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AriPVD

PROPOSED: Journal Hotel

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The theater that Garris refers to is the Kresgey Building, an old department-type store. Pierre owns that one as well. As of today, I'm taking a few steps to continue the public advocacy campaign that I tried to start last summer regarding his properties. Unfortunately, I'm not in the position to do much because of this conflict of interest (I work for Buff Chace and although he would very much like to see the buildings reused, I can't speak for him). I am nominating the Old ProJo Building for the Providence Preservation Society's 2005 Ten Most Endangered Properties List. I will also e-mail several of my contacts at the Providence Journal and ask them to look into a story. If anyone has any other ideas, please let me know and perhaps we can coordinate some kind of effort. I'm going to start another thread because I believe there's more to say on this topic.

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The theater that Garris refers to is the Kresgey Building, an old department-type store.  Pierre owns that one as well.  As of today, I'm taking a few steps to continue the public advocacy campaign that I tried to start last summer regarding his properties.  Unfortunately, I'm not in the position to do much because of this conflict of interest (I work for Buff Chace and although he would very much like to see the buildings reused, I can't speak for him).  I am nominating the Old ProJo Building for the Providence Preservation Society's 2005 Ten Most Endangered Properties List.  I will also e-mail several of my contacts at the Providence Journal and ask them to look into a story.  If anyone has any other ideas, please let me know and perhaps we can coordinate some kind of effort.  I'm going to start another thread because I believe there's more to say on this topic.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

Can you think of any resonable explanation of why this man refuses to sell these properties?

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I toured his props a few years ago. He bought at the top of the market, around 1989, and doesnt feel the need to sell at a loss. The prices might make more sense now, given our recent appriciation and healthy development market.

The one near Tilden Thurber would make great condos or apts. The old Projo building has been internally attached to it's neighbor for larger floorplates. There is a mothballed gym on the top floor with a running track around it. Really cool. The underground parking could be redesigned to hold more cars.

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I've toured them as well (last summer). Amazing potential, especially while we still have historic tax credits. He's had many offers on the buildings (between $6-8 million cash) but he systematically refuses them

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I've toured them as well (last summer).  Amazing potential, especially while we still have historic tax credits.  He's had many offers on the buildings (between $6-8 million cash) but he systematically refuses them

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

He likes to get a check every month :sick: I know the type.

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Is there anyone out there that has a serious proposal for these buildings? I.E. is there someone who's ready to go with a plan, if only they could get the buildings (I'm sure Buff has drawn something on a napkin in his spare time)?

Who at the Journal would be willing to take this on as a campaign (Brussat, I assume, anyone else)?

Are there any synergies between any writiers at ProJo, Providence Monthy, and the Phoenix, it would be nice to see a coordinated blitz in the media on this topic?

Normally I'm opposed to note posting, but a guerilla campaign Downcity could be effective in raising public attention. Posts with photos of the buildings asking, "Do you know why these buidings are empty?" asking people to write the papers, write the city council, write the mayor... call for action.

I can't believe I just used the word 'synergies'. :rolleyes:

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The theater that Garris refers to is the Kresgey Building, an old department-type store.

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I may be completly wrong, but I seem to remember reading somewhere that he actually saved the Projo building from demolition or irreparable altering...

Anyone recall that?

Either way, its a fantastic building, maybe the best in all of Providence for its location and unique style, and from what Lova says, its funky interior layout. I'd love to get a look at that gym...

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I may be completly wrong, but I seem to remember reading somewhere that he actually saved the Projo building from demolition or irreparable altering...

Anyone recall that?

Either way, its a fantastic building, maybe the best in all of Providence for its location and unique style, and from what Lova says, its funky interior layout. I'd love to get a look at that gym...

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

For some reason I actually thought that that building was part of Cornish's plan to rehab the building into apts/condo's.

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I've contacted Greg Smith and David Brussat at the ProJo. I'll contact my people at Providence Monthly as well. I like the idea of a guerilla campaign. Wanna start it?

Oh and also, I've done alot of financial modeling for the properties and our architects have drawn up plans ad nauseum.

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I've contacted Greg Smith and David Brussat at the ProJo.  I'll contact my people at Providence Monthly as well.  I like the idea of a guerilla campaign.  Wanna start it?

Oh and also, I've done alot of financial modeling for the properties and our architects have drawn up plans ad nauseum.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

GO FOR IT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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I may be completly wrong, but I seem to remember reading somewhere that he actually saved the Projo building from demolition or irreparable altering...

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

Actually Joseph Mollicone (yes, him of RISDIC fame) restored the bldg back in the 80s. Before that it had been covered up with metal panels to hide the ornate facade.

As far as a nomination for the 10 most endangered, I dunno, it's true that the old ProJo bldg is not used to its full potential but I did notice that it was painted recently and it does have a number of tenants including Big Nazo.

The one that seems totally empty to me is the Kresge bldg. Maybe that would be a better candidate.

It might be easier to get a bldg nominated now that the Masonic Temple and (hopefully) the Produce Warehouse will presumably be off the list because of their redevelopment.

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His local agent was a man named Sandy Shock (spelling?). Not sure if he still represents him.

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I like the idea of a guerilla campaign.  Wanna start it?

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

Would you want to write up something on the current condition and situation of the buildings (working in the area, and in the business, you seem to have the best grasp on it)? I could take some pics, and put somesort of flyer and/or form letter together.

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There is a mothballed gym on the top floor with a running track around it. Really cool.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

:o My goodness... You want to cry at all the lost potential. How many people (myself included) would love to live in a building with its own running track? Wow... And it already has is own underground parking?? What's this guy waiting for? The market is as good now as it's ever going to get...

I'm happy to help out in any way I can to move these folks along...

- Garris

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Eminent domain! Maybe a tool that the city could use to force these do-nothing landlords to sell out.

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Eminent domain! Maybe a tool that the city could use to force these do-nothing landlords to sell out.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

I was thinking the same thing, but I didn't want to get theAnk all riled up. :unsure:

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This is where the libertarian in me gets ripped apart. The fact of the matter is, Pierre has every right to do whatever he wants with those buildings. It's just incredibly frustrating. I've been spreading the word all day, I think we're going to have a nice little grass roots campaign starting up. Even if we don't have specific objectives, I just want everyone to be aware that these buildings are owned by one man and that they're holding the whole neighborhood back.

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The fact of the matter is, Pierre has every right to do whatever he wants with those buildings.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

Does he have the right to tear them down? I would say no.

The collective right of society to retain these buildings for their aesthetic and historic signficance outweighs his right as a property owner to dispose of his property as he sees fit. The rights of propery owners are not necessarily absolute.

As for the eminent domain question, now that the Supreme Court has sanctified the use of the concept as a tool for economic development, I can definitely see the city as being legally justified in forcing the sale of the properties or requiring him to put them to productive use to stimulate downtown redevelopment. That doesn't mean it would be politically feasible. In any case, the man is 85 and the time when these buildings will be put on the market might not be too far off.

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The building sitting really is a huge shame.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

This is a question for either Mikepl or AriPVD. Where do you enter the garage in the Peerless Building?

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next to the smith building.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

So, is the entrance/exit on Fulton St, Union St or Eddy St?

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I can definitely see the city as being legally justified in forcing the sale of the properties or requiring him to put them to productive use to stimulate downtown redevelopment. That doesn't mean it would be politically feasible. In any case, the man is 85 and the time when these buildings will be put on the market might not be too far off.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

Out of curiosity, aside from mediating, does the city have any tools aside from offering tax breaks to stimulate use of buildings for economic development? I presume, obviously, that an owner has the right to let them sit there and do nothing, but what leverage does the city have?

- Garris

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