ProJo: Providence ‘unfriendly’ to business

A New York-based developer who considered bidding on a piece of the Route 195 land says he chose not to because the city is “an unfriendly environment for business.”

Commercial real-estate developer Richard Miller, of The Pegasus Group, visited Rhode Island in 2011 and again this spring; he liked what he saw enough to pick a potential parcel on the western side of the river near Chestnut Street.

But in the end, his team chose not to submit a proposal to the Route 195 Redevelopment District Commission, which controls about 40 acres in the heart of the city, 20 of which are available for development.

The commission’s executive director, Jan A. Brodie, speaks frequently about the cost of building in Providence compared with the income generated here. Building costs are similar to New York and Boston, but the revenue from these projects is much lower.

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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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