For many months, workers and visitors to Providence’s Downcity neighborhood have wondered what that big plastic covering on a building at the corner of Weybosset and Dorrance streets was about.
Turns out, it’s one of the most interesting historic building restoration projects in recent memory and another signal that the real estate market is on the way back.
Named Providence G, the estimated $7.7 million project (including purchase price) looks to marry the historic Providence Gas Co. building, Teste Block and Narragansett Hotel Garage into a retail/residential complex that the New York-based developer believes will be unique in the marketplace.
Designed to provide 52 units ranging in size from 800 to 1,200 square feet, Providence G expects to open in October and complements the microloft approach of the Arcade further east on Weybosset.
The new project is yet another sign that downtown Providence continues transforming itself from a gritty, regional manufacturing and retail hub into a place for the workers of the Information Economy to live, shop and enjoy public amenities.
The beneficiary of support from the Providence Revolving Fund, a nonprofit dedicated to preserving historic structures, Providence G is proof again that rehabilitating significant architecture can yield often dramatic development benefits. The big question is, what’s next? •