Downtown living in the Providence Journal

The Providence Journal had an article this weekend about living downtown: Downtown Providence now a place to work, play and live

City dwellers taste nine of ENO’s rosés on the rooftop of the Peerless building, while margaritas refresh couples dancing the salsa at the Providence Marriott.

That same Thursday, moviegoers watch the “The Professional” inside Aurora on Westminster Street while Rhode Island Vegan Awareness shows “Cowspiracy: The Sustainability Secret” at Providence Place Cinemas.

Circus performers entertain at the Rhode Island School of Design Museum; an Ellie’s Bakery cart roams the streets with banana peanut butter ice-cream sandwiches; and an electro indie pop band, Homeboy, plays at Burnside Park.

All of this — plus the final gallery night of the Providence Polaroid Project, a pop-up business in vacant office space on Westminster — happens as diners eat at more than 80 restaurants, cafés and pubs in the capital city.

And all the attractions are so close that people who live downtown can walk to nearly everywhere.
The neighborhood, not including the Jewelry District, almost doubled in population between 2000 and 2010 — from 2,678 people to 4,569. At least six buildings have been renovated into mixed-use developments and apartments since 2010, and they are practically full.

The article also includes a short video featuring Cornish’s own Steve Durkee:

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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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