The General Assembly’s approval last week of a $45 million, seven-level parking garage designed to serve development on Providence’s former Interstate 195 land should be a welcome sign to developers.
Much more, however, needs to be done, both in terms of parking and tax issues, before the 19 developable acres in the property now being marketed as The Link can fulfill their potential.
While at least five organizations have confirmed making bids to build on the developable land, others have stayed away due to a perceived unfriendly tax climate.
One way to lure more developers is the promise of tax-stabilization deals. Some city officials have supported individual tax-stabilization deals, rather than a blanket agreement covering all 19 acres. But we agree in concept with Providence City Council President Michael Solomon, a mayoral candidate, who last week called for a citywide tax-predictability program, including for the I-195 land.
Expecting developers to commit time and money to projects in an area marketed for development without some assurance of tax benefits only ensures those with other options pursue them. And that leaves the city with less than what it otherwise might have to choose from. •