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NEW: Prov City Council Calls for Economic Development Task Force

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

 

Providence City Council members today called for the establishment of a city economic development task force.

Members of the Providence City Council have called for the formation of a CIty of Providence Task Force on Economic Development to study and make recommendations regarding economic development strategies for Providence -- including the future of the "Superman Building" at 111 Westminster.  

Councilman John J. Igliozzi, along with Council President Michael A. Solomon, Council President Pro Tempore Terrence M. Hassett, and several other Council members, are calling for the task force to consist of 15 members, including: three mayoral appointees; three council appointees; member of the Providence delegation to the General Assembly; real estate professional; representative from a health care institution; representative from a college or university; historic preservation professional; representative from the business community; labor organization representative; representative from a downtown civic organization; and the director of economic development for the city or his designee

A resolution requesting the establishment of the special commission will be heard by the Council at its May 16th meeting.

 “The vacancy of 111 Westminster Street presents an opportunity—and also a sense of urgency—for the city’s economic development plans," said Igliozzi.  "By bringing public, private, and institutional stakeholders together, we can redefine the vision for our future economy, and ensure that the benefits of economic growth are shared by all.”

Council President Solomon said, “The economic success and vibrancy of Providence rests on the ability of local leaders to channel the city’s many assets and resources, make serious but balanced regulatory adjustments in order to attract businesses, and to be creative and innovative in our approach.” He added, “We will be bringing the best minds, and the best ‘doers’ around one table to outline direct actions the Council can take to achieve short- and long-term goals.”

Igliozzi noted that the owners of 111 Westminster, High Rock Development, LLC, have indicated that they would seek between $10 million and $15 million in property tax savings as part of a stabilization agreement with the City. “We need to ensure any redevelopment plans, and any public investment, is the result of a thoughtful process, and part of a long-term economic development plan and vision for the capital city.”

Under the Council’s plan, Members would be appointed by Council President Solomon, and the task force would have three months to issue a written report and recommendations to the Council and Mayor.

 

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