Churchill & Banks, Hecht Development to pitch to I-195 Commission

PROPOSED DEVELOPMENT for the development of I-195 land and downtown Providence’s knowledge district.
Posted 1/28/13

PROVIDENCE ‚Äď Churchill & Banks Co. and Hecht Development will be the first two groups to pitch their ideas for the former Interstate-195 district in downtown Providence to the commission responsible for the land.

The two firms are slated to pitch development proposals to the I-195 Redevelopment District Commission Tuesday evening in a closed door session, according to the commission’s agenda.

Executives from Providence-based Churchill & Banks have previously expressed interest in I-195-land on the East Side near the former Fuller Iron Works properties in Fox Point the firm acquired last year.

Churchill & Banks has developed a wide range of commercial and residential projects in Rhode Island including shopping plazas, apartment complexes and office buildings.

Hecht Development, of Concord, Mass., purchased the Irons and Russell Building on Chestnut Street in the Jewelry District in December 2011. The company is renovating the historic six-story former jewelry factory, which abuts the I-195 land.

Hecht has previously developed a number of suburban retail projects across New England including Coventry Crossing and Mansfield Marketplace.

The I-195 Commission two weeks ago decided to hear pitches, two per meeting, from all groups who have expressed interest in developing part of the 21 acres of prime real estate created by the removal of the highway.

Commission Chairman Colin P. Kane said ‚Äúsix or seven‚ÄĚ groups have expressed interest in the land for a variety of different proposals.

The commission is still many months from making development decisions and is not expected to take any action on the proposals Tuesday.

In the public part of the meeting Tuesday, the Commission is slated to vote on authorizing its formal purchase of the I-195 land through a bond sale.

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