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News Archive (sorely out of date)

Providence Journal,
March 21, 2005

07 Feb 06: Plans for American Tourister Scrutinized
06 Apr 28: Royal Mill Clock Tower Tolls Again
06 Apr 9: Herb Weiss takes message on the Road
05 Dec 21: 14,500 sf Condo
05 Oct 30: The High Life
05 Oct 10: Jefferson Place goes condo
05 Sep 16: Pearl Street Lofts
05 Sep 1: The old Bomes Theatre
05 Aug 13: Brown purchases Old Stone Bank
05 Aug 11: Providence: Boom or Bust?
05 Aug 9: Taco Truk
05 Jul 15: SBER buys US Rubber
05 Jul 6: Sports Complex
05 Jun 21: Providence Kickball
05 Jun 17: Sasaki presents Vision 2020
05 Jun 16: State fixes Armory
05 Jun 15: Capital Center development
05 Jun 02: Trolley Barn demolished
05 May 13: Downtown BID team deployed
05 Apr 13: New Westin Tower revealed
05 Apr 17: Duany suggests redo public squares
05 Mar 25: Feldco re-negs on affordable units
05 Mar 21: A Better way for Warwick?
05 Feb 27: Interview with Buff Chace
05 Feb 25: 32-story condo tower proposed downtown
05 Feb 21: Developers want to buy Fidas

A Better way for West Warwick

West Warwick is said to be lowering its sights since a consultant advised that the idea of luring big-box retail to the village of Arctic could be overoptimistic.

We think that's good news.

Tearing down a swath of Arctic's historic buildings to make way for chain stores was a bad idea. Now that the consultant, Sasaki Associates, of Watertown, Mass., has shown that such stores' coming to Arctic is unrealistic (they already proliferate on Warwick's Route 2), West Warwick should recognize that it has dodged a bullet and can now move on.

The most exciting idea for the town's future is the plan for a river walk, which has received $3 million from a 2002 state bond issue -- enough to finance almost half the project (designed in 2003 by Pawlowski Associates, of Providence).

The Sasaki report also urged West Warwick to attract more residents and more village-style stores. This would fit in well with the river-walk plan, which takes advantage of the flow of the Pawtuxet River's south branch right through the Royal Mills and other largely abandoned gems of the old manufacturing infrastructure. Indeed, the loft-rehab plan for Royal Mills (developed by Streuver Bros., Eccles & Rouse, of Baltimore) seeks to recapitulate history by using the river to create electricity for the residents.

Like most municipalities, West Warwick needs revenue to control its taxes. But rather than embrace development that would sacrifice history and beauty, the town should capitalize on its traditional character. Getting official historic designation for the surviving mills would lure developers, who could use state and federal preservation tax credits to help finance rehabilitation. Work at Royal Mills has already begun, and Arctic Mill, Centreville Mill and Agawam Mill could be next. Let them bring the Pawtuxet River, and West Warwick, back to life.

Towns are not always lucky enough to stumble out of the woods and onto a more alluring path to their beneficent future. West Warwick seems to be doing so.

 
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