Parcel 6

A mixed-use commercial and residential development on land vacated by the relocation of interstate 195

About this Property

#Proposal

The 1.5 acre Parcel 6 opened up once the elevated interstate 195 was removed in 2011. The I-195 District Commission approved plans in late 2019 by D+P Real Estate and Truth Box, Inc. to build out 62 residential units, a 13,000 sf grocery store, and approximately 10,000 sf of additional commercial/retail space.

The development is three buildings and is infilled with a two-level parking deck. The construction style is the currently popular “5 over 1,” also known as a one-plus-five, or a podium building. It is a type of multi-family residential building consisting of ground-floor concrete piers and deck suitable for parking or commercial space, topped by two to four floors of wooden residential construction. These plans are very economical and ensure that the streetscape is activated by commercial tenants while the residential above can be slightly removed from the bustle of the street.

It has been advertised that about 50% of the units will be rented below market rates to provide much needed housing for the city’s workforce. The development plan is anchored by a national grocery store which will occupy a free standing 13,000 SF store. The prevailing rumor is that the tenant will be Trader Joe’s, only the second location in the state.

#Design Reception

New architecture in our city meets with opposition — usually for good reason. While we are not a fan of most new architecture, we are holding out hope that once this development is complete, it will be a strong and welcome contrast to the historic nature of its surroundings. We generally like what Peter Case and Truth Box Architects have done, but we are unimpressed with the work of ZDS. Hopefully, this will have a heavier Truth Box influence to it.

The nearby Providence Steam Engine building, now called Corliss Landing, provides a historic brick counterpoint to the boxy, flat-roof style of Truthbox. The former Fuller Iron Company building also provides contrast, while the oddly shaped 580 Water Street is another contemporary building that provides much needed housing but also contrasts in a not so interesting way.


And now, an opposing excerpt from Will Morgan

[…] There are enough uninspiring buildings springing up like opportunistic mushrooms after a rain on the reclaimed 195 land. But if you want a look at the future of the type of “architecture” we are underwriting, take a look at the construction of Parcel 6. Sort of like the exploding Ford Pinto or the unsafe-at-any-speed Chevrolet Corvair, we neither wanted or needed these clunkers. If Parcel 6 were a car, would it be one we’d trade-in in a few years? Would it be subject to recall or repossession?

Remind me again, other than providing work for builders, why the development of Parcel 6 will contribute to the quality of life in Providence. A Trader Joe’s (while hardly the pinnacle of culinary retail) might be an addition to the neighborhood, but do we need expensive apartment blocks penned by the unadventurous ZDS studio? Never mind that green space is at a premium in Providence, should we willingly embrace more vehicular congestion and pollution? […] 1

#In the News

Sale of Parcel 6 in I-195 Redevelopment District closes for $100K

by Chris Bergenheim
PBN (Providence Business News) | November 18, 2020

The sale of Parcel 6 in the I-195 Redevelopment District has been completed to Link Street LLC, the commission overseeing the district announced on Wednesday.

The sale price was $100,000.

The parcel will be a mixed-use development, including a 15,000-square-foot grocery store, commercial and retail space, 62 housing units and a parking garage, according to the I-195 Redevelopment District Commission.

Half of the housing will be workforce housing affordable to households earning between 80%-120% of the area’s median income.

The cost of the development will be roughly $29 million. The project will receive $3.25 million in Rebuild RI tax credits. 

“The sale and the development of this parcel shows how powerful a public-private partnership can be,” said Gov. Gina M. Raimondo. “Rebuild RI tax credits are key to this project and will help bring a new grocery store, new housing and new retail space to Fox Point. I am so pleased with the continued progress in the Innovation and Design District during these challenging times and truly appreciate the partnership with Link Street LLC.” 

Bank RI is providing the construction financing and R.I. Housing is providing a $2.48 million loan as part of its new Workforce Housing Innovation Challenge Program.

Truth Box and ZDS are the project architects.

“It’s a rare opportunity to lead the design and development of an entire city block in such a prominent location,” said Jordan Durham of Link Street LLC. “We have been very pleased to see such broad support for the project vision, from not just the local Fox Point neighborhood but across the entire city. We expect this project to be a catalyst and an anchor for the exciting new district taking shape on the East Side.”

Captured November 19, 2020 from The Providence Business News (link now behind paywall)


Apartment surge

by Paul Edward Parker
Providence Journal | June 26, 2019 (abridged)

The I-195 Redevelopment District Commission gave preliminary approval Wednesday night to a plan to build a grocery store and 49 apartments on a parcel of former highway land south of Wickenden Street and east of the Providence River. […]

For what’s formally known as Parcel 6, a 1.48-acre lot south of Wickenden Street between South Water and South Main streets, the commission voted to accept an offer of $1 million from Truth Box Inc and D+P Real Estate, both of 460 Harris Ave.

Architect and Truth Box founder Peter Gill Case may be best known for his 2009 Olneyville project Box Office, a 10,000-square-foot office and studio building made entirely of shipping containers, which is prominently visible from the Route 6-10 Connector. […]

Captured January 9, 2021 from https://www.providencejournal.com/story/news/2019/06/27/i-195-board-gives-initial-nod-to-295-apartments-in-2-projects/4820354007/

  1. “The Edsel of Urban Design — Architecture Critic Will Morgan,” Will Morgan, GoLocalProv.com, April 9, 2022. Captured May 16, 2022 from https://www.golocalprov.com/business/the-edsel-of-urban-design-architecture-critic-will-morgan