The Armory's Future Starts Now

Above photo: Still from “Music in the Cranston Street Armory” (video below) courtesy of Atomic Clock, featuring Jessenia Grijalva of Community MusicWorks

Many of us in the neighborhood have caught ourselves or heard others saying, “Wouldn’t it be great if we could make [this thing] happen in the Armory?” or “Someone should really do this or that in the Armory.” Well, now’s the time to gather all those ideas and possible uses, go ask the right people if they might be interested in making them happen, and have those people submit their interest to the State.

The State of Rhode Island officially wants to know who is interested in using the Armory and for what purposes. We need you, neighbor, to ask your people and bring them to the table.

From now until January 25, the State of Rhode Island wants to hear from interested parties big and small about what they might want to make happen in the Cranston Street Armory. The State, which owns the Armory, has issued a non-binding Request for Information, or “RFI,” from potential tenants, building operators, and developers.

The State also wants to hear from potential community users – groups and entities that are interested in having access to the Armory for temporary uses such as meetings, events, and other activities. For these possible uses and organizations, individuals can submit their interest through the State’s brief and user-friendly “Community Interest Form.”

The State wants to see a breadth of potential uses and users, and that’s where you come in. We are asking you to spread the word about the giant-sized opportunity that the Armory represents to anyone and everyone who’ll listen because, chances are, you know someone (or know someone who knows someone) who could really make something special happen in our Castle for the People.

Ideas scrawled on our interactive Armory banner last year…

Indoor flea, farmer’s and/or multi-cultural market like Chelsea or Reading Terminal… Performance space for community and professional arts groups… A community college or school… Flex space for shows, galleries, sports, and events… Affordable office space…

Does your friend who runs an after school sports program need a court for the kids? Would RISD or AS220 want to use the Armory for exhibition or studio space? Would Providence Kickball League like to play indoors? Do you know community or professional dance and theater troupes that would like to perform there? How about a group of entrepreneurs seeking affordable office space? Or event planners who need the square footage the Armory offers? Given that the Armory was our Civic Center of the past, would the RI Convention Center like to bring Comic Con or other events to the Armory? Have them submit!

This is the time for everyone to take part in finding the people and uses you want to see in the Armory, and bring those ideas to bear on the State’s process. Yes, we’ve written our ideas down on paper in the past, we’ve showed up to meetings about the Armory. But now we have to get the word out and get interested parties – and YOU could be one of them – to formally submit their ideas to the State.

The deadline for both developers/operators and community users to submit their interest is Friday, January 25, 2019, at 11am. Please note that all submissions are non-binding, meaning that there is no commitment required beyond the actual RFI or expression of interest.

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