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Cotuit

IN PROGRESS: Harkness Building

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Washington Trust financing major Downcity project

The Washington Trust Company has provided $2.3 million for construction and permanent financing to Artist Group LLC for renovations to the Harkness Building at 194 Washington St., in the Downcity district of Providence, the company announced Monday.

The building, owned by Arnold B. Chace Jr. and Malcolm and Elizabeth Chace, houses administrative offices of Trinity Repertory Company and the Brown/Trinity Consortium, Trinity's new graduate program in dramatic arts. The ground floor is leased to Michael and Gracylyn Shine, owners of Gracie's Restaurant. Cornish Associates, a real estate firm, also has its offices in the building.

From Providence Business News

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Harkness.jpg

Situauted in the heart of the Arts and Entertainment District, The Harkness Building, ca. 1906, is a four story stone and brick building located across from the Trinity Repertory Theater at the corner of Aborn and Washington Streets.

Two of the four floors are occupied by Trinity Repertory's Marketing and Development offices and the Trinity Conservatory, as well as the Trinity Repertory/Brown University consortium. The fourth floor is occupied by the offices of Cornish Associates.

The New Yorker Restaurant, a lunch crowd favorite, currently leases 450 square feet, while, Gracie's the venerable Federal Hill restaurant, will be occupy the beautifully renovated corner, formerly home to the "Players Corner Pub."

From Cornish Associates

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They have been working on Gracie's for alittle while now. It should be a very nice place when its done. Once more lofts fill up downtown having restaurnts off the hill is good for the city. ( assuming they can make money in the new spots )

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I walked by yesterday and peeked behind the walls around Gracie's. The Aborn Street facade looks about done, but it doesn't look like they've even started the Washington Street facade. I couldn't tell what was going on inside, but I would assume that part is about done. They were supposed to open in December, but a lot of these old buildings Downcity have provided some surprising engineering challenges. The Hotel Providence was delayed over 6 months due to engineering challenges.

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Has anyone heard the rumour of AS220 getting more space on Washington? Anyone have any specifics?

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AS220 is negotiating with Johnson & Wales to take over the old Dreyfuss Hotel Building on Washington Street. They plan to convert the upper-floors to artist live/work spaces and the lower floor (which is a spectacularly preserved clubroom from the 1920s) into a restaurant. I think they've begun raising money for this project--as you might know, they're also in the midst of renovating much of their Empire St. Space. As for Gracie's, it should be open in abouth a month. Like you said Cotuit, they've been dealing with the usual hide-and-seek issues that come with these old structures. The upper floors of the buildings are complete, and the Cornish offices are spectacular.

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Is that the building on the corner of Matthewson diagonally across from the Narrowest Building?

It would be great to have that ground floor space put to use (as well as the upper floor art space). It will enhance street life on Matthewson between Hotel Providence and the Convention Centre, which is needed to make that walk feel safe to the hotel's guests.

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Is that the building on the corner of Matthewson diagonally across from the Narrowest Building?

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I'm not in Providence until June, otherwise I'd take pictures. It occupies the same block as the Cosmopolitan. Maybe 4-storeys, ivory and greenish tiles, a few fleur-de-lis in the frieze. Let me know if you figure it out.

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That's the one I'm thinking of, that's going to be terrific. Hopefully the artists in the area will boost places like Cuban Revolution and perhaps spur some more retail.

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