Column: Digging into the Route 195 “Toolkit”

Numbered development parcels on Route 195 land, in Providence. (I-195 Redevelopment District Commission)

Numbered development parcels on Route 195 land, in Providence. (I-195 Redevelopment District Commission)

On Monday evening, breaking only for the Olympic figure skating in Sochi, I plowed through the 139 pages of the I-195 Redevelopment District Commission’s new “Developer’s Toolkit.” LINK_Toolkit(1)

My object was to find out what sort of vision the commissioners had for the new district on 40 vacant acres of land freed by the recent relocation of Route 195. Half of the land is devoted to parks and half is divided into 16 developable plots, as listed in the document’s index of parcels, or 19 if you count the parcels in the above map. The parcels are assigned numbers scattered at random between 2 and 42. No Parcel 1 exists, but there is a Parcel 1A. Parcels 2, 3, 5, 6, 8 and 9, but not 4, 7, 10 and so on. Three parks are labeled P2, P3 and P4. But no P1.

Anyway, the Toolkit is described as “Convenient, Predictable, Efficient: One Stop for Development Approval.” A “compliant project,” it says, can complete an approval process of two levels in six months, but a “Time to Approval” flow chart on page 33 suggests that 22 months may be more realistic, especially for projects that need variances or have compliance issues.

To read the rest, please visit The Providence Journal

 

About David Brussat

Until recently I was on the editorial board of The Providence Journal, where I wrote a weekly column on architecture, now published on my Architecture Here and There blog. I had worked at the Journal since 1984, writing editorials and designing edit and oped pages. I was born in Chicago, grew up in Washington, D.C. and, after two short stints at small papers, live in Providence with my wife, Victoria, our son Billy and our cat Gato.
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2 Responses to Column: Digging into the Route 195 “Toolkit”

  1. There seems to be plenty of room for both on the western park parcel. You could still push for that, but don’t let RISD design it! (Unless they promose to design something non-egotistical, something that fits into the Providence architectural heritage.

  2. Robin says:

    I also read the Tool Kit… I am disgusted by the lack of ambition in this State.. what happened to ingenuity.. vision.. the 195 commission has the only valuable piece of land of the parcels desgnated as another damn park!!!.. I have been pushing for the development of a cultural science center with and Aquarium on that land with Riverboard walk for more opportunities for small business to feed off of the presence of a larger attraction..
    Tenn built a beautiful Aquairium and river walk .. we have zero here aside from PPAC, trinity and a damn Mall.. think big!!! attractions that fit the needs of the area.. science based. RISD can design it, Brown and URI could do research, J and W could run it?? RIC and CCRI could have student learning opps there.. NE tech and CCRI could train there.. RW and Bryant could intern legal and finance…
    the local youth would have a tangible place to apply scientific learning.. like in BOSTON!!!!!!
    robin g

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