Providence Business News: Living downtown a draw for next-gen talent, jobs

Providence Foundation executive director Dan Baudouin writes an Op-Ed for Providence Business News about the value of mixed-use residential development in Downtown Providence:

Some have questioned the value of residential and mixed-use developments in downtown and other parts of Providence. Their question: “Don’t we need jobs, not housing?” The answer: Residential and mixed-use projects will produce jobs, as well as other long-term benefits to our city and our state.

Projects such as those planned at The Foundry, the Kinsley Building, and even the Industrial Trust Building at 111 Westminster (aka the Superman Building), are needed to support a strong and comprehensive economic-development strategy.

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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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