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Cotuit

COMPLETE: Rising Sun

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Providence's big focus right now is on renovating and restoring it's historic buildings. The city has a large collection of 19th century factory and mill buildings. The Rising Sun Mills is one that is currently being revitalized.

Rising%20Sun%20Mills001.jpeg

Struever Bros. Eccles & Rouse, Inc. and The Armory Revival Company are renovating the 313,000 square foot National and Providence Worsted Mills, one of Rhode Island's most significant and best preserved mill complexes located on the Woonasquatucket River two miles from the heart of Providence's downtown.

Dating from 1887, the complex offers a unique opportunity to create a one-of-a-kind, mixed-use campus offering the best of both worlds: easy access to Providence's dynamic downtown coupled with the appeal of a wooded, riverfront location. Named after the original 1795 mill on the site, the $49 million Rising Sun Mills project will anchor the northern end of the City's newest redevelopment area, The Promenade District. Comprised of 175 acres of riverfront property, The Promenade District extends from the $500 million Providence Place mall to the heart of historic Olneyville Square and includes more than a million square feet of new development.

Struever Bros. Eccles & Rouse, Inc.

Rising%20Sun%20Mills002.jpeg

Once the site of high-churning spindles that created the nation's largest supply of worsted wool, the spirit of high production remains today with the dynamic mixed-use renovation of Rising Sun Mills. The project ushers in a new definition of community lifestyle, blending highly efficient, smartly designed office space with the finest loft-style living options offered in Rhode Island today.

The 313,000 square foot complex brings to Providence today's most competitive setting to cultivate a quality work force and retain them.

Part of a larger redevelopment initiative being led by the City of Providence as part of its Three Cities Plan, Rising Sun Mills offers a unique opportunity to be part of a one-of-a-kind, mixed-use campus offering the best of both worlds: easy access to Providence's dynamic downtown coupled with the appeal of a wooded, riverfront oasis.

This River valley now named the Promenade District, includes175 acres of vacant and underutilized industrial property that is being transformed into a diverse mix of offices, retail, apartments and condos that will be home to more than 10,000 retail and office workers and more than 2,000 new residents. Already completed or underway is the $400 million Providence Place Mall, the 330-unit Jefferson Place luxury apartment complex, the 1,000,000 square foot Foundry redevelopment, and the 255,000 square foot Eagle Square redevelopment anchored by New England's largest Shaw's grocery store. Combined with the thriving retail and restaurant scene that has emerged on Atwells Avenue in neighboring Federal Hill and the revitalization of beautiful Greek Revival mansions along Broadway, this new wave of construction along one of America's most historic rivers will define the next phase of Providence's remarkable reinvention.

Struever Bros. Eccles & Rouse, Inc.

There is another side to this project however. Some community activists are worried that this is the begining of the gentrification of Onleyville (one of the city's most downtrodden neighbourhoods). Check out Art In Ruins for the other side's perspective on this project. There are also some terrific photos of the mill's current condition there.

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I love this type of projects. I've been thinking of starting a thread called post your pix of old factories, but I don't have enough shots to get started yet.

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Work has started at Rising Sun. There is another mill complex down the road from Rising Sun called Eagle Square, which is nearing completion. Eagle Square is just down the road from my apartment and features the largest Shaw's supermarket. I'm in love with Shaw's. I'll try to get some pictures of Eagle Square if I can ever get outside before the sun sets, or if it's ever not raining here.

Eagle Square was also a very controversial project, the original proposal was to tear down the mills and start from scratch. In fact work started on tearing down the mills and the Shaw's is in an area that was torn down and is a typical supermarket with a typical super-parking lot. When the buildings started being torn down the community went crazy and had the project stopped and forced them to redesign it, creating a much better project. Buildings that were structurally sound were kept, and several new buildings are being built amongst them. The brouhaha sent the project a year behind schedule, it was supposed to be done by now in it's original form, but will probably be fully completed next spring.

The gentrification aspect has been a concern especially amongst artists. Providence has always been an extremely affordable city for working artists and the city has been marketing it's comeback in part on it's commitment to the arts. But in recent years as areas have been redeveloped, artists have been forced out. The latest enclave for artists is Onleyville, and no sooner have they begun to settle there when the developers show up, hot on their tails.

Many artists have been leaving Providence altogether and heading up to Pawtucket.

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Developer of Providence project eyeing site in West Warwick

Monday, November 17, 2003

BY ZACHARY R. MIDER

Journal Staff Writer

WEST WARWICK -- There is good news about the future of the Royal Mills, perhaps the most majestic of the town's vacant industrial complexes.

The Baltimore developer chosen to revitalize the old complex told the Town Council recently that his efforts to convert it into market-rate apartments and condominiums are proceeding according to plan.

Although still seeking approval from environmental, transportation and historical agencies, C. William Struever, of Struever Bros. Eccles & Rouse, said his company expects to be able to take title to the property next month or in January.

An early real-estate marketing study had made investors skeptical about the project, but Struever said that an "updated" marketing study had found the anticipated prices for apartments and condominiums to be realistic.

Struever Bros. has a $75-million budget in place for the project, Struever said, anticipating state and federal tax credits and a 10-year property tax-abatement deal with the town.

Struever said state and federal historical-properties officials were "delighted" with his plans, although approval for the tax credits is not yet complete.

(Struever Bros. is also the prospective developer of the of the National and Providence Worsterd Mills building on Valley Street in Olneyville. The company, along with the Armory Revival Co. of Providence, plans to turn the 313,000 square foot complex into 151 apartments and 125,000 square feet of office and commercial space. The $56-million project, called Rising Sun Mills, recent was granted intial approval by the Providence City Council for a $5-million tax break. The developers have said the concesssion will help them moderate rents.)

With the town's permission, the company has taken steps to shore up the mills and install a temporary roof to prevent further decay. At a previous council meeting, Town Manager Wolfgang Bauer estimated that the company's efforts to date had cost $200,000 to $250,000.

In anticipation of a deal with Struever Bros., the town took title to the property in May. No one had paid property taxes on the land for years.

Struever said that in the first phase of the project, one of the complex's main buildings, the red-brick Ace Dyeing building, would become 109 one-and two-bedroom apartments. To let more light into the building, the developer plans to open an atrium in its center.

In the next phase, Struever said, the granite-faced Royal Mill building would be renovated to contain more than 100 apartments and 64 condominiums.

A study turned up no prohibitive environmental problems at the site, Struever said. There is asbestos and lead paint, but his company should be able to remove those hazards at a reasonable cost, he said. He will ask the state Department of Environmental Management to approve his plans this month.

One confounding aspect of using the mill property has been finding enough room for parking. Struever Bros. will get some of the needed spaces through an agreement with the Sgt. David Langevin VFW post, next door, Struever said. There will also be parking in front of the complex, along Providence Street, he said. That will require the approval of the state Department of Transportation.

Struever Bros. also has a pair of outstanding issues with the town, Struever said. It needs to negotiate a 10-year property-tax abatement deal, he said, and to determine how the mill renovation meshes with the planned Riverwalk along the Pawtuxet River.

While the renovations are being done, Struever said, much of the textile machinery in the complex will be moved elsewhere. Some of it might become part of a museum at the site, he said.

From The Providence Journal

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I live by Eagle Square and Rising Sun, moved there about six months ago. The speed of the surrounding neighborhood's revitalization far exceeded my expectation... Is this normal for this type of development?

Onleyville is quite a depressed area... But there is definately changes going on...

What are people's opinion on these developments? Do they fulfill your needs of smart development? Is there any backlash from pre-existing residents?

Thanks,

TheAnk

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Welcome to the forum. I live up on Federal Hill, and I think the speed of change down in the Valley and towards Olneyville has been stunning. The state has a really good historic preservation tax credit which is making these rehabs attractive to developers. Eagle Square and Rising Suns have both been so successful that they are both looking to rehab neighbouring mills.

I haven't really checked out Rising Suns (I've been meaning to), but I'm usually in Eagle Square once a week. The grocery store is a godsend, before it opened I was taking cabs out to the Stop & Shop at Brewery Parkade in Cranston. I was so excited that Shaw's was opening that I went to the Grand Opening. :silly:

As much as I don't like Big Box stores, I'm really glad there is a Staples there and I find myself in there a lot. It may be a box store, but it's not in a box. And it is so much more convenient than going to the North Main Street Staples for me.

I think with the burst of residential development along the Woonasquatucket River from the Foundry on out to Rising Suns, and the Renassaince making it's way down Broadway, Olneyville is really going to take off in the next couple years. So many small shops are being priced out of Thayer Street Olneyville may soon take over for it. RISD already has a space down along Sims Avenue near Eagle Square, so the East Siders are making their way west.

As smart growth projects, they could be a bit better, I'll talk more about Eagle Square as I haven't really been to Rising Suns.

At Eagle Square they were originally to tear down all the mills and build a traditional strip mall, where Shaws is they did tear down the mills. The community went berzerk and it was stopped. The developer has since admitted that tearing down the mills was an idiotic idea and he is making way more money of the rehabilited mill buildings then he would have off the strip mall. The corner where Shaws is is unfortunate in that it has a large parking lot and the buildings all set back. In the mill section the ridiculous drive thru loop for Dunkin Donuts is annoying. They could have figured that out better, especially since that little cluster is all new buildings. The layout of the parking and the entrances is a little off, the flow could have been designed better. But all in all, I think it is a huge step in the right direction, and I thinnk the developer will learn a bit what to do better next time before moving onto the next project.

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Thanks for the welcome.. I just found the site.. I have lived in Prov for about 4 years now.. I am a small business owner, who buys multifamilies, moves into them, rehabs, then moves to the next one, and repeat.. Keeps the houses, and provides a great place for people to live, which is pretty rare for landlords in Providence.. I see from your posts you share the same interest I do in the redevelopment of Providence..

Some of the Capital Center projects you listed, I had no idea about.. Personally, I thought the Eagle Square at first looked a bit hodge podge and mish mashed.. But its growing on me.. I am interested in how the loft sales are going..

Between the 195 relo, the Promenade district, and rehab of apartment houses, the speed of this is remarkable; Since I moved to Atwells Ave, about 1/3 of the houses in the vecinity have sold, and in that process, have been inproved...

The areas, in my opinion, that have seen the most improvements are Valley/Onleyville, Broadway near Carpenter St, and a smattering of Smith Hill on Jewett..

It is surprising to me though, that there hasn't been a bigger outcry against gentrification.. I guess it is because the city need the tax revenue more than it needs to have affordable housing for its residents...

Rising Sun is nice... Abaqus is in there, all available apartments have been rented.. Armory Props is buying up anything they can along Valley Street.. Rising Sun residential has some pretty nice cars in the lot.. They plan on building some town houses up on the hill in Onleyville..

What is interesting to note is that originally, Armory and Eckles and Rouse said they would have 20% of the apt be affordable; That is not the case.. Their affordable housing is going to be offered in the Pearl Street lofts in South Prov.. Warrants mentioning...

In the heart of Onleyville though, its still pretty horrific.. Below Atwells to Manton is real tough...

Glad to have another person who has great knowledge of whats going on in Prov...

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I hadn't heard about the plan for more townhouses in Olneyvillle.

I've heard that Armory and Eckles and Rouse has a bit of a shaky reputation in the construction/development industry, they may have bitten off a bit more than they could chew in trying to commit to affordable units in Rising Suns.

I think there has been a bit of backlash against the gentrification, lots of artists have been priced out of the Valley, and are now heading to Pawtucket. The city really needs the tax revenue though, and artists moving to Pawtucket will spread their own brand of the Renaissance up there.

There has been some beotching about this condo planned for Federal Hill, people concerned that it is too big. I don't really buy into that, it should fit in just fine. In fact I'd really like to see the 6/10 area from 95 on up to Olneyville developed with a bunch of 10+ story condo/apartment towers. They can act to block the surrounding neighbourhoods from the highway. The backside of Federal Hill near the Convention Centre interchange has a lot of vacant lots that are just sreaming out to be developed into townhouses.

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Hey, its good to have another person who knows about this stuff in Prov to discuss...

Yeah, the backlash about the Corsetti condo is bull.. Its going on the sloped plat of land where some old school is.. I think Gesler Street.. I mean, Parenti Villa and Dominica Manor, two high rise assisted living elderly communities are already there..

The backlash, I think, comes from a few prop owners on Tell, Penn and Gesler who are slumlords.. They have kept that section of Fed Hill from improving.. Hopefully, with this lux condo will either force them to sell to responsible owners, or force them to fix their run down houses..

Personally, I think they should offer cheap work/live spaces in Jewelry District.. There are a lot of mixed use buildings there that would be perfect.. Of course, the reality is, no developer is going to do it, cause its not feasible.. The city would have to..

We'll see..

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I think the Jewelry District is going to develop into a more high end neighbourhood like the East Side. Brown is trying to kick start a bio-tech industry in RI and the Jewelry District is going to be the centre of it. The scientists and professors attracted to Brown's facilities will want to settle in the area driving up costs.

I hope that we can develop a good entertainment district along Richmond Street from PPAC down to Davol Square. I fear that the artists are going to continue to be priced further and further out. They really need to get together and develop spaces on their own, no one is going to do it for them. They need guarantees from the city and the state to keep properties that they might develop affordable. A creative industries tax credit of sorts to keep propoerty taxes on properties that they develop low. The benefit to the city is that their properties would attract more businesses and residents to the area that would be taxed at the normal rates.

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Hey, its good to have another person who knows about this stuff in Prov to discuss...

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

It's nice not to be talking to myself in here. :lol: We have a few people who pop in every so often. If you know anyone else interested in urban issues in and around Providence let them now about us!

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Quite sorry about that by the way, Cotuit. I pretty much check in every day to read what you've posted but rarely put in my two cents. I'm pretty much a ghost on the site but I'll make an effort to have more input in the future. Also, I have returned from my alienating stay in Idaho (if you happen to remember, though I'm not offended if you do not). Having considerably more examples to compare Providence to, it was glorious to come home. But going to back to the westward movement of development interest, I would love to see the area along the river between the Foundry and Eagle Square become an affordable residential area. If you tossed in a couple "live art" cafes and other potential hubs (Holden st. gallery is already in the area and the building across from it could have been perfect for a cafe or something though it was rezoned for strictly residential about a year or so I heard), you could create a refuge for the artists being tosssed from every other neighborhood while keep them in a central location (short walk under the mall to downtown and not so pedestrian-friendly though short walk to Federal Hill). There's an unused building near Warwick poultry and the beef place on Bath st. that I think would make a perfect rave club (It's large and easy to secure because of it's seclusion from most other clubs). It should also be mentioned that; ravers will travel for a good spot, the Asylum in Springfield closed and a spot has yet to take it's place as a local Mecca, and it would be easy for travelers to find coming from any direction. If the area around Harris ave. could get fixed up a bit residentially, it would help connect the neighborhood to Eagle Square. Of course you would then have issues concerning housing and "adult club" distances. It's not that we shouldn't be proud of our high concentration of such clubs (I guess) but it also shouldn't prevent us from creating what could become a real hot spot. Having lived in the "Futuristic District" (as my landlord called it though I usually refered to it as the "Crayon Box"), an eclectic sort of community on Smith Hill (Liberty Fest on Fourth of July is a huge neighborhood party), I spent many walks imagining what could be and I have to say that if I had the funds I would start there as a developer. Well that was a bit of a rant by my standards. I'm sorry if most of that was irrelevant, I'm spent.

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I'm one of the lurkers who occasionally drops in. Cotuit, you deserve some kind of award for your efforts to keep track of the all the Providence development news. I'm curious about your comment about the Jewelry District perhaps becoming a high-end residential area. Do you really think it's heading in that direction? I would think the lack of any parking or any real neighborhood amenities (no supermarkets, no real cafes, no restaurants other than "big ticket" places like Big Fish or lunch places like Olgas) would prevent this.

When I was looking for condos (I eventually ended up in Wayland Square), I was shocked what they were asking for lofts that have no garage parking and none of the above neighborhood amenities. Some of those places are still on the market months later.

Parking really is the linchpin of Providence's residential future, in my opinion. As you pointed out, they are planning on asking quite a lot for much of the downtown housing being developed, and people with that kind of money to spend usually have nice cars that they'd like garage spots for. Providence, as walkable as it is, as a metro area isn't easy to live in without owning any car at all.

Garris

PS: I agree with everyone that the Atwell condo isn't a big deal. I think its impact on that area will be minimal, especially given the slope of the hill.

PS2: Cotuit, I have some more Providence photos I'd like to post, but I don't have server space anywhere. Is there a good free site you know of I could use? (I don't want to use shutterfly anymore)

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Cotuit, you deserve some kind of award for your efforts to keep track of the all the Providence development news.

It's not a big deal since I'm genuinely interested in it all. And I'm a big geek and have no life. :lol:

I'm curious about your comment about the Jewelry District perhaps becoming a high-end residential area.  Do you really think it's heading in that direction?  I would think the lack of any parking or any real neighborhood amenities (no supermarkets, no real cafes, no restaurants other than "big ticket" places like Big Fish or lunch places like Olgas) would prevent this.

I think Brown's move to the JD will really bring a lot of the service type shops into the area. I used to work in Davol Square, a good convenience store could make a killing down there, and if I had my druthers, I'd open one (but shop owners have to work like 90 hours a day and I don't want to do that). Before Brown started in, I think the mass was just below critical to get the needed businesses in, also the residential has been just below critical. It may not totally take off until 195 comes down and J&W also starts moving in.

Jefferson at Providence Place seems to be doing fine and that area has nothing to offer residents (though it does have a big ass parking garage).

When I was looking for condos (I eventually ended up in Wayland Square), I was shocked what they were asking for lofts that have no garage parking and none of the above neighborhood amenities.  Some of those places are still on the market months later. 

Parking really is the linchpin of Providence's residential future, in my opinion.  As you pointed out, they are planning on asking quite a lot for much of the downtown housing being developed, and people with that kind of money to spend usually have nice cars that they'd like garage spots for.  Providence, as walkable as it is, as a metro area isn't easy to live in without owning any car at all.

My boyfriend and I were talking about buying a condo over the weekend (we're still a ways away from being able to take the leap) and I was browsing some stuff online, coming from Boston and New York, I'm actually surprised how cheap stuff is. True, Providence isn't Boston or New York, but in the rest of southern New England you really can't buy very much for a reasonable amount of money. My boyfriend is set on Downcity, I'm going to have to reality check him into Federal Hill, Smith Hill, or the Armory area.

Buff Chase is in the process of building a new downcity garage right now for the units he has on Westminster, and the Peerless Building will include basement parking.

PS2: Cotuit, I have some more Providence photos I'd like to post, but I don't have server space anywhere.  Is there a good free site you know of I could use?  (I don't want to use shutterfly anymore)

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

I use PhotoBucket. They did have a server crash that lost all my photos shortly after I signed up, but I wasn't one of the silly yahoos who had no backup on my harddrive.

fotop is a paid service that is about $16/year.

ImageShack is free.

A lot of bloggers are using flickr. I haven't tried it out myself yet.

And PictureTrail is a paid host that I was trying out, but I wasn't too happy with the interface, and considering I was going to pay for it... I wanted to not be annoyed using it.

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Quite sorry about that by the way, Cotuit.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

No need to be sorry, just don't let it happen again! :angry::D

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not so pedestrian-friendly though short walk to Federal Hill

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

That really needs to be addressed. The Foundry has to have a pedestrian friendly connection to Federal Hill. The Foundry developers and the Jefferson at Providence Place developers should really be pressuring the city and state to address that, they may even should consider coughing up some cash for it. A huge selling point to those developments is moot because of it. For all their proximity to Federal Hill, they may as well be in Attleboro all because of that crossing.

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I used to work in Davol Square, a good convenience store could make a killing down there

I use the gym in Davol Square, and there is no doubt that a visible, *accessable* convenience stool would make a killing there, given the amount of traffic that goes by there every day.

Eddy St in general would appear to be a prime candidate for beautification. What ever happened to that idea? I remember it being thrown around when I visited Providence in '99.

Jefferson at Providence Place seems to be doing fine and that area has nothing to offer residents (though it does have a big ass parking garage). 

The key being the parking garage I'm sure...

My boyfriend is set on Downcity, I'm going to have to reality check him into Federal Hill, Smith Hill, or the Armory area.

I'm quite surprised that Downcity is shaping up to be as expensive, if not more so, than the East Side.

How is Federal Hill as a place to live? I looked at it initially but it didn't feel very safe, with several obvious slumlord type buildings around. Smith Hill doesn't impress me much at all, especially around the Providence VA where I occasionally work. Both areas also, IMHO, didn't seem very cheap. I decided to wait a bit, save a little more, accept a little less, and settle for the East Side. I live in a condo about 120 ft away from the Wayland Square retail area across the street from a bus stop. It's pretty sweet. The big values seem to be in East Providence. Some of my co-workers have bought some pretty substantial places for prices you can't find in Providence proper, but then you live in EP, and what's the point?

Buff Chase is in the process of building a new downcity garage right now for the units he has on Westminster, and the Peerless Building will include basement parking.

That could be really attractive. Is the Peerless just rentals? If they are condos, I wonder how much they'll go for?

Thanks for the photo site recs! I'll try to get some pics up...

- Garris

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Eddy St in general would appear to be a prime candidate for beautification.  What ever happened to that idea?  I remember it being thrown around when I visited Providence in '99.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

I believe Eddy Street from Route 95 up to Memorial Blvd will be completely rebuilt once Route 195 comes down. The plans that I have seen call for a landscaped boulevard, a southerly extension of Memorial Blvd. There's also a plan to create a sort of Ring Route via the Point Street Bridge and South Water/Main Streets on the east bank of the Providence River.

I'm quite surprised that Downcity is shaping up to be as expensive, if not more so, than the East Side.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

I think the cost of redeveloping the sites Downcity, necessitates the high price tags. I was looking at Cornish's website the other day and I hadn't realized that pretty much everything down there is rental property. Though it did say to check back soon on condo options, I think some of the current rentals will become condos eventually and I believe the Peerless is to come on the market as condos (though I'm not too sure on that).

It seems that the Capital Cove development is ready to go soon. The MetroPark lot there is closing "due to development," though I've read nothing in the papers about it.

How is Federal Hill as a place to live?  I looked at it initially but it didn't feel very safe, with several obvious slumlord type buildings around.  Smith Hill doesn't impress me much at all, especially around the Providence VA where I occasionally work.  Both areas also, IMHO, didn't seem very cheap.  I decided to wait a bit, save a little more, accept a little less, and settle for the East Side.  I live in a condo about 120 ft away from the Wayland Square retail area across the street from a bus stop.  It's pretty sweet.  The big values seem to be in East Providence.  Some of my co-workers have bought some pretty substantial places for prices you can't find in Providence proper, but then you live in EP, and what's the point?

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

I love Federal Hill, but I live on the eastern end of it, near Dean Street. The western side is still quite sketchy (where the new condo is going). I think we'll see the slumlords get pushed out soon, there are some units over toward Knight Street that are becoming condos and the prices are quite cheap (like under $150K). But how many years will it remain sketchy and is the price worth the wait...?

I wouldn't rule out EP, but I would really love it if they would seriously consider reopening the tunnel for direct bus service, of course that would drive up the costs on the new waterfront units that are planned over there.

The neighbourhoods ringing Downcity are really best closest to the city, and that is also where the prices start to rise. I don't really want to be more than 5 or 6 blocks from the edge of Downcity if I were to live on Federal Hill, Smith Hill, or the West End. The East Side I could really live anywhere though, India/Fox Points are attractive alternatives to me.

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" I would love to see the area along the river between the Foundry and Eagle Square become an affordable residential area. "

I think the zoning laws prevent any residential near Harris Ave.. Which is also the reason why Club Fantasies is there.. ;)

The Promenade has the most potential out of the whole city I think.. The Jewelry District needs to be the Arts District.. Needs to be a destination.. If it goes high end retail, it would be incredibly bad for Prov..

The Promenade I see as a swath of property that is most suited for small businessses... It would be ideal if the City would recruit some graphic design - computer tech type firms and offer them floor space there...

I firmly believe that once people come to and experience Prov, they will fall in love with it..

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"How is Federal Hill as a place to live? I looked at it initially but it didn't feel very safe, with several obvious slumlord type buildings around."

Federal Hill by Broadway is far superior to Atwells Ave by Knight etc... I like Vernon, Carpenter area by Broadway.. It seens that the most renovation is going on there...

Atwells, above Knight, like Sutton, Vinton, America., and DePasquale are livable, but on the edge.. Anything Below Knight like Ring Penn and Tell are basically the equivalent of Compton, CA..

Right now I am scouting a 3 family house for purchase. Mostly, I buy for investment, but my girlfriend is moving down from Boston, and I need a nice "lay down roots" type of house.. And I have limited my area to above DePasquale on Fed Hill...

Although, the investor in me wants desperately to buy a 3 decker on Tell.. But I couldn't make my GF live there, not yet...

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Developers have proposal for Fidas

Fidas is a drag on business for the Rising Sun Mills down the block, developer Ethan Colaiace tells the city Board of Licenses.

BY GREGORY SMITH

Journal Staff Writer | February 21, 2005

PROVIDENCE -- The development team that is pouring $100 million into the refurbishment of a shabby stretch of Valley Street has offered to buy Fidas diner.

If the brothers who own the diner won't agree to sell for a reasonable price, the developers would pay to improve the outside of the diner at no cost to the brothers -- if the name is changed.

Fidas, which some neighbors call a nuisance, has never been out of the news for long since January 2000, when police Officer Cornel Young Jr. mistakenly was shot to death by another officer in the diner's parking lot.

For that reason and others, Fidas is a drag on business for the Rising Sun Mills down the block, developer Ethan Colaiace told the city Board of Licenses on Friday.

The renovation of the sprawling Rising Sun Mills for a residential, office, and retail complex is the centerpiece of the Valley Street refurbishment by the development team of Struever Bros. Eccles & Rouse and Armory Revival Co.

Fidas is notorious because of Young's killing, said B.J. Dupre, a partner in Armory Revival Co., of Providence.

"When people drive by they say, 'Oh, yeah, Fidas restaurant,' " and they think of the police officer's death, Dupre said. "It makes them very anxious. . . . It's a big negative for leasing at Rising Sun."

The disclosure of the developers' offers was made as Fidas, a fixture in the Valley neighborhood for decades, defended itself at a public hearing held by the Board of Licenses. The Police Department charged that Fidas stayed open beyond its legal operating hours last Dec. 20.

If the owners of Fidas play their cards right, Colaiace said at the hearing, they would find plenty of customers among the office workers and residents at Rising Sun Mills.

Co-owner Arthur Fidas did not say during the hearing what he thought of the developers' propositions. Afterward, when a reporter sought to talk to him about the propositions and the diner's reputation, his lawyer, Stephen Peterson, said there would be no comment.

Colaiace told the board that some potential tenants for the 115,000 square feet of commercial space available at Rising Sun Mills, at 166 Valley St., have been put off by the proximity of Fidas, at 270 Valley St. The majority of the commercial space has been leased to Abaqus, a software engineering company.

"We get tenants who say, 'We would really like to locate here, but I'm afraid of Fidas,' " said Colaiace, deputy development director of Struever Bros., a Baltimore company. He said the main problem is Fidas' reputation because of the police officer's violent death, but that Fidas' continuing presence at penalty hearings is a problem, too.

Another man died after being shot in the diner parking lot in September 2002.

After that shooting, the board stripped Fidas of its license that allowed the diner to be open between 2 a.m. and 6 a.m. Until then, according to Peterson, Fidas had been open 24 hours a day for more than 30 years.

Fidas's co-owners said they were being blamed unfairly for gang violence. Residents testified that the overnight crowd brought crime, noise and litter to their neighborhood.

Fidas applied for reinstatement of its all-night license but withdrew the application without explanation last Dec. 17, just before a hearing.

After Friday's hearing, Dupre said Arthur Fidas has been asking for too much money for a buyout to be consummated.

"He's put a very high price tag on the restaurant, to the point where it doesn't work financially for us," Dupre said.

So the developers have been negotiating with Fidas, offering to improve the outside for free, to make the business look "more welcoming," according to Colaiace and Dupre. They would collaborate with Fidas on the new look, Dupre said.

"As the street changes, there is plenty of business to be done," Dupre said. "He doesn't have to go after the late-night, drunken crowd."

As for the police complaint, Assistant City Solicitor Caroline Cornwell, lawyer Peterson and witnesses fenced about whether the diner was open for business after 2 a.m., the required closing time, on Dec. 20.

Board chairman Andrew Annaldo said a decision on whether to uphold the complaint and penalize the diner would be made later.

Two neighbors testified that they have seen people that they believed to be customers arrive and leave with takeout food well after 2 a.m., although they had no specific information about Dec. 20.

One of the neighbors, Adam Karabachi, of 250 Valley St., said Fidas patrons still plague him although the all-night license was taken away. They urinate on his property and drop litter, he complained.

"We have a rat problem because of this," Karabachi said. He also said the late-night crowd attracts drug dealers and prostitutes to the corner where Fidas is located.

Peterson introduced four witnesses to rebut the police charge and the general complaints. Arthur Fidas insisted, "There's no service after 2," although he said people who have called in orders might not pick them up until a few minutes after 2.

Many people have not gotten the word that Fidas no longer is open all night, so they knock on the door at all hours, the Fidas witnesses said. Cleaning crews are inside with the lights on, but no business is done, they testified.

City Councilwoman Josephine DiRuzzo pleaded for consideration for the neighbors, some of whom, she said, could not come to the hearing because of the lack of parking near City Hall.

"This is their home and they want to live in peace," she said. At the same time, DiRuzzo said, she does not want to harm the diner's legitimate business.

After listening to extensive testimony about whether people inside Fidas after closing are doing light or heavy cleaning, or something else, the councilwoman left with a warning.

"Maybe people think we're playing a game here," she said. Neighbors will continue to monitor the diner and, if problems recur, she will bring a busload of them to the next hearing, DiRuzzo said.

"I won't be so easy to deal with the next time I have to come down here," she said.

From The Providence Journal

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risingsuntownhomes.jpg

Rising Sun Townhomes

Location: Amherst Street {sodEmoji.{sodEmoji.|}} Olneyville

Start: 2005

Completion: Fall 2006

Project Description: New construction of 26 one and two bedromm plus ten townhouse units of approximately 1,200 sq. ft. on a 5.44 acre site abutting the west bank of the Woonasquatucket River.

Investment: $5.5-6 Million

Developer: Donigan Park, LLC (Providence, Rhode Island & Baltimore, Maryland)

^Anyone know if this is actually happening?

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Developers have proposal for Fidas

Fidas is a drag on business for the Rising Sun Mills down the block, developer Ethan Colaiace tells the city Board of Licenses.

From The Providence Journal

will the city step in with eminent domain??????

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Some photos of Rising Sun from today:

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