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Downcity/Providence Retail

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What retail stores would you like to see in Downcity Providence? Please post specific retailers and/or general types that you think the neighborhood needs.

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What retail stores would you like to see in Downcity Providence?  Please post specific retailers and/or general types that you think the neighborhood needs.

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Let's see, off the top of my head, I can think of a few residential neighborhood essentials:

- A small, independent food market (or something like Trader Joe's)

- A full service pharmacy/convenience store (full CVS, Brooks, etc.)

- One or two additional, moderately priced restaurants that are more than just lunch places.

- Barber

- A home furnishings store (apparently coming)

- Movie rental (Blockbuster, Hollywood video, or independent)

- Small pet store

There already are:

Hair Salon

Bars/clubs

Cleaners

Two or three high end restaurants

A key, though, is that some of these places have to be open on weekends or after 5PM weekdays. Downcity, for all of its improvements, feels slightly empty during these times. For example, a lot of the Downcity restaurants, like many commerical areas, just focus on the lunchtime crowd. It would be nice if something more than Downcity Diner was open after 5 or on weekends.

- Garris

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I'm beyond excited that Design Witin Reach is coming to Westminster Street, though it may be a while before I can buy some of the things I covet there. I know Buff Chase has a vision for Downcity being an upscale shopping area, and I'm good with that. I would like to see Westminster Street someday become Providence's version of Newbury Street.

I do however think there is room and a need for a store like Marshall's or TJMaxx. Both stores have urban, non-mall locations in Boston and I think they could work in Providence too. The officeworker market could be captured, the students at J&W (and soon RISD) that are living downtown have a need for cheap clothing and housewares that these stores provide. I also think a lot of the poorer people who live in the outer neighbourhoods, especially without cars, will take the bus downtown to shop, they just need a place to shop. The WalMart on Charles Street will fill part of that need, but that is not convenient to everyone who can take a bus to Kennedy Plaza.

Downcity will need a grocery store soon, the Peerless building is getting ready to put 90-something units out there and those people will need food. Something slightly upscale would be good, I've heard rumours that a NYC grocery is eyeing Downcity.

The city really needs a visitors centre as well. My boyfriend works in one of the city's hotels and he constantly has guests asking where they can get Providence souveniers, he never has a good answer for them. Like it or not, tourists like t-shirt shops. An upscale Rhode Island themed gift shop would do well.

I'd love an Apple Store to come to Westminster, but I hear they are eyeing the mall, that's fine, just come!

I can't really think of more specific shops (I don't shop a lot). We just need to hit that critical mass that will have a lot of people walking around downcity, then let the snowball take over as more places open to take advantage of those possible customers. I don't know if there is a way for the city to encourage early pioneers, it's going to be tough for the first shops to open, I'm sure that Syposium Books is struggling a bit now, and Design Within Reach will probably have a rough start. Garrison Confection gave up and they are up on Hope Street now. It's certainly a chicken and egg problem.

Oh one more need, moderately priced lunch places. Urban Kitchen is pretty good, if slightly pricey.

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- A small, independent food market (or something like Trader Joe's)

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YES YES YES! Trader Joe's please! I love that place. They just opened one on the Cape near my parents house and I am so jealous (though I did get some yummy chocolates from there for Christmas). I used to shop at the Brookline store all the time when I lived in Allston.

- A full service pharmacy/convenience store (full CVS, Brooks, etc.)

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Yes, for whatever reason, neither the mall nor the Kennedy Plaza CVS have a pharmacy. The building the Kennedy Plaza CVS is in is becoming high-end condos. Perhaps there is a better use for that space, and a full service CVS could relocate to another part of Downcity.

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I think some of the initial Downcity retail choices are poor. Syposium Books, in my opinion, is a terrible match for Downcity, and should be on College Hill. I've been in Symposium once or twice, and consider myself a smart and plugged-in guy, but their books are way, way too academic and technical for me. I couldn't find anything there I wanted to buy. Even in the architecture/city planning section, most of their books are historical/research tomes that are multiple hundreds of pages. Way too deep for the casual customer. Something like Books on the Square or Myopic Books (both in more sleepy Wayland Square) should be in that storefront.

Garrison Confections was similarly ill matched for Downcity and, as excellent as they are (very yummy stuff), their current site on the side of a CVS on Hope Street in the funky Hope Village is nearly invisible.

More residentially oriented retail should come first. The high end/elite stuff should come later.

- Garris

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I think some of the initial Downcity retail choices are poor.  Syposium Books, in my opinion, is a terrible match for Downcity, and should be on College Hill.  I've been in Symposium once or twice, and consider myself a smart and plugged-in guy, but their books are way, way too academic and technical for me.  I couldn't find anything there I wanted to buy.  Even in the architecture/city planning section, most of their books are historical/research tomes that are multiple hundreds of pages.  Way too deep for the casual customer.  Something like Books on the Square or Myopic Books (both in more sleepy Wayland Square) should be in that storefront.

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The name of the bookstore with the second floor location on Matthewson Street is escaping me right now, but I'd love to see them get a ground floor space.

I remember, Cellar Stories, ironic for a 2nd floor store. :lol:

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Speaking of Downcity... Hotel Providence is having their ribbon cutting tomorrow. The hotel will be bringing upscale guests to Westminster Street adding more potential customers for retailers on the street.

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One manned barber (14th floor ) in the tall white "Sovereign Bank building" and a nice new place opened across from the arcade called extreame cuts.

Let's see, off the top of my head, I can think of a few residential neighborhood essentials:

- A small, independent food market (or something like Trader Joe's)

- A full service pharmacy/convenience store (full CVS, Brooks, etc.)

- One or two additional, moderately priced restaurants that are more than just lunch places. 

- Barber

- A home furnishings store (apparently coming)

- Movie rental (Blockbuster, Hollywood video, or independent)

- Small pet store

There already are:

Hair Salon

Bars/clubs

Cleaners

Two or three high end restaurants

A key, though, is that some of these places have to be open on weekends or after 5PM weekdays.  Downcity, for all of its improvements, feels slightly empty during these times.  For example, a lot of the Downcity restaurants, like many commerical areas, just focus on the lunchtime crowd.  It would be nice if something more than Downcity Diner was open after 5 or on weekends. 

- Garris

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a nice new place opened across from the arcade called extreame cuts.

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On the Weybosset or Westminster side?

There's also City Cuts (I believe it's called) on Eddy near the Smith Building and City Hall. I need to find a new place, the place I used to go to on Wickenden Street raised their prices to $20, and they do not give $20 haircuts. <_<

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There's also Lumiere, on Eddy Street (in the Smith Building).

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Actually, the one I was talking about is on Smith Street too, across from Lumiere. I was a block off in my mental mapping of Downcity.

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I never trusted city cuts. Bob on the 14th floor does a super job and cost $13 ( mon-fri till 5:00 i think) and he loves to chat. Haircut is bound to last 15-25min if you have enough say.

Westminster side is the new place. Looks like they completely renovated the inside. They charge $15 however I havent be inside.

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Cotuit, you mean Scissorhands? Last time I went there I ended up on antibiotics because the "stylist" got under the skin on my neck with dirty shears. That is a strange bunch in there.

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Cotuit, you mean Scissorhands?  Last time I went there I ended up on antibiotics because the "stylist" got under the skin on my neck with dirty shears.  That is a strange bunch in there.

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Oh my! Now that's worth $20! The one on the corner of Hope? There's another place right there that I haven't been into.

I used to work over there, so it was convenient, now I don't. I may try the place that mikepl mentioned across from the arcade. Though I'm not in the market for a cut just yet. There's a new place on Broadway, but I think it's pretty shi-shi and pricey, but I live over on that side of town.

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Cotuit, what did you hear about an NYC grocer?

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Andres Duany was letting a lot of information out (or perhaps starting a lot of rumours) when he did his design charrette last year. One was that a NYC grocery was scoping out Downcity and was 'very' interested in locating a store there.

His information about a second tower at the Westin turned out to be right. At the time, people I knew at the Westin were a bit surprised that I had heard about that plan. So I assume Duany was talking to people inside City Hall who know who's looking at what in the city.

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One manned barber  (14th floor ) in the tall white "Sovereign Bank building" and a nice new place opened across from the arcade called extreame cuts.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

I went to Extreme Cuts after work today. It was very good. The place is very nice, they did a total reno. $15 was a good price for what I got, it wasn't the world's best haircut, but it was done well. The owner's name is Jen (I think), she also gives you a haircut card that gets stamped, and the 10th is 50% off, or 50% off product. It's a very nice place, I highly recommend it.

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The people ive known who have gone to ExCuts have also been happy.

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Perhaps not the sexiest retail story in Downcity, but it will certainly effect the neighbourhood.

7-Eleven wins overnight license

Monday, February 7, 2005

PROVIDENCE -- The new 7-Eleven on Weybosset Street in Downcity can stay open 24 hours a day as long as it posts a nighttime security guard.

That is the decision of the city Board of Licenses.

Proprietor Malik A. Mohammed was given what the city calls a 1 a.m.-to-4 a.m. license to be open overnight, despite objections from the Downtown Neighborhood Alliance, two owners of nearby property, a developer who is active in Downcity and the Police Department.

Objectors are concerned that the brightly lit convenience store across the street from Johnson & Wales University will be a beacon for loiterers and troublemakers. Late-night establishments nearby have been trouble spots, they pointed out, attracting drunken carousers, vandals and litterbugs.

Mohammed already has a 24-hour 7-Eleven franchise three blocks away at Kennedy Plaza.

The board voted unanimously on Mohammed's application on Friday. It required that the license be reviewed within four months to ensure that the store has not become a nuisance.

Another 1-to-4 license application is pending for Sam's Food Store, at 1348 Chalkstone Ave., Mount Pleasant, near Mainelli's restaurant. City Councilman Joseph DeLuca and neighbor Scott Mooney, an employee of the city Department of Inspection and Standards, have objected to the license.

"The only place that should be open 24 hours is the hospital," DeLuca said.

Mooney told the board at a public hearing that prostitutes and drug dealers congregate at Sam's and that litter and garbage are strewn about. He and DeLuca charged that the location is often noisy late at night, disturbing residents.

"It is a real disservice to the neighborhood," which has many elderly residents, Mooney said.

He also charged that an overly large sign violates the zoning ordinance and a 1978 zoning variance.

The application was made by franchisees Khalid Javed and Nasir Khurshed. Khurshed attended the hearing but did not directly respond to DeLuca's and Mooney's complaints.

The board granted food-dispenser and Sunday sales licenses to Sam's, but the 1-to-4 application was continued while legal issues are researched.

Sam's has fuel pumps and a convenience store. Under federal regulations, the city cannot prevent Sam's from selling gasoline all night, according to board chairman Andrew J. Annaldo. But the store hours are another matter, he said.

While the case is pending, license administrator Richard H. Aitchison warned Khurshed that store cannot be open all night.

In other action, the board:

Suspended the licenses of Mama Teresa's restaurant at 203-205 Westminster St. in Downcity for three days, during which it must be closed. Capdan Italian Gourmet Shop Inc., which holds the license for Mama Teresa's, was fined $1,600.

The restaurant was found to have served alcohol to four underage drinkers on Jan. 6. The closing is Feb. 17-19.

Ordered La Fragancia nightclub, at 1206 Broad St., Washington Park, to hire four-hour police details on Friday and Saturday nights until it can consider police complaints against the club.

La Fragancia already has had two police officers on Saturdays.

The police want action taken against the nightclub's license because the club allegedly is responsible for crimes and violence between Aug. 31, 2004 and Jan. 1, 2005 and on Jan. 29.

A New Bedford man, for instance, was shot in the head outside La Fragancia on Jan. 29 in a dispute that stemmed from an assault in the nightclub's restroom, according to police. The man survived.

And police Patrolman Jeremy S. Doucette suffered a broken jaw trying to quell a fight behind El Fogon restaurant on Broad Street on Jan. 1. The fight started inside La Fragancia, Patrolman Joseph Amoroso of the License Enforcement Division told board members.

Rafael A. Ovalles, lawyer for club owner Argentina Collado, said the owner is being unfairly forced to defend herself against charges related to incidents that cannot be reasonably linked to her club. He suggested that the city might be unconstitutionally pursuing the club because it is owned by a Hispanic and caters to Hispanics.

No officials responded to his suggestion of anti-Hispanic bias.

Governor Carcieri has nominated Ovalles to become a Rhode Island District Court judge.

Warned Club Monet, 115 Harris Ave., Smith Hill, for serving alcohol to three underage patrons, its failure to keep a minor sign-in book and to have its bouncers and doormen properly registered with the city.

Lawyer William Kitsilis said the violations, which occurred Jan. 6, have been corrected and some employees have been changed in order to bring the nightclub into compliance with regulations. Those were the first violations against the club, so the board did not impose a penalty.

From The Providence Journal

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I really see not reason for why this should be approved unless they felt the area was "open" enough and easy enough to watch. Otherwise I tend to agree its only going to casue endless problems for an area which is becoming nicer without help from 7-11.

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If there's anything good about it being 24/7, it's that that place is lit up like a Christmas tree. That area of town has been very dark at night in the past, and the 7-Eleven lights have changed that.

I think the vagrancy problem is on the wane. J&W and RISD public safety both patrol there and there are some upscale projects coming, Grant's block will create a 24 hour residential high rent population, and Saki's is supposedly going upscale and building condos/apartments above the restaurant. The new residents will not put up with the vagrancy and PPD will act through tiring of the constant calls from the residents.

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Above Saki's? wow. I was staying downtown once last year and when I awoke the next day the whole upper floors of Saki's had cought fire and burned out. I never thought it would be turned into an upscale living splace. The location is grand though.

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Here's the thread about it. Another thing I forgot to add to the Project thread. :wacko:

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Red Spa to open at Providence Biltmore

Published 02/28/2005

STAMFORD, Conn.

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Would had been nice for Hotel Providence though i dont think they are big enough.

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