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AriPVD

Former Old Stone Bank Building purchased by Brown

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Does Brown still own the Old Stone Bank branch with the rotunda? I remember they were trying to put the Haffenreffer Museum in there but were blocked by Benefit residents who were worried about the additions that were needed.

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It was interesting to learn that the colleges have negotiated a phased transfer process for commercial property transitioning to tax-exempt. I don't know how it works now, but if the colleges want to become landlords as a revenue stream, and/or to claim property for future expansion, I think any non-academic property needs to remain on the tax roles.

It's interesting to see Brown rolling off the hill and into the Downtown (though still east of the river in this case) like RISD. It would be nice to see at least part of this building used for something that brings in the public, museum space or something that makes the building a presense, rather than just an office building.

RISD basically owns the rest of South Main Street at this point. There's the worry that eventually all the properties that Brown and RISD own along South Main will be turned over to institutional use, and the street will lose it's retail restaurant scene (not that it's terribly happening now).

I wonder what all this says about Brown's ability to expand on the hill. We all know about the neighbourhood opposition to any expansion plans that Brown comes up with, and the land up there isn't limitless. I wonder if this will be Brown's new strategy to try to move the sciences down the hill and into the Jewelry district, and cool expansion on the hill.

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It's interesting to see Brown rolling off the hill and into the Downtown (though still east of the river in this case) like RISD. It would be nice to see at least part of this building used for something that brings in the public, museum space or something that makes the building a presense, rather than just an office building.

I wonder what all this says about Brown's ability to expand on the hill. We all know about the neighbourhood opposition to any expansion plans that Brown comes up with, and the land up there isn't limitless. I wonder if this will be Brown's new strategy to try to move the sciences down the hill and into the Jewelry district, and cool expansion on the hill.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

Brown is in several buildings in the jewerly district on Elm St, Ship St and in Davol Sq.

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I don't mind that the colleges are expanding into downtown. I think they have a lot to offer the city on many levels.

The only thing I worry about is the downtown business core turning into a Thayer Street with the influx of J & W, Brown and RISD students. I like the mix of crowds and energy but I think Thayer is quickly losing its uniqueness as greedy landlords hike rents to a point that only national chains can afford. I'd rather have the Tazzas, Symposiums and Mama Theresa's of the world than something I can find at any off-ramp.

Whether this fear is rational or not I'm not so sure.

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As long as they don't kick out Heminway's, I'm fine with it. I love that place (when someone else is paying).

I don't subscribe to the PBN, so I didn't read the article. Did they say whether Brown was specifically planning on expanding facilities into the building, or if it was just a real-estate investment for the endowment? The college doesn't have any plans, that I know of, to expand undergrad facilities into downcity. However, after all the fiascos with Eastside residents, the med school is indeed planning expansion off the hill.

Also FYI: JWU has as many students as Brown and RISD combined. Plus, JWU operates out of downcity while Brown and RISD will always have huge chunks (probably the vast majority) of their campuses on the hill. This means that any Brown and RISD expansions into downcity will always be a drop in the bucket compared to the current influence of JWU.

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As long as they don't kick out Heminway's, I'm fine with it. I love that place (when someone else is paying).

I don't subscribe to the PBN, so I didn't read the article. Did they say whether Brown was specifically planning on expanding facilities into the building, or if it was just a real-estate investment for the endowment? The college doesn't have any plans, that I know of, to expand undergrad facilities into downcity. However, after all the fiascos with Eastside residents, the med school is indeed planning expansion off the hill.

Also FYI: JWU has as many students as Brown and RISD combined. Plus, JWU operates out of downcity while Brown and RISD will always have huge chunks (probably the vast majority) of their campuses on the hill. This means that any Brown and RISD expansions into downcity will always be a drop in the bucket compared to the current influence of JWU.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

Seems like Brown purchased the building as a way of ensuring that they have room for expansion in the future. The article indicated that Brown will keep Hemmingways, and street level retail as well as continue to honor the leases of current tenents. As leases come up for renewal, the college will decide if they need the space or whether to rerent.

I'd like to see them take over the entire building (except for street level), tightening the office space market and spuring on the building of a new tower somewhere in downcity.

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I'd like to see them take over the entire building (except for street level), tightening the office space market and spuring on the building of a new tower somewhere in downcity.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

That's exactly what I was thinking. If I were a tenant I might be getting a little nervous right now, maybe even looking around for another location. I think the writing in on the wall on this one. Brown already has offices across the street @ 110 S. Main St (their legal offices). I'm thinking that they may want to put all of their administrative offices, which are now spread all over College Hill, in one location.

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Clearly Brown is positioning themselves on the edge of their expansion zone, aka the 195 land. Look for an all out war between JWU, RISD and Brown (or perhaps friendly collaboration?) My prediction: the future of the Providence economy will be based in the 195 zone and Jewelry District, with financial services still clustered in the "financial district." Don't forget, the floorplates of old buildings don't make for good modern office space.

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I'm thinking that they may want to put all of their administrative offices, which are now spread all over College Hill, in one location.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

Maybe this will be the new "BOB"

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Does Brown still own the Old Stone Bank branch with the rotunda? I remember they were trying to put the Haffenreffer Museum in there but were blocked by Benefit residents who were worried about the additions that were needed.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

I was wondering what ever happened to that project. So what are they doing what the building now?

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Clearly Brown is positioning themselves on the edge of their expansion zone, aka the 195 land.  Look for an all out war between JWU, RISD and Brown (or perhaps friendly collaboration?)  My prediction: the future of the Providence economy will be based in the 195 zone and Jewelry District, with financial services still clustered in the "financial district."  Don't forget, the floorplates of old buildings don't make for good modern office space.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

Are you suggesting a building boom :)

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I dont know if this would make sense.. but for those 3 colleges to use some of the 195 land as residential/dorm usage.

I'm not sure how rapidly any of the 3 are growing in size, but I assume as of now.. by expansion, they mean building administrative and classroom space.. not residential.

I just think it would benefit the city more. i can picture any addition like that to make the 195 land and the core business/residential downcity area to become THAT much more dense.

of course this is just expansion of dorms.. not relocation, so college hill wouldn't lose anything

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I was wondering what ever happened to that project. So what are they doing what the building now?

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

That was one of Vartan Gregorian's projects when he was Brown's president. When he left Brown it basically fizzled. I also know that the Haffenreffer folks didn't think the bldg made for a good exhibition space. So far as I know the bldg is in limbo and, knowing how long it takes Brown to get anything done, it may be a long time before they decide what to do with it.

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I keep thinking the vast wasteland around the RI Hospital complex would be a natural place for a Brown Lifesciences/Biotech expansion....

cheap, and it would gigantically benefit south providence.

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I keep thinking the vast wasteland around the RI Hospital complex would be a natural place for a Brown Lifesciences/Biotech expansion....

cheap, and it would gigantically benefit south providence.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

Agreed. I keep thinking that its sort of a shame that Brown is supposedly moving away from the Hill and yet this is such a safe location on South Main Street. I would love to see them really invest in other parts of the city -- and RI Hospital would be a great fit.

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They need to purchase land and build buildings in order to move to the hospital area. Thus far, off the hill, they have not built any new buildings, only acquired existing ones.

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They need to purchase land and build buildings in order to move to the hospital area. Thus far, off the hill, they have not built any new buildings, only acquired existing ones.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

True, but I bet the re-fit they did on the Ship Street Building was getting into new construction territory....have you seen the venting on the roof? Wow.

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True, but I bet the re-fit they did on the Ship Street Building was getting into new construction territory....have you seen the venting on the roof? Wow.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

I believe Ship Street was a $20 million project (perhaps $25 when all was said and done). I don't know how much they paid for the building, but I think $25 million is cheaper still than building from scratch a similar sized building with all the science equipment and various accoutrements that building required.

Now if they worked with RIH, using RIH property and building new construction that both would use and both would pay for... that may be a different story.

It's probably politically difficult within the school for them to build at RIH. Who wants to work there?

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I believe Ship Street was a $20 million project (perhaps $25 when all was said and done). I don't know how much they paid for the building, but I think $25 million is cheaper still than building from scratch a similar sized building with all the science equipment and various accoutrements that building required.

Now if they worked with RIH, using RIH property and building new construction that both would use and both would pay for... that may be a different story.

It's probably politically difficult within the school for them to build at RIH. Who wants to work there?

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Given the amount of new construction Brown has been involved in on its primary campus I don't think it is averse to such projects. In the end I think Brown's purchase of Old Stone Square boiled down to its convenient location and what I guess was an attractive price. Now if it continues to expand in the JD, then it is simply going to have to build new eventually.

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  Now if it continues to expand in the JD, then it is simply going to have to build new eventually.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

Agreed. But I don't see this happening untill the present Rt 195 is totally dismantled, sometime after 2012. Then we'll see J&W, Brown and the private sector bidding over land.

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I believe Brown has rights to the parking lot across the street from their Ship Street building. They would probably be after the land next to it which is under 195. They could be building something quite interesting on Richmond Street in the not too distant future.

I don't really think Brown as any plans to skip across Route 95 to RIH, we'll have to wait for that wasteland to be developed by the hospitals and the private sector. Brown's plans seem to be to extend the medical research area into the Jewelry District. It would be more likely probably that we'd see hospital expansion (or partnershops between Brown and the hospitals) in the Jewelry District for lab space and research facilities.

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