This past Wednesday at the Roger Williams Park Casino, the Providence Planning Department held a follow-up to the city’s 4-day June Waterfront Charrette.  About 100 people attended the meeting to view a final presentation of the city’s waterfront study and to voice their opinions during question and answer and breakout sessions.

As during June’s charrette, participants expressed almost unanimous support for maintaining industrial zoning to protect Providence’s working waterfront.  One attendee, who represents property along Allens Ave., even noted that the city’s mixed-use vision for the area has scared away industrial businesses that have wanted to locate here.  From the Providence Journal’s coverage of the meeting:

However it turns out, this debate has already cost the city business, said commercial real estate agent Frank Jacques, who has been trying to market the 12-acre lot at 434 Allens Ave.

He said that in the last year, he had two businesses lined up — “written offers, with deposits” — looking to use the property, before they both pulled out.

The zoning debate is what made them run, he said.

“The comments we received, unsolicited, is that they didn’t want to get embroiled in the debate we’re having right now — rezoning.”

South Side community organization DARE also released a resolution expressing support for protecting area jobs by maintaining industrial zoning.

Thank you to everyone who was able to attend to support Providence’s working waterfront!

Media Coverage

09-26-08 “Five Questions With: Thom Deller,” Providence Business News

09-25-08 “Providence lays out options for uses of waterfront,” Providence Journal

09-24-08 “VIDEO: Tug-of-War Continues Over Plans for Providence Waterfront,” ABC 6

Follow-Up Meeting Photos

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