Perhaps the worst-looking project proposed for the I-195 corridor has been abandoned. It is hard to say whether this is good news or bad news, given Rhode Island’s need to develop the land. How nice it would be to read that the project collapsed under the weight of its sheer ugliness. But here is Kate Bramson’s story in the Providence Journal: “Route 195 development: Student housing dropped.”
No reason is given. Yet the design cannot have helped generate enthusiasm for the twin dormitory project. According to Joseph Azrack, chairman of the I-195 Redevelopment District Commission, another developer has already expressed interest in Parcel 28, possibly with similar plans. Let’s hope it is more attractively designed and does not require demolishing a historic building, as the abandoned project did.
Bramson’s story also had bad news for those hoping that the demise of the PawSox stadium proposal would hasten progress on the public park, whose land the ballpark would have taken, and for the pedestrian bridge long contemplated to connect the two parks planned on either side of the Providence River. Apparently not.
“It has to do with the budgetary situation at the Rhode Island Department of Transportation,” Azrack said. “Until there are more funds available, and from what we’ve been told … they’re not going to start work on the bridge or on the west-side park until there’s more funds available.”
Maybe that’s good news. Both the bridge and the park need further design work before they are ready for a state that calls on people to “Discover Beautiful Rhode Island.”