PROVIDENCE – Economic development and the celebrated successes of local businesses topped the list of most-read stories on PBN.com in 2013.
PBN events – Three of the top six stories were the announcements of winners in Providence Business News’ annual Rhode Island’s Best Places to Work, 40 Under Forty and Fastest-Growing & Innovative Companies awards.
At No. 8 on the list was the summary overview of PBN’s Social Media & Marketing Summit held Feb. 27, at which a panel of digital media experts discussed the rising trends in social media, mobile solutions and big data.
Minimum wage – One of the first-published stories on PBN.com in 2013 was also among the most-read. On Jan. 1, 2013, Rhode Island’s minimum wage rose 35 cents to $7.75 an hour, the first time the state had increased its minimum wage since 2007.
This year, on Jan. 1, Rhode Island increased the minimum wage another 25 cents to $8 an hour, joining 13 other states that increase their minimum wage in 2014. According to the Economic Policy Institute, the change will directly affect 9,000 workers in Rhode Island who currently make less than $8 an hour.
Leviton redevelopment – Coming in at No. 7 on PBN’s most-read list was staff writer Patrick Anderson’s scoop on the purchase of the Elizabeth Mill Building by Michael Integlia & Co. and the company’s plans to redevelop the former Leviton property located across the street from the Interlink train station and connection to T.F. Green Airport.
Following the original report, company President Michael Integlia Jr. joined Warwick Mayor Scott Avedisian in announcing plans to turn the 138-year-old building into a mix of offices, apartments, stores and hotel rooms.
Later, Avedisian and Gov. Lincoln D. Chafee revealed that the Warwick Station Development District would be rebranded as City Centre Warwick and launched a new website to market the land surrounding the airport, the Warwick Rail Station, the InterLink and Interstates 95 and 295.
Superman apartments – Another development story scoop by Anderson to crack PBN’s top 10 most-read stories of 2013 was the news in late January that High Rock Westminster LLC had hired Cornish Associates to turn the Industrial Trust Tower at 111 Westminster St. in downtown Providence into apartments.
After the developer’s request for at least $70 million in state, federal and city aid to fund the renovation fell flat, High Rock filed a lawsuit against former tenant Bank of America Corp. alleging the bank had left the building in disrepair. High Rock is asking for more than $23.6 million in damages plus ongoing reimbursements for lost rent while the tower stands empty.
In November, Gizmodo named the 1927 art deco “Superman Building” to its list of the top five “zombie towers” in mid-sized U.S. cities.
PBN.com’s most-read stories of 2013: