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AriPVD

Washington Street

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Ah, Washington Street. If one downtown street could benefit from a total makeover, this is it. True, Washington is anchored on one end by the Biltmore and the other by Trinity, but it's a forlorn street full of forlorn people. The Cogens press building just changed hands and could be redeveloped and the Dreyfus Hotel should begin soon. I'd personally love to see an east/west LRT/tram run from Wayland Square through the tunnel up Washington Street to Eagle Square. What's next for Washington Street?

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Forlorn people?

I like the idea of a LRT down Washington, though its sorta narrow so I don't know if it would fit unless you took out parking lanes.

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I like the idea of a LRT down Washington, though its sorta narrow so I don't know if it would fit unless you took out parking lanes.

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It'd be fine if the trains ran with traffic, it's far too narrow for transit only lanes though.

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If one downtown street could benefit from a total makeover

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It's a tough stretch of road, especially as you approach Trinity. On one side you've got empty storefronts, a drive-through bank and parking lots. On the other side you've got the wall of a giant parking structure. I think the effect is similar to what you feel on Westminster around the Grant's Block area. A drive-through bank isn't the most city-friendly structure. Some of the facades on the street could use some help. Especially the Cogens building.

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I've never seen so many people begging for change on one street.

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Ever been on Market Street in San Francisco?

I actually think Washington Street is pretty nice, particularly since they are almost done with the roadwork. The RI Housing Building (Shepeards Building?) and the URI building are spectacular. The Parkade is pretty bad, but other than that, I think its in good shape for the future, especially with the Lupos/Strand condos and Gracies.

The Washington Trust bank building is convenient (my bank), but the building is pretty hideous. They could re-face that building and make a pretty big impact.

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I actually think Washington Street is pretty nice, particularly since they are almost done with the roadwork. The RI Housing Building (Shepeards Building?) and the URI building are spectacular...the Lupos/Strand condos and Gracies.

The Washington Trust bank building is convenient (my bank), but the building is pretty hideous. They could re-face that building and make a pretty big impact.

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These are all good points. Washington Street esp. from KP to Mathewson does have some amazing architecture. And many small businesses have been able to survive: The Geller shoe store, TOTT, New Japan, Cuban Rev, the little Liquor store, etc.

URI continuing ed. is in the old Shepard's Department Store building.

A few comic book and small alt. record stores made theie way through the Wash. at various times in the 90's.

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Drove by Washington St today and noticed a huge For Sale sign on the Roger Williams College bldg. Does anyone know if they're moving out? If that's the case, I wonder if it's good or bad. It would obviously be bad if that means yet another empty bldg downtown. On the other hand, if someone like Chace could turn it into apts, it might be a very good thing.

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The Cogens press building just changed hands and could be redeveloped...

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Which one is the Cogens press building (is that the RWU Building, and iff not do you know what's up with that)?

I think Washington is not terrible (and I agree with eltron on the Market Street in SF comment), but for downtown, it should and could be better.

The building that RI Housing is in is very nice, but it's kind of a void having ground floor offices. Does the state own that building, could the offices be relocated to the upper floors and the ground freed up for retail? The office are better than a vacant building, but I'd always rather see active retail on the ground, esp. along a street like Washington.

The same goes with URI being in the Shepards Building, a college bookstore cafe would be a nice use for the ground floor of the Shepards Building. It could be narrow as not to take up too much space and allow for classrooms and such to continue to occupy the ground floor off the street. Again, who owns this, is it fully rented on the upper floors, can the school expand up and allow retail on the ground?

The building that RWU is in is horrible, I hope there is some nice detail beneath the stucco that has been slapped up on it that can be reborn someday. If RWU is moving, it could certainly join the Downcity residential boom, but hopefully, someday soon there will be more demand for office space Downcity. The Washington Street corridor could connect the office areas of the Financial District with the offices around Cathedral Square, making for an expanded business district with daytime activity.

Washington suffers from two ghastly parking garages. The Civic Center Garage could use a facelift and be alright (particularly if something was done about the asthetics of the Washington Trust buidling). But the Parkade (behind the Biltmore) has got to go. Combine it with the parking lot on Emmett Square and you've got a really good sized downtown parcel that should be prime for development. Allow a tall building (20+) there with public parking conceled within. This is also my fantacy location for a Downcity department store, Marshalls or TJMaxx or the like.

Like I said, I think Washington is not terrible, there's a lot going for it, and good stuff on the way. AS220s Dreyfuss rehab is going to be wonderful for the street. The Lofts at the Strand will bring much needed life to the street, and the developers promise facade improvements to the building.

I'd like to see Washington become Downcity's service street. Westminster will be the upscale boutique, Newbury-lite street. Weybosset should turn out a bit funky, the Downcity hang out for J&W and RISD students. Washington should have the pharmacy, and convenience store, and dry cleaner, and bank and other service business that the Downcity residents will need. It's nicely located between Westminster and the Power Block and Westin projects (and not overly far from Waterplace). It's close enough to Kennedy Plaza to get business from people who are on their way home via the bus.

Oh, and we should all picket ProJo until they sell the development rights to their parking lot.

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Oh, and we should all picket ProJo until they sell the development rights to their parking lot.

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Well, after Cianci and the mall owners failed to bring in a arts cinema to their lot the journal vowed that they would never sell that land.

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Demolition of the skinny building with the downtown liquor store in it would really destroy the street by revealing the parking lot behind it and eliminating an important stretch of storefronts.

BTW I was just in chinatown in Vancouver BC where they have a building even skinnier: 5 feet wide and has earned a place in the guinness book of records as the skinniest building.

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