to bring the Providence Children’s Museum into a new era with expanded facilities, growing membership and blossoming attendance.”
Special thanks, as well to the Clean Plate restaurant, for hosting the meeting.