The Providence Working Waterfront Alliance is strongly opposed to candidate Vincent Cianci’s so called “waterfront plan,” which is little more than a rehashing of the failed Narragansett Landing plan released by Mr. Cianci some 15 years ago. Put simply, this “plan” threatens hundreds of good paying blue collar jobs and over a thousand related jobs provided by water-dependent and industrial businesses along the Allens Avenue corridor in the Port of Providence. Hotels, condominiums, and recreational marinas are simply incompatible with the heavy industrial character of our neighborhood.

Mixed use means densely clustering compatible uses. It does not mean placing obviously conflicting uses directly next to each other. For example, locating a hotel or condominium directly in-between an oil terminal, an asphalt plant, and a major metals recycling export and marine repair facility. Hotel guests and/or residents would surely complain about the loud noises and 24-hour operations of directly adjacent industrial businesses. This in turn would lead to pressure to place restrictions on these businesses, thus threatening their ability to operate.

While the only “mixed use” project in the area went bankrupt in 2010, the industrial businesses on Allens Avenue have thrived and attracted tens of millions of dollars in investment. This has been made possible by the strong industrial zoning passed by the Providence City Council and signed into law by Mayor Angel Taveras in August.

Rather than threaten our area with clearly incompatible uses, Providence city government should work to promote, market, and grow our industrial working waterfront. A unique asset that supplies good paying blue collar jobs and the critical commodities that power our region’s economy.

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