I-195 Redevelopment Commission delays Dyer St. land sale

THE I-195 Redevelopment Commission has delayed action on a proposed sale of a slice of land to Brown University. Above: I-195 Commission Chairman Colin P. Kane.
Posted 7/10/12

PROVIDENCE – The Interstate 195 Redevelopment District Commission delayed action Monday night on a proposed sale of a slice of Dyer Street land to Brown University in order to gather more information about the transaction.

The long, narrow 2,300 square-foot strip of land is adjacent to Brown’s recently renovated continuing education center and will be created by the reconnection of the street grid in the 40-acres of the city formerly covered by the highway overpass.

Brown and the state Department of Transportation have been negotiating over the land, which the university would use for continuing education program parking, a letter from Transportation Director Michael Lewis proposing the transfer to the I-195 Commission said.

The letter added that Brown lost some parking in the highway project and this would compensate the school for it.

I-195 Commission Chairman Colin P. Kane said that the 15-foot-wide strip of land was one of several irregular parcels that will be created by the road building process and will likely have little value to anyone but an abutting landowner.

But commission members said they were not comfortable disposing of the land without more details about the context of the transaction.

Commission member John Kelly said the land is “obviously worth something” and suggested it made more sense to consider the irregular parcel in the context of what are expected to be larger negotiations with Brown over former highway parcels.

In other business, the commission also declined to add to the scope of work being performed by engineers Fuss & O’Neil until further discussion and a detailed update on what work the firm has already done.

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