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ArtInRuins

PROPOSED: Conley Wharf

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CITYWATCH

Conley touts a facelift for Allens Avenue waterfront

BY ROBIN AMER

Buddy Cianci should feel somewhat vindicated. The former mayor

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Ah yes,

the same Pat Conley who has bought up hundreds of properties in South Providence over the years at tax sale and sat on them like a typical slum lord?

oh yeah, and had a partner named Buddy Cianci after conviction #1? wow, this is old school providence coming right back to the surface...

awful awful awful...

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:thumbsup::thumbsup:

Ah yes,

the same Pat Conley who has bought up hundreds of properties in South Providence over the years at tax sale and sat on them like a typical slum lord?

oh yeah, and had a partner named Buddy Cianci after conviction #1? wow, this is old school providence coming right back to the surface...

awful awful awful...

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

:thumbsup:

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Given his genuine interest in Providence history, you'd think Conley would want the city to prosper.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

You'd think so...

but in practice, I think he has probably been one of the more significant barriers to prosperity around here.

fascinating really.

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Here read some more:

Copyright 2003 Providence Publications, LLC

Providence Journal-Bulletin (Rhode Island)

December 2, 2003, Tuesday All Edition

HEADLINE: COMMENTARY - Murphy's law in R.I.

BYLINE: Edward Achorn,

BODY:

WHAT ARE CITIZENS to make of this? Rhode Island House Speaker William Murphy confronted with a touchy case involving his top lieutenant, Majority Leader Gordon Fox has declared that a passage on ethics in the state constitution doesn't apply. So he'll let the matter drop.

That's public service, Rhode Island-style.

Here's the background: A law firm with which Mr. Fox is associated, Ferrucci Russo, did work for GTECH while the Rhode Island-based lottery giant was trying to get breaks from the taxpayers to remain in the state. Ferrucci Russo billed GTECH for a reported 375 hours, including 40 attributed to Mr. Fox.

Some people found that a conflict of interest. The citizens' group Operation Clean Government sought an ethics review.

...

Mr. Murphy, in turn, sought an opinion about that section from a prominent lawyer/businessman/historian named Patrick Conley. Mr. Conley would seem to know what he's talking about: He's the author of 14 books about Rhode Island history. He has been selected to write the volume on the Rhode Island Constitution in the scholarly series State Constitutions of the United States, edited by the Center for State Constitutional Studies at Rutgers University.

The only thing is, Mr. Conley appears to be an unusual kind of historian. In a small state where everybody seems to know everyone, he has not always maintained objective distance from politicians.

He worked for the House leadership during the reign of Speaker John Harwood, when he bitterly opposed the separation-of-powers reform, designed to balance power and end the legislature's corrupting dominance.

He joined in buying "distressed" property in Providence with corrupt ex-Mayor Buddy Cianci after Cianci's thuggishness caused the mayor's first ouster. And Mr. Conley worked to help put Cianci back in office.

This is the expert that Speaker Murphy turned to for an opinion touching on ethics in the Rhode Island House.

And he delivered this opinion: That part of the constitution "has no applicability to the present controversy" because it is "obsolete." In Mr. Conley's view, that language only applied to the years before 1856, when the General Assembly heard cases as a court of appeals.

....

Unlike Mr. Conley, I am no expert on Rhode Island constitutional history. But surely, common sense would suggest some questions:

X Since when does the word case apply solely to a court of law? In any standard English dictionary as well as in the state constitution a case can obviously mean a matter pending before the legislature.

X If this section is "obsolete," why did Rhode Islanders keep it there for the last 150 years, though they could have discarded it in constitutional conventions? Indeed, why did the state go to the trouble of making the section "gender-neutral" in the mid-1980s if it is obsolete?

X If the legislature thinks that a section governing ethics is obsolete, why not put the case (that word again!) to the voters and let them decide?

X May a speaker ignore sections of the constitution merely by obtaining an opinion by a hand-picked expert stating that they are obsolete?

When Mr. Murphy was raised to his leadership position, the most powerful political post in Rhode Island, he asserted that he wanted to be part of profound reform. He made an excellent start by respecting the public's wishes on separation of powers.

......

Surely, there are smart, honorable people who could be drawn into leadership roles in the House. If Mr. Murphy wants to improve the state's civic culture, he must make it clear that his leadership team meets a high standard.

Sending that message will not be easy, since Mr. Murphy must hold onto various coalitions to cling to power. But, in grasping at such an opinion to shield his lieutenant from scrutiny, he looks like a leader who is trying to evade responsibility and play the people of Rhode Island for dupes. Ultimately, that won't help his cause.

Edward Achorn is The Journal's deputy editorial pages editor. His e-mail address is [email protected]

-From Lexis Nexis so I can't post a link...

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Conley is DIRTY...

type in his name in a Lexis Nexus search and many many articles come up with stuff like this:

"What are we going to do about Patrick Conley," asked Beverly Austin, a South Providence resident. Conley, a former business partner of Mayor Vincent A. Cianci, has made much of his fortune buying properties at tax sales, including some 200 to 300 parcels in the South Providence area alone.

Residents say it's people like Conley - who buy up the land at tax sale, and do nothing afterward to see that the properties are kept up - who have played a major role in creating the problem. Their solution: bar such speculators from grabbing up any more land by prohibiting anyone who is behind tax payments or has failed to pay an environmental fine from taking part in any more tax sales."

This is from a 1997 projo article, and he has been doing this for DECADES. He is a dirty guy, and I certianly wouldn't trust any deals with him. PCIS better beware.

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How the hell is an "upscale seafood restaurant" going to survive on Allens Ave.? Is it going to rely on stripclub customers for it's clientele?

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How the hell is an "upscale seafood restaurant" going to survive on Allens Ave.? Is it going to rely on stripclub customers for it's clientele?

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

Hey, you've already got legs and eggs...

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How the hell is an "upscale seafood restaurant" going to survive on Allens Ave.? Is it going to rely on stripclub customers for it's clientele?

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

Hey, they can get their seafood right from the Providence bay :rofl:

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Conley is DIRTY...

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

This is interesting... I have heard that more than once from other people. I dont really like his plans (from the sound of the PBN aritcle) to buy up everything on the waterfront. There are plenty of legitamate, albeit not pretty, businesses there who have stuck it out with Providence through the long haul. Redevelop the Atlas warehouses or something... dont buy out the poor shipyards.

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This is interesting... I have heard that more than once from other people. I dont really like his plans (from the sound of the PBN aritcle) to buy up everything on the waterfront. There are plenty of legitamate, albeit not pretty, businesses there who have stuck it out with Providence through the long haul. Redevelop the Atlas warehouses or something... dont buy out the poor shipyards.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

Check out the commentary in the ProJo by Whitcomb:

http://www.projo.com/opinion/columnists/co...it.1ba6501.html

As for Allens Ave., I would have no problem seeing all the strip clubs go but for those legit businesses we need the jobs they provide. Same goes for Promenade where a lot of blue collar jobs are still located.

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Ah yes,

the same Pat Conley who has bought up hundreds of properties in South Providence over the years at tax sale and sat on them like a typical slum lord?

oh yeah, and had a partner named Buddy Cianci after conviction #1? wow, this is old school providence coming right back to the surface...

awful awful awful...

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

I hope the city doesn't accept any proposals from that clown Conley. While Deller makes the point that the city needs to raise its tax-base, they almost certainly won't if that clown is able to get his hands on that land. Providence does need to raise its tax base and should redevelop that part of the waterfront - but maybe by having both housing and businesses over there. That development should not be given over to only one person - and certainly not one who is a slumlord.

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Given his genuine interest in Providence history, you'd think Conley would want the city to prosper.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

But if Conley really cared about Providence, that clown would have developed those South Providence properties, rather than just sit on them and let them continue to rot. Seems like he's looking out more for himself than the future of the city.

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What a bizarre article... It all sounds interesting (someone I know who owns a boat confirms that the Providence area could definitely use another marina) but it also all sounds very tenuous. I guess the RIPTA ferry move and the Sloop Providence and Russian sub could all go there, but just who would want to go there to visit those things? This also only just moves around area assets and doesn't build new ones... This guy Conley has some ego though, huh?

Thoughts?

- Garris

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God, is he trying to compare himself to Donald Trump? :rofl:

I like Deller's comment on how he wants the area to be dense enough to support a train trolley, it shows that someone's finally looking in that direction.

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I like the idea of the seafood restaurant within smelling distance of Narragansett Improvement. Nothing like the scent of baked asphalt to whet the appetite.

Seriously though, I'm a bit skeptical of this idea to fix up what is basically already an economically viable area, on Allens Ave. from Sprague energy to the Sewage Treatment plant to the Port of Providence. Why not focus instead on the Old Harbor area, India Point, and Fox's Point, which are devoid of noxious fumes, as the setting for a white collar waterfront. The new 195 land, when it comes online, could be used to complement a residential/recreational/touristic waterfront area.

When Cianci proposed the New Cities thing, apparently no one thought to consider the economic roles of the areas that were to be redone. Thus, Promenade, which is still pretty industrialized, was to be leveled to create a glitzy suburban-style office park. Meanwhile, Downcity languished and Capital Center remained half completed.

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I just added some more photos to my page about the project. Nefarious motives or not, luckily Pat sub leased the space to PCIS, a group of artists to master lease the space for the next five years. Great views of the bay, use of the wharf, and overlooks of the ship yard next door. Whether or not you agree with his polictics, for someone who needs work space, this could be a great opportunity.

http://www.artinruins.com/arch/redevelop/dunlop/

The best view, i thought, though, was from the restaurant, of the pink Cheaters building. Now that's upscale.

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This guy may or may not be a major dickhead, but:

THOUGH HE has not appeared before the city zoning board or the City Plan Commission, Conley has discussed his project with city officials, including City Planner Thomas E. Deller.

Conley's proposal fits in with the city's vision for the area, Deller said.

"The plan seems headed in the right direction," Deller said. "We want people to be able to go out there and enjoy the water."

Deller suggested that Conley build higher.

Again with the build higher! What bizarro world is this where people are looking for taller buildings in this city?!?!

Conley had originally proposed a 130-room hotel on the waterfront. After he spoke with Deller, Conley's architect redrew the development with a 320-unit hotel and a train line running along Allens Avenue. Deller wants the area to be dense enough to support a train trolley.

The city plan commission wants a trolley!? Are they serious!?

Conley asked RIPTA officials to launch their Providence ferry to Newport from the wharf, which has a 27-foot draft at low tide.

Karen Mensel, a RIPTA spokeswoman, said RIPTA officials are interested in moving to Conley's property. The wharf appeals to the transportation agency because it shortens the trip to Newport, has more parking, and bypasses the hurricane barrier, through which navigation is difficult.

The pilots "do it well, but it's always dicey," she said.

If Conley's dock is suitable, Mensel said, the ferry could move there by the end of the year.

RIPTA may move the ferry this year!?!?! So this guy is serious? He has money? This could make the Power Block look like kids playing in a sand box (Brussat's modernist sandbox :rofl: ).

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The idea of the trolley line is very interesting. I do however hesitate a little when getting giddy over this announcement. For starters, this area reminds me of New Jersey, (at least the parts I

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I can't really see all this happening. It seems like hot air and big ideas but heck if it does than great becasue the area is crap now.

(Why can't the projo resize images? i dont understand. )

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(Why can't the projo resize images? i dont understand. )

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

They need some serious help in the graphics department.

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Cotuit, since Deller's talkin transit down Allens Ave, you should send him your Providence subway/streetcar map that you posted on this site.

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Cotuit, since Deller's talkin transit down Allens Ave, you should send him your Providence subway/streetcar map that you posted on this site.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

Actually, I just did a newer, bigger map (I'll post it soon). I put trolleys on Eddy rather than Allens. An Eddy Street trolley would benefit more SP residents than an Allens Ave trolley would, even if this proposal came true.

My proposal puts stops at the Hospitals at Dudley and Eddy and also at Eddy and Public which would allow for people to access Conley Wharf.

The trolley could run down Allens to Public, then Public to Eddy. But that cuts out the direct service to the Hospitals on Eddy.

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