Neighborhood News

An overview of what’s happening around the City right now

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Fox Point neighbors enthusiastic about developments, concerned about traffic

At the November meeting of the Fox Point Neighborhood Association (FPNA), attendees heard a project update from Rebecca Schofield of Pennrose, LLC, the Boston-based firm chosen by the 195 Commission to build a two-structure development on Parcel 9 of commission land. The development, which will be located near the 195 off-ramp near South Main Street at Bessie Way, will include a childcare facility and approximately 130 mixed-income residential units. Construction of the first building will begin in late winter or early spring 2023.

Schofield is a familiar face among Fox Point, as she has been visiting FPNA regularly since the inception of the project. While residents have offered mostly positive feedback, they have raised consistent and pressing concerns about traffic and parking. Schofield explained in November that the 130 residential units will be allotted only 30 parking spots, and the childcare center only three parking spots. While these allotments meet the city’s zoning requirements, neighbors fear the worst, especially with the congestion caused by the new Trader Joe’s and the possibility of additional parking demand created by the new BankRI headquarters planned for the area.  

FPNA president Nick Cicchitelli proposed a neighborhood meeting with members of the city’s Department of Public Works to address current traffic and parking concerns before they worsen with new construction. FPNA hopes to remedy the issues as soon as possible by bringing together an array of city- and state-level stakeholders.

New developments around the Jewelry District 

The missing link in the Providence Riverwalk is about to be put in place. Early in 2023, neighbors hope to be able to walk from the Waterplace Basin all the way to the Point Street Bridge. Work was recently completed on repairing the bulkheads behind South Street Landing, and Jewelry District Association (JDA) anticipates that in early January, the link will be made with a new pedestrian bridge over the Ship Street Canal, with work on the footings for the bridge already underway. The bridge itself, which has already been constructed off site, will be delivered in January, then assembled and craned into place. The whole project is slated for completion by early June. Wexford project manager Sean Burgo will be the keynote speaker answering questions about the riverwalk project at this month’s JDA meeting on January 10 at 5pm at South Street Landing.

In Davol Square, watch for a new restaurant opening its doors after the new year. The owners of Crave and other successful restaurants in the Boston area are coming to Providence. Seoul, a full-service restaurant offering Korean cuisine, will occupy the space where Dueling Pianos used to be.

Summit Neighborhood Association’s snow brigade seeks volunteers

The Summit Neighborhood Association (SNA) is continuing their snow brigade this winter, with volunteers helping neighbors who have difficulty clearing their walks and driveways, and who cannot easily pay for the service. Shovelers work in teams, trading off two-week shifts so that nobody has to commit for the entire winter. If you or one of your Summit neighbors is seeking assistance clearing snow this winter, or if you would like to join the effort as a volunteer shoveler, please email SNAsnow@gmail.com. SNA anticipates needing a handful of additional volunteers this season to meet potential needs.

Mount Hope Community Center continues their work distributing groceries every Friday to residents in need. In addition to volunteering, neighbors can donate food items, especially the following: cereal, peanut butter, jelly, and small bags of rice. Contact Helen Dukes at helenedukes@gmail.com or 401-521-8830 for details, and visit SNA’s new website, SNA.WildApricot.org

Longtime downtown antiquarian bookstore to close at the end of this month

Devotees of Cellar Stories Bookstore found a different kind of post on the beloved shop’s social media accounts in early December: a store closing announcement. “So after 40 years in business, Cellar Stories will be closing its doors at the end of January,” the statement read. The shop that boasts an inventory of over 100,000 books was founded by Michael Chandley circa 1981; since his passing, the business has been run by manager Victoria Forsberg-Lary. A former Rhody Gem (August 2019), it’s the largest and one of few remaining used bookstores in the state. Cellar Stories is known for its specialty collections of Rhode Island history, science fiction, horror, poetry, literature, collectible, and out-of-print books. Be sure to bid the gang a fond farewell. 111 Mathewson Street (upstairs from Blake's Tavern) – Elyse Major

MEETING DATES

FPNA: January 9

Jewelry District Association: January 10

Summit Neighborhood Association: January 23

 

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