20 years of downtown investment:
What has it produced?
• Total space rehabilitated and/or constructed
(including Jewelry District and Capital center):
11 million SF
• Private investment: >$2 billion
• New housing: 1,400 units; 98% occupancy
• Employment: 38,980 (02903 zipcode)
• Retail: 27% vacancy (2003) 13% (2013)
• WaterFire alone produces 1,000,000 visitors &
Why has Providence been successful?
1. Create a vision that is bold, yet rooted in community
2. Get consensus.
3. Have strong leadership.
4. Have cooperation and buy-in from all levels of
government, private sector, individuals and institutions.
5. Develop good communication among key stakeholders.
6. PERSISTENCE! Have long-term viewpoint and long-
7. Celebrate successes along the way.
8. Design excellence. Artists and architects add value.
9. CONNECT! Cities are about connection.
adapted from Urban Land Institute’s report by William P. Macht:
Remaking the Urban Waterfront, 2003 Rudy Bruner Award for Urban
• Use of federal
• State investments
• Partnership with city
• Transit oriented
• Downcity Fund (Main
Organizational lessons learned
• The Providence
– Downcity Fund
• Providence Downtown
• Downtown Providence
Working in partnership with
all levels of government!