Community Development Project Updates

Development projects often take a long time to come to fruition, but we want to keep sharing what we know about any of the proposed projects that have come before us at our Community Development Committee meetings. The WBNA appreciates the opportunity to review many of the development projects seeking a home on the west side. Here are a few updates on the status of projects in the works.

9 Parade Street
Proposed: Restaurant

Last year Donald of Baffoni's Poultry Farm in Johnston, RI, and his son Adam Baffoni who is a chef, gave a presentation to the CDC while in the early stages of their proposed restaurant project. Being providers of local food products to farmer's markets and restaurants throughout Providence and RI, the Baffoni's are setting out to create a restaurant of their own at the gateway corner to the park at Westminster and Parade Streets in the former A & J Electric building.

Since presenting at the WBNA, the owners say, "Things are moving along right on plan." They've enlisted an architect and there appears to be some activity around the building. We look forward to hearing more about this project's progress.


19 Harrison Street (Lawton Building)

Brothers Federico and Antonio Manaigo of Knight & Swan came before the WBNA Community Development Committee and PPS Planning & Architectural Review Committee in December 2013 and gave a presentation about proposed apartment units at 19 Harrison Street (former Lawton building). Since then their company purchased the property while the brothers started another historic renovation project at 55 Cromwell Street (between Dexter & Elmwood Ave), converting a mill into live/work spaces (read Providence Journal article here).

For the Lawton project, Federico reports that his company is in the process of closing financing, and that he plans to start the project in the next 60 days.

See Knight & Swan's proposal and architectural renderings presented to WBNA CDC here.


Luongo Memorial Square
Project: Public space with fountain

Luongo Memorial Square is located at the intersection of Carpenter and West Fountain Streets and is flanked by the Avery, North restaurant, and residences. WBNA has worked for over a decade on this project that would not only improve traffic circulation but create an inviting public square with a fountain feature referencing the original horse trough fountain that was once in place at that location. To learn more about this WBNA project, go here.

At the end of last fall, contractors broke ground and, after a winter break, recently started work again. This week we got an update that the water service was tied into a new section of water main, and conduit for electric service to the fountain controller and heated water enclosure was run. Water service to the fountain pit area was also installed. Installation of curbing will continue this week and next.


1326 Westminster Street
WBNA's lot at corner of Dexter & Westminster

An important gateway corner to our iconic and beloved park, 1326 Westminster – owned by the WBNA – was found to have contamination levels that are too high for re-use in the property's current state. The building must be demolished and the environmental situation remediated per the Department of Environmental Management and the EPA. WBNA is currently seeking funds for the building's demolition and for the property to be remediated. The billboard has been removed from the premises while WBNA raises funds for the next steps.