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TheAnk

Promenade District

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So, Sasaki wants the Promenade to develop.. What are your thoughts on what is the best use for this swath of land?

I think extending Davis Park is key.. The area is suprisingly vibrant right now.. I was driving around last weekend.. But its very hodge podge, and industrial with a mix of obscure retail.. But I was suprised with how many functioning business are there currently..

But there is no draw to it, so it appears like a big block of waste.. There are some burned out run down mills in there.. What is the best way to tie Smith Hill, Valley, Fed Hill and Down City togethet over there? Rt 6 withstanding, of course

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There are lots of artists working and living in that area right now.. (Monahassett, the Steelyard, among a few other places).

This energy is critical for Providence. Lots of small businesses, community activists, individual artists, etc have sprung from this area and these spaces.

We should do all we can to encourage and codify this type of thing, as it will eventually attract small local business retail, cafes, venues, etc... Right now, there is an immenent threat of artist displacement, as these space could work for business and high-end condos as well. My opinion is that the more high-end uses should be channeled into downcity.

lm

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ALthough gritty Promenade is not the wasteland that people often assume it to be.

As Laura pointed out, there are quite a number of artist studios there. In addition, you have the three big projects at the eastern end-the Foundry, the Jefferson, and the Produce Warehouse.

At the western end you have Eagle Square, the lofts that are going into the adjacent buildings and nearby in Olneyville there is Rising Sun and Puente. Plus you still have a lot of small scale manufacturing, mostly jewelry, scattered throughout the area.

As far as encouraging future development, I think the Sasaki plan is a huge improvement over Cianci's New Cities vision for Promenade which was to knock down virtually every mill and turn the whole area into a sort of glitzy exurban style office park. No better was Paolino's idea that the area should be a site for big box development.

I think the city needs to work with Brown, RISD, and the other local colleges to create a kind of incubator program that will keep recent grads in the area. Promenade is perfect as a location for start-ups which need office space. In terms of industries I'm thinking design-related, creative, high tech, and light industrial. It makes sense to keep medical stuff near RI Hosptial and the Jewelry District.

I would personally love to see incubator space in the still vacant Foundry building (the one next to 95 with the awesome granite cornices), the area around Acorn St. where Nicholson File was once located, and the former GE Base Works on Atwells across from Eagle Square.

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Well, I think with all the tax free school space and tax free artist income the city already has, they probably would want something there that will add to the coffers..

I have no problem with live/works like Monahassett and the like; They are great for readaptive use of some of these post-industrials.. But a small business office park I think would be better for the city..

Keeping college grads and improving the inflow of other educated workforce should be the #1 driver for the city..

I think they need to uncover the Woonasquatucket River from the brush thats on the sides of it and create a view; maybe trim the branches on the trees up 10 feet or so.. Create sight lines accross the river.. Making the area connect better through grid like roads would be nice.. Triple the size of Davis Park, conplete with old industrial "artifacts" and plaques telling the story of the area..

Having the pnpp.org go in there and provide some tree cover woud drastically improve the area.. I envision a place where residents from Smith Hill and Valley (or Fed Hill) can walk down the hill to work (or brave the Dean St OP), have more service available than a canteen truck, spend some $$$ @ Eagle Square, then go home...

Feasible?

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Having the pnpp.org go in there and provide some tree cover woud drastically improve the area.. I envision a place where residents from Smith Hill and Valley (or Fed Hill) can walk down the hill to work (or brave the Dean St OP), have more service available than a canteen truck, spend some $$$ @ Eagle Square, then go home...

Feasible?

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

I agree with this last part completely. I think the prime goal should be to improve the connections (pedestrian and bicycle, visual; NOT car) with the surrounding neighborhoods and downtown. I think if you accomplish this, much of the other stuff will follow.

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A few buildings on Harris Ave which were previously boarded up with for lease signs on them were under work this AM.. I have to say the rate of property improvement in Providence is dizzying.. Just great to see the city come alive..

By city of course, I mean the "Rest of Providence".. :lol:

I'm West Siiiide only; no need for you East Siders and your Nantucket Reds and penny loafers!!

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I'm West Siiiide only; no need for you East Siders and your Nantucket Reds and penny loafers!!

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

Us Nantucket redders are invading, we're on Federal Hill, soon we'll be in Olneyville!!! :o

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I'm going to become the Duke of Olneyville and secede from Prov. South Olneyville will become a new Christania. We'll gate the streets. Maybe even get our own exit from the RT 6 rehab.

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Watch what you say about the East Side. It's a pretty big area with lots of different types of people living there. And I thought Nantucket Reds and penny loafers are for people from Connecticut & New York who come up to Cape Cod to clog the roads in the summer..?

But I'm all for the Olneyville Renaissance. The whole Valley area has a ton of potential - the river is gonna bring new life to that part of the city, hopefully with a little help from SBER and others.....

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Does anyone seem to think that the Eagle Square plaza was not designed properly? I think that they did a great job renovating some of the historic buildings.However, they overdid it with building the Dunkin Donuts structure. None of the businesses open up on Atwells including the businesses in the former Uncas building.The whole place is enclosed.This plaza is convenient and the closest one to my house, but I have reservations of going there at night.It definitely is not a good design.Also, it seems that this design has plagued passing motorists and visitors from knowing what exists in the plaza to some extent.It always seems empty and the businesses are not doing well there.It's really a shame.They need to knock down the Dunkin building so everyone coming down from Federal Hill can see what is there.This is a classic case of well-intentioned radical NIMBY historical presevationists coming together to simply oppose something for the sake of it.This plaza needs to reflect the neighborhood as a whole and encourage visitors and tourists coming off Rt.10 and Rt.95 down Atwells.The first thing they see is the back of a Cingular store and an ass-backwards Drive-thru @ Dunkin Donuts.Nobody can see what other outfits exist there.The result...many empty storefronts with For Lease signs that have been there forever..The overdone design fails miserably.Any updates on future tenants? We could definitely use more services in that neighborhood and surrounding like mine...

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Does anyone seem to think that the Eagle Square plaza was not designed properly? I think that they did a great job renovating some of the historic buildings.However, they overdid it with building the Dunkin Donuts structure. None of the businesses open up on Atwells including the businesses in the former Uncas building.The whole place is enclosed.This plaza is convenient and the closest one to my house, but I have reservations of going there at night.It definitely is not a good design.Also, it seems that this design has  plagued passing motorists and visitors from knowing what exists in the plaza to some extent.It always seems empty and the businesses are not doing well there.It's really a shame.They need to knock down the Dunkin building so everyone coming down from Federal Hill can see what is there.This is a classic case of well-intentioned radical NIMBY historical presevationists coming together to simply oppose something for the sake of it.This plaza needs to reflect the neighborhood as a whole and encourage visitors and tourists coming off Rt.10 and Rt.95 down Atwells.The first thing they see is the back of a Cingular store and an ass-backwards Drive-thru @ Dunkin Donuts.Nobody can see what other outfits exist there.The result...many empty storefronts with For Lease signs that have been there forever..The overdone design fails miserably.Any updates on future tenants? We could definitely use more services in that neighborhood and surrounding like mine...

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

I couldn't agree more. I go there a lot for lunch, and I never understood why the hell the DD, Popeyes, Subway, all face the inner parking lot instead of a streetfront. Good intentions with using the existing buildings, but what the hell happened? Urban planning 101: storefronts should face a STREET to encourage pedestrian activity and safety.

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I couldn't agree more.  I go there a lot for lunch, and I never understood why the hell the DD, Popeyes, Subway, all face the inner parking lot instead of a streetfront.  Good intentions with using the existing buildings, but what the hell happened?  Urban planning 101: storefronts should face a STREET to encourage pedestrian activity and safety.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

The Dunkin building was built there and was not a pre-existing building.They wanted to create density,but completely overdid it.I hope they realize that and knock it down!!!!!!

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The Dunkin building was built there and was not a pre-existing building.They wanted to create density,but completely overdid it.I hope they realize that and knock it down!!!!!!

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

Oh wow I always thought that it was an existing building....All the more reason why it is stupid I guess....So basically they were attempting some sort of "parking lot" infill development by building it there? It would have been nice if they built a street grid there with storefronts facing the streets...although I know its an oddly-shaped site.

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Oh wow I always thought that it was an existing building....All the more reason why it is stupid I guess....So basically they were attempting some sort of "parking lot" infill development by building it there?  It would have been nice if they built a street grid there with storefronts facing the streets...although I know its an oddly-shaped site.

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There was an old diner on the site where Dunkin Donuts is now. DD had its own freestanding store pushed back from the street kind of where the Payhalf store is nowThe existing building blocks the view of anyone coming down from the Hill. A lot of people don't even know that the Staples is there.These majority of these businesses cater to a wide area because of convenient access.These businesses (esp. Staples and any future tenants) cannot rely on the immediate 1 mile vicinity to keep their businesses afloat.The immediate area is primarily low-income and minority.Many of the people here would rather shop @ discount stores and markets that cater to their respective communities.This plaza definitely needs to restructure itself so it can benefit from the large amount of visitors to the Hill and Downtown.Without some type of plan, I imagine disaster.

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It's totally screwed up, part of that is the rush job they had to do in designing the thing when they decided to listen to the neighbourhood and stop knowcking down the mill buildings. There could be a main street running through the site in more or less a straight line. there should be a structured parking lot. The fast food places should undoubtedly face Atwells, and there should be street parking on Atwells. The main entrance off Atwlls should not be at the light across from the fire station, rather it should be where one would turn in to get to Staples. It's a big mess, it could be fixed up, but I doubt we'll see that soon. It could be worse, the plan was to tear everything down and build a strip mall. And the one mile zone of prospective customers is going to improve soon with many mill projects in the pipeline in the area. I met someone who lives at Eagle Square, they absolutely love it.

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It's totally screwed up, part of that is the rush job they had to do in designing the thing when they decided to listen to the neighbourhood and stop knowcking down the mill buildings. There could be a main street running through the site in more or less a straight line. there should be a structured parking lot. The fast food places should undoubtedly face Atwells, and there should be street parking on Atwells. The main entrance off Atwlls should not be at the light across from the fire station, rather it should be where one would turn in to get to Staples. It's a big mess, it could be fixed up, but I doubt we'll see that soon. It could be worse, the plan was to tear everything down and build a strip mall. And the one mile zone of prospective customers is going to improve soon with many mill projects in the pipeline in the area. I met someone who lives at Eagle Square, they absolutely love it.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

The overwhelming majority of the people in the area are working class citizens who desperately need neighborhood services. I have lived in Prov. my whole life (29 years ).I think that the city has come a long way and I hope it continues to prosper.My only thought is that a few mill conversions are not going to help this development from attaining the business it needs to survive.The development and gentrification will enhance the area , but it will not sustain long term sustainability. I would like to see Prov. as a stable city with strong neighborhoods that have character.An urban neighborhood to me is a place that one can live,shop, and relax all within one area.The focus is always on Downtown (I refuse to say Downcity as I am a native.) without much focus on outlying areas.We have some great vibrant areas in Prov. that don't need that much , but just enough to lure people. My neighborhood, ethnically and economically diverse, would be GREAT if we had a pharmacy and/or supermarket plaza @the former Valueland.My area is safe and I have some wonderful neighbors.There is a fantastic view of the State House and really good Chinese restaurants and bakeries within walking distance.The only thing that really holds my neighborhood and a lot of neighborhoods in Prov. back is the fact that we lack necessary services for ALL people.Specialty stores and restaurants are great, but they don't help an area grow!!!!(i.e. Venice, Italy)

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I didn't know Providence and Worcester were sister cities. I know both cities were manufacturing-rich and now have old underutilized mill buildings all over town. I find this research project very interesting.

Does Worcester have anything in progress along the lines of ALCO?

I'll have to check UP - Worcester...

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There used to be a lot of trade between the two cities along the Blackstone Canal and later the railroads.

As far as comparisons go, I know that the Canal District in Worcester is showing signs of life and there are a number of mill conversions going on there. But at this point I think the Promenade District is further along in terms of reinvestment--especially now that the ALCO project has been announced.

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Old bickering sisters who fight over everything, sitting in their housecoats fighting over who bbought milk the last time.

The Canal District is an area, the Canal itself is really in bad shape there, completely underground, although there has been tlk of recreating it. However, with the rt146 project, the section of the canal south of the city is on it's way to becoming a state park and recreational area. But the city turned it's back on the canal so long ago they copletely decimated it's remains.

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