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U. signs Dynamo House lease

Fifteen-year lease to begin summer or fall of 2016, following building renovations

The University signed a lease for space at the Jewelry District’s South Street Power Station, known as the Dynamo House, with private developer Commonwealth Venture Nov. 5, Executive Vice President for Planning and Policy Russell Carey ’91 MA’06 announced Nov. 7 at the Providence Preservation Society’s annual symposium.

The Corporation announced following its October meeting that renovation of the Dynamo House would begin by January, The Herald previously reported.

“Signing the lease is a major milestone,” Carey told The Herald. “We are all very optimistic that this will all come together.”

The 15-year lease will activate in summer or fall 2016, after renovations have been completed and University faculty and staff members have moved into the new building, Carey said. “The goal is to get going and to move as quickly as possible,” he added.

The $206 million South Street Landing project includes the renovation of the Dynamo House and construction of a housing facility and a parking garage on adjacent land. The complex will house a shared nursing education center in partnership with Rhode Island College and the University of Rhode Island’s nursing schools.

Construction of the housing facility is pending separate development approval, the Providence Journal reported Nov. 7. If approved, the housing facility will be erected in the Dynamo House parking lot and will include 264 beds for graduate, medical and nursing school students, a 650-car parking garage, a retail space and an incubator space, Stephen Maiorisi, vice president for facilities management, previously told The Herald.

Creating more space for undergraduate classes and activities on College Hill has been a major reason for this administrative shift, Carey said. “The key part of the strategic plan is to move administrative functions to the Jewelry District to free up space on College Hill for academic priorities.”

The “unique, public-private partnership” between the University, RIC and URI was essential in preserving the Dynamo House, said Paul Wackrow, coordinator of advocacy and education for the Providence Preservation Society. “You need all three stakeholders to bring a building like this back to life.”


Due to an editing error, a previous version of this article incorrectly stated that the South Street Landing project is a Greater Providence Chamber of Commerce project. In fact, it is not. The Herald regrets the error.


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