Brown, RIC and URI Unveil $206M Redevelopment Plan for Providence’s Dynamo House

Brown University, Rhode Island College (RIC), and the University of Rhode Island (URI) have announced plans to repurpose the long-vacant South Street Power Station in Providence into a shared 120,000-square-foot RIC/URI nursing education center, 150,000 square feet of upper-level student housing, 120,000 square feet of office space, as well as restaurants, retail space, and new parking facilities.

by Adriana Pop, Associate Editor

Brown University, Rhode Island College and the University of Rhode Island are teaming up on a plan to reinvent the South Street Power Station  in Providence as a $206 million mixed-use development that will combine educational, residential and commercial functions.

Commonwealth Ventures Properties has been tapped for the makeover of the complex, a 101-year-old former Narragansett Electric/National Grid facility, which has been vacant since 1999.

Outlined in a June 27 statement, the proposal calls for transforming the 101-year-old Dynamo House into a 120,000-square-foot nursing education center to be shared by RIC and URI; 150,000 square feet of  housing for graduate students, medical students and upper-level nursing students; 120,000 square feet of office space for Brown; 20,000 square feet of space intended to attract start-ups and other technology-based companies; 15,000 square feet of retail space and restaurants; a 600-space parking structure on Point Street; and improved public space along the Providence River.

Pending endorsement of the concept by the state General Assembly, RIC, URI, state officials and Commonwealth Ventures could move ahead with negotiations of a long-term lease agreement. Long-term commitments from Brown to take about half the space, and from the state for the  joint RIC/URI nursing center, will enable the project to move forward.

Project financing will draw on a variety of financing sources, including new and previously committed state historic tax credits, private debt and equity, and revenue generated by the parking structure. Officials estimate that the project would create some 1,500 construction-related jobs, more than $90 million in employee compensation and about $248 million worth of economic output.

“Over the last decade, Brown has invested more than $200 million in the Jewelry District, renovating facilities to support research, education, and administration and supporting a range of neighborhood enhancements,” said Christina Paxson, president of Brown. “By pursuing this project and this partnership, we hope to further enliven the neighborhood, transforming this important but neglected facility into an enduring asset, adding value to a critical area of our city and state.”

Photo credits: Marc Belanger via Wikimedia Commons