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Traditional Neighborhood Development

Cornish’s Steve Durkee and PPS’ Lucie Searle: Now is the time to capitalize on Providence’s assets

Over the last 40 years, we have been bold in the city of Providence. We’ve moved train tracks, rivers and highways, added parks, rejuvenated historic properties and promoted new construction. This significant investment has literally shifted the city’s built environment and created a refreshed energy and engagement in our future. And through all this, the historic fabric of our downtown core has remained intact.

It is an exciting and critical time for us. These investments, coupled with national trends leaning in our favor, have positioned Providence for great opportunity and growth. Now is the time to capitalize on this work and make the critical decisions to propel our city toward positive growth and prosperity for the next 40 years and beyond. And now is the time for very strong, committed and focused leadership to make this happen.

Read the full article at The Providence Journal.

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Cornish’s Steve Durkee Guest Mindsetter on GoLocalProv: Why Providence Needs Superman

Why rental apartments? Why not build office space? The answer is one of simple supply and demand and real life tax and real estate value consequences. Two separate economic impact studies both concluded the current office market in Providence is weak, with historically and consistently low absorption rates for office space. Restoring the building for office use would have a strong negative impact on surrounding office space in the city by flooding the supply and forcing rents down.

The apartment market in downtown Providence is very strong with current occupancy rates at approximately 97%. The redevelopment of 111 Westminster Street as largely residential units meets an immediate demand for housing downtown. Drawing from Cornish’s experience with nearly 200 apartments along Westminster Street, it is anticipated that these units will appeal to a diverse set of renters, from students to empty-nesters, young professionals and those moving into the downtown seeking a more urban lifestyle.

Read the full article at GoLocalProv.

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The Boston Globe reports on the latest housing development style, micro-apartments. These small housing units can provide affordable living in expensive downtowns where young workers increasingly want to live:

Housing­-starved cities seek relief in micro-­apartments

Tervalon is the kind of young professional whom San Francisco, Boston, and other growing US cities are struggling to hold on to in an era of skyrocketing housing prices. As more people like her elect to live and work in urban downtowns, city officials are experimenting with construction of tiny​­ dwelling units known as micro­apartments, in the process triggering a housing debate that is ricocheting around the country.

“Now is the time to do this,” [Richard] Taylor [Taylor, director of Suffolk University’s Center for Real Estate] said of micro­housing development, adding that Boston has plenty of building sites, from Dudley Square in Roxbury to East Boston. “There are great opportunities for a public­private partnership that could build something substantial.”

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Cornish Associates: Developement Consultants

Providence Skyscraper

We know you are interested, so just to clarify:

Cornish Associates has been retained by Highrock Westminster LLC, the building owner, as a development consultant to produce a feasibility study and to coordinate the redevelopment of 111 Westminster St also known as the Superman building.

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The Project for Public Spaces: Making a Successful Place

Our friends over at the Project for Public Spaces ask ‘What makes a good place?’ Their answer? They break ‘good places’ down into four key qualities:  they are accessible; people are engaged in activities there; the space is comfortable and has a good image; and finally, it is a sociable place: one where people meet each other and take people when they come to visit. PPS developed The Place Diagram as a tool to help people in judging any place, good or bad.  How do you think Downcity Providence measures up? What are we doing right? What needs improving?

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