Rhode Island Tip Sheet: Will the I-195 land create a jobs-quake?
STATE OF THE STATE: In case you were off in a cave somewhere, an earthquake in Virginia gave Rhode Island a little nudge this afternoon, shaking the newsroom floor at Rhode Island Public Radio, and causing the evacuation of downtown buildings and the State House. It also led Governor Lincoln Chafee, during his I-195 Commission news conference on a dirt hill near the Jewelry District HQ of NABsys, to conclude, “It’s indicative of the great changes that are coming, particularly to the real estate that we’re standing on.”
JOBS-QUAKE? If all goes according to plan, the 20 acres of land made available by the relocation of Interstate 195 will spark economic development near downtown Providence. Chafee has nominated Colin Kane of the Peregrine Group to chair the commission. Peregrine might be best known for renovating the Rumford Center loft complex which is home to the popular Avenue N restaurant. Kane is a Tollgate Class of 1984 grad, but his Peregrine affiliation makes him at least an honorary Townie, and we know how Chafee likes him some Townies.
KANE AND ABLE: A Navy veteran who lived out of state for a few years, Kane says he came to believe that Rhode Island offered “the highest quality of life and the best opportunities for my family.” He worked for Gilbane Properties before founding Peregrine in 2001. Kane says Peregrine has worked on a number of RI projects, including GTECH’s relocation and ALCO, and will open a restaurant in Mexico City in a few months.
KANE SPEAKS: Kane says East Providence’s waterfront commission showed him how such groups can play a positive role in development. He says his support for the I-195 Commission was based on several notions: the commission’s efforts must add to the City of Providence’s efforts to promote economic development and “thoughtful land use”; the commission should facilitate “a bridge linking downtown and our emerging Knowledge District”; “The goal of this commission is to provide a single source of decision-making that provides predictability to the disposition, permitting, and long-term use of this corridor,” to avoid pad site by pad site planning and oceans of surface parking lots,
OTHER COMMISSION MEMBERS: Like Kane, they’re subject to Senate confirmation: Lawyers John Kelly and Mark T. Ryan; community activist Michael Van Leesten; physician and entrepreneur Barrett Bready of NABsys; labor and delivery nurse Barbara Hunger; art consultant Diana Johnson.
ROAD SHOW: Chafee and Taveras plan an upcoming fact-finding trip to Pittsburgh.
ANGEL ON THE TOWN: Taveras hits the Drinking Liberally scene tomorrow (Wednesday).
CRIME AND POLITICS: Will the Jason Pleau case carry a cost for the governor?
PAWTUCKET: Ted Nesi wishes the Bucket a happy 125th birthday by tracing the history of McCoy Stadium. Can anyone tell Mr. Tip Sheet which future major leaguer was the first to hit a home run at McCoy?