195 redevelopment commission OKs temporary parking plan

Monday’s vote takes the commission another step closer to its first project breaking ground.

PROVIDENCE, R.I. — Parking issues that have arisen as perhaps the final stumbling block before a development team starts building its planned innovation center and hotel on former highway land were addressed Monday night when the I-195 Redevelopment District Commission agreed to allow temporary surface parking on some of its land, if necessary.

The commissioners also worked through a packed meeting agenda and voted on a number of other initiatives — including awarding nearly $1 million in total to two separate projects intended to quicken the process in which they turn land that some now call a “dust bowl” into viable development.

Created by state lawmakers in 2011, the commission is charged with selling and developing 19 acres of now-vacant land freed up by the state’s highway realignment in the heart of the city’s Jewelry District. Its mission is to stimulate the economy by creating jobs and vibrancy in what state leaders now call the Providence Innovation & Design District.

Monday’s vote takes the commission another step closer to its first project breaking ground.

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