Three of RI's Major Universities Partner Up to Revitalize the Jewelry District


Members of the Brown University community have released a statement that there is, in fact, a proposed plan to revitalize the Jewelry District area. This venture is a joint effort between three of Rhode Island’s main universities, Brown University, University of Rhode Island, and Rhode Island College, as well as a private developer Commonwealth Venture Properties for a comprehensive redevelopment project.

The “centerpiece” of the project would be a renovation of the former South Street Power Station located at 360 Eddy Street, known as “Dynamo House”–a building that the New York Times once referred to as “a place still suffering a hangover from the recession”.

According to Brown University’s online statement, approximately one-third of this building will be leased by them for adminstrative and educational programs, while the other half will be leased for a shared nursing program by URI and RIC.

Talk about a collaboration. Not only is this venture the kind of facelift the Jewelry District so desperately needs, but it also reflects a unified camaraderie by a few of our state’s major institutions. Additionally, this plan includes an apartment building for graduate, nursing and medical students, as well as retail and offices spaces, and finally, a new parking garage.

The details of obtaining long-term leases are still in the works, but if negotiated successfully, Brown anticipates that construction and renovation would begin in 2014, with occupancy ready in 2016.

Those who have heard of the exciting news, more specifically local developers and real estate agents, are very excited about the prospect of revitalizing the once-famed district. “I am thrilled that there is a viable proposed plan for use of the Dynamo House actually now in the works. For such a beautiful building, it has a been a community eyesore for way too long. I am looking forward to seeing it revitalized as a city icon once more,” says our very own managing broker, Rita Danielle Steele.

This development has the potential for becoming a lucrative prospect for the state’s economy. And it wouldn’t be so without the collaborative effort between the city and state.