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Brown, RIC and URI Unveil $206M Redevelopment Plan for Providence’s Dynamo House

28 Jun 2013, 11:13 pm

by Adriana Pop, Associate Editor

Brown University, Rhode Island College and the University of Rhode Island are teaming up on a plan to reinvent the South Street Power Station  in Providence as a $206 million mixed-use development that will combine educational, residential and commercial functions.

Commonwealth Ventures Properties has been tapped for the makeover of the complex, a 101-year-old former Narragansett Electric/National Grid facility, which has been vacant since 1999.

Outlined in a June 27 statement, the proposal calls for transforming the 101-year-old Dynamo House into a 120,000-square-foot nursing education center to be shared by RIC and URI; 150,000 square feet of  housing for graduate students, medical students and upper-level nursing students; 120,000 square feet of office space for Brown; 20,000 square feet of space intended to attract start-ups and other technology-based companies; 15,000 square feet of retail space and restaurants; a 600-space parking structure on Point Street; and improved public space along the Providence River.

Pending endorsement of the concept by the state General Assembly, RIC, URI, state officials and Commonwealth Ventures could move ahead with negotiations of a long-term lease agreement. Long-term commitments from Brown to take about half the space, and from the state for the  joint RIC/URI nursing center, will enable the project to move forward.

Project financing will draw on a variety of financing sources, including new and previously committed state historic tax credits, private debt and equity, and revenue generated by the parking structure. Officials estimate that the project would create some 1,500 construction-related jobs, more than $90 million in employee compensation and about $248 million worth of economic output.

“Over the last decade, Brown has invested more than $200 million in the Jewelry District, renovating facilities to support research, education, and administration and supporting a range of neighborhood enhancements,” said Christina Paxson, president of Brown. “By pursuing this project and this partnership, we hope to further enliven the neighborhood, transforming this important but neglected facility into an enduring asset, adding value to a critical area of our city and state.”

Photo credits: Marc Belanger via Wikimedia Commons


Community Health Center in South Providence Enters Final Phase of Construction

31 May 2013, 6:49 pm

By Adriana Pop, Associate Editor

The $45 million development of the Federated Lithographers mill building in the South Providence neighborhood has entered its second and final phase of construction.

According to GoLocalProv, the new space will enable Lifespan to relocate several of its programs, including Community Health Services, the Rhode Island Hospital School of Diagnostic Imaging, the Lifespan Youth Development Program, and Hasbro Children’s Hospital’s renowned Children’s Neurodevelopment Center. The company intends to lease 27,000 square feet at the Federated Lithographers site.

Plans also call for the construction of a 5,000-square-foot Walgreens pharmacy store, as well as the expansion of the Providence Community Health Center’s dental clinic.

In March 2011, the Providence Community Health Centers Inc. broke ground on the complex, which is considered to be the largest private development project in South Providence. The Prairie Avenue Revitalization Initiative is supporting the project, which has received public and private funding.

According to Merrill Thomas, Providence Community Health Center CEO, the new facility will help spur the neighborhood’s economic development.

“Lifespan has long been a supporter of development in this neighborhood, and we are pleased to have the second phase of this important project get underway. We hope that by moving key services along with the employees who staff them into this community, Lifespan is helping to generate more economic activity and better health for residents,” said Timothy J. Babineau, M.D., Lifespan’s president and CEO.

“The final phase development of the Federated Lithographers site and the participation of Lifespan, Walgreens and Providence Community Health Centers are the transformative elements in moving South Providence from decades of isolation to a future of economic integration that will serve as a model for rebuilding the fabric of the city’s neighborhoods,” said Darrell Lee, president of BCOG Planning and Development and founder of the Prairie Avenue Revitalization Initiative.

“The culmination of these organizational investments in South Providence is historic and greatly anticipated by local businesses and residents,” he added.

Photo credits: www.prairieavenue.org

Kettle Point Wins Key City Vote; Omni Group Plans $5M Federal Hill Office Project

23 May 2013, 2:35 am

by Adriana Pop, Associate Editor

The East Providence Waterfront Commission has unanimously approved a $75 million residential community proposed for Kettle Point, East Providence Patch reports. Churchill & Banks, the project’s developer, could break ground this fall on the 407-unit project, which will be located on a 40-acre brownfield site owned by BP Corp.

Plans call for 276 for-rent apartment units and a mix of 131 for-sale residences consisting of park-under townhouses, one-level condos, duplex units and single-family dwellings.Designed by Providence architect Don Powers of Union Studio, the project will also offer an abundance of open space, public parks, as well as direct access to the waterfront.

Plans call for 276 rental units and 131 for-sale residences in formats ranging from townhouses and duplexes to single-family home. Designed by Providence-based architect Don Powers of Union Studio, the development will incorporate abundant open space and direct access to the waterfront. State transportation, environmental and coastal resources agencies must sign off on the project before Churchill & Banks can start construction.

In other development news, Omni Group Inc. has acquired the long-vacant CJ Fox factory complex in Federal Hill near Interstate 95 for $1.6 million. According to Providence Business News, the company will invest an additional $5 million in the project, which will comprise 48,000 square feet of Class A office space and 178 parking spaces on the 2-acre parcel and will be renamed One Cedar Street.

“We are committed to the neighborhood, so we will grow as the neighborhood allows,” Omni principal William DiStefano Jr. told the newspaper. “We didn’t have a master plan; it just worked out, and we loved the neighborhood and area. We are pro-Providence, and we think it only has one way to go: up.”

Upon completion, the four-story, red-brick building is expected to rent for about $21.50 per square foot. Besides the One Cedar Street site, Omni owns nine other commercial buildings in Federal Hill.  

Rendering: Union Studio/Churchill & Banks

Gaia Pays $55M for 2 East Providence M-F Complexes

6 May 2013, 2:58 pm

by Adriana Pop, Associate Editor

Gaia Real Estate has purchased two East Providence multi-family communities and 20 acres of undeveloped land for $55 million or $115,000 per unit, the Providence Business News reports. CBRE/New England, a joint venture of CBRE Group Inc. and Whittier Partners Group, represented the buyer in the transaction and procured financing.

Located in the Riverside neighborhood, the two properties, Winchester Park and Winchester Wood, offer 478 units distributed among 79 two- and three-story townhouse buildings. Winchester Park was built between 1971 and 1974 and renovated in 2000. It encompasses 416 units and 63 buildings. Winchester Wood was completed in 1985 and comprises 62 units and 16 two-story buildings.

“We believe in the Providence apartment submarket and intend to continue to embark on a substantial value-added program for properties,” said Gaia managing partners Danny Fishman and Amir Yerushalmi in a statement.

Amenities include a renovated clubhouse, a fitness center, an outdoor swimming pool with a sun deck, tennis courts, a private landscaped courtyard, 694 parking spaces, on-site management and 24-hour emergency maintenance.

Gaia, which will also manage the properties, plans to upgrade common areas and renovate unit interiors. The New York-based company owns $1.15 billion in  assets nationwide, including 13,000 multi-family units.

Photo: http://www.gaiare.com/Gaia-Winchester.html

Providence Station on Track for $5.7M Renovation

21 Apr 2013, 6:57 pm

by Adriana Pop, Associate Editor

The Rhode Island Department of Transportation plans to begin construction next year on a $5.7 million makeover of Providence Station. Gov. Lincoln Chafee and other officials unveiled details of the project April 15 during a ceremony at the facility.

The Federal Transit Administration, Federal Highway Administration and the state will provide funding for the renovation. Plans call for sprucing up the 27-year-old station’s physical appearance, reconstructing pedestrian and vehicular access and adding bicycle parking facilities. Engineers will inspect the south side plaza deck and identify any necessary repairs. RIDOT will replace the landscape planter structures and add improved signage to direct users to the Station.

“These upgrades and improvements will help us make the experience of traveling to Providence via rail more convenient, more pleasant, and more reflective of our outstanding capital city,” Chafee said. “I am strongly supportive of strategic investments that strengthen our infrastructure – this is certainly one such project, and I am grateful for the State-Federal partnership that made it possible.”

Providence Station was among the first projects to be built as part of the Capital Center redevelopment. Serving more than 1 million Amtrak and Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority passengers annually, the station ranks 16th among Amtrak’s 500 stations.

 ”In its 27-year history, the Providence Station has become a major hub for trains, buses, vehicles, pedestrians and bicyclists. It’s starting to show its wear and tear,”said RIDOT Director Michael Lewis. “It’s critical that we maintain and improve this facility and position it for the future as a major rail stop on the Northeast Corridor.”

Photo credits: Loodog via Wikimedia Commons