PROVIDENCE, R.I. [Brown University] — Educational leaders, elected officials, and labor, business and other representatives — more than 200 guests in all — gathered at midday Monday, Dec. 15, 2015, for a ceremonial groundbreaking at the South Street Landing Project.
The project will convert the former South Street Power Station into an educational center housing administrative offices from Brown University and a shared Rhode Island Nursing Education Center for the University of Rhode Island and Rhode Island College. Last month, Brown entered into a lease agreement to occupy approximately 136,000 rentable square feet in the project. Brown originally announced its interest in the project in June 2013.
“Reaching this important milestone in this highly complex project has required the commitment and tenacity of our private and public sector partners,” said Brown President Christina Paxson. “Today, we set the stage to transform a staggering liability into a gleaming asset, providing opportunities for meaningful academic connections that will have lasting benefits for our institutions, our city, and our state.”
In addition to the refurbished power plant, the project will include construction of graduate student housing, a new parking garage, and public walkways along the river. According to developer Richard Galvin of Commonwealth Ventures, the project will create 500 construction jobs and 375 indirect jobs and will generate $5 million in income and sales tax during construction with $5.4 million in net new property taxes for the City of Providence over the next 10 years.
“This project encompasses education, infrastructure and workforce development — the building blocks of a good economy,” said Gov. Lincoln Chafee. “The Nursing Education Center will allow public and private institutions of higher learning to partner and forge a path to advance Rhode Island as a regional leader in nursing education. I am proud of the collaborative efforts that have led us to this point, and look forward to the many jobs and opportunities ahead.”
"South Street Station represents a true public-private partnership, bringing together three universities, the state, the city of Providence, a private developer, and National Grid to transform an old power station into a critical asset for Providence’s growing ‘meds and eds’ economy,” said Providence Mayor Angel Taveras. “Together with Brown University’s medical school, Johnson & Wales University’s physician’s assistant school, and our surrounding hospitals, this new joint nursing school will help to further solidify Providence as a center for health, education, and research. This is a collaboration we can all truly be proud of.”