[Summit] Changes at the JCC and the Tedeschi (Store 24) site

David Kolsky davidjkolsky at yahoo.com
Tue Feb 16 13:00:20 CST 2016

Hello, everyone,

At least we’re out of the record cold, although there’s a heavy wind warning (up to 50 mph) from 1 to 10 p.m. today.

I attended a presentation at the Jewish Community Center on Elmgrove last night, and will outline below a few of the points I heard, especially those that affect surrounding streets.

The main agenda item on next Tuesday’s City Plan Commission meeting (4:45 p.m.) will be a land development project for the long-vacant former site of the 249 Thayer Street convenience store that was variously Tedeschi’s, Store 24 and Oasis. Four storeys of restaurant, retail and residential space are proposed in place of the existing one-storey structure, which will be demolished. Full agenda posted below.

Have a good week,



¶ 1. The Dwares Jewish Community Center at 401 Elmgrove (which, like the Y, welcomes all regardless of background or belief) has begun extensive physical renovations that will last into August or September. 

The main entrance and lobby will be blocked off, first for asbestos removal, and then for complete restructuring. The present seven entrances will be replaced by just two, front and back, both giving onto a common lobby. The reception desk will have a direct sight line to the entrance, which should make ringing for admittance less of a hassle. Besides security changes, there will be major accommodations for physical challenges (ADA), such as a ramp in place of the present stairs and better access to the existing elevators.

There will also be a major rearrangement of the JCC’s offices and programme spaces. The large community hall will stay in place, but with a dropped ceiling and other amenities designed to improve acoustics and friendliness. All the pre-school and after-school activities will be moved to a large downstairs level that will take up about half the floor space on that level, including all the frontage on Sessions Street, but access will be better controlled through a single internal entrance. When you come in the front entrance on Elmgrove, there will be ramps leading down to the basement level and up to the main reception desks, offices and spaces on the first and second floors. Teen and youth activities, such as art, will largely be consolidated on the second floor. The Holocaust Museum and Memorial Garden (which I, like many, have never seen) will be much easier to find and reach. The architects will be paying continuous attention to improving the interior décor and art work. For much more on the programmatic side (which all seems to be to the good), visit their web site at http://www.JewishAllianceRI.org

The construction, from now until August or September, will of course affect the neighborhood, which is one of the main reasons I attended the presentation and asked questions. While the current outside sidewalk on Elmgrove will be occupied by construction, you won't need to cross the street, as part of the street, protected by Jersey barriers, will serve as a temporary replacement sidewalk. As far as possible, construction equipment and vehicles will use the Brown Stadium parking lot rather than park along Elmgrove Avenue. The same goes for staff parking. About half a dozen existing on-street parking spots will be lost for the duration. Construction hours will be between 7 a.m. and 3:30 p.m. Some noise, including excavation and jackhammers, is, of course, to be expected, especially during exterior work, but the contractors and the JCC will try to minimize it.

If you have further questions, the JCC/Jewish Alliance of Greater RI suggests that you call Dan Hamel at 401.421.4111 ext. 105, or DHamel at JewishAllianceRI.org . (You could also try Brian Sullivan at BSullivan at JewishAllianceRI.org )

• Since the next meeting of our Neighborhood Discussion Group at Books on the Square is at 7 p.m. on the Wednesday after tomorrow. Feb. 24th, and has no fixed agenda at present, I would be very glad to invite someone from the JCC to come by to give further details and answers, but ONLY if there’s enough interest and, just as important, attendance. (I don't want to repeat last September’s meeting when absolutely no one came to hear four utility representative and two police officials). You certainly don’t need to live anywhere near Wayland Square or belong to our Yahoo! Group to attend.

¶ 2. City Plan Commission Agenda for next Tuesday (Tedeschi’s site at 249 Thayer)


4:45 PM
Joseph Doorley Municipal Building, 
1st Floor Meeting Room
444 Westminster Street, 
Providence, RI 02903

[just past the downtown stretch of Westminster that ends at Empire St., and across the street from the Celtic Lounge/Finnegan’s Wake and AS220]

•  Call to Order
• Roll Call
• Approval of minutes from January 19 meeting – for action
• Director’s Report


1. DPR 2016 -04 – 1081 Douglas Ave

The applicant is proposing to construct an addition to an existing building and
is requesting a design waiver from the transparency and fenestration requirements for front facades in
the C -2 zone – for action 
(AP 78 Lots 441, 201and 189, Wanskuck)


2. Case No. 16 - 006MA – 249 Thayer Street

The applicant is proposing to demolish an existing building at 249 Thayer Street
and construct a four story building providing for a mix of uses including a restaurant,
commercial, and residential space
An extension of the sidewalk for provision of public space is also proposed. 
The applicant is see king a dimensional adjustment fromthe 50 foot height limit, proposing a building height
of 61 feet – for action 

(AP 13 Lot 49, College Hill)


• All applicants are required to attend or be represented at the meeting.
• This meeting is accessible to all persons.
• Individuals requesting interpreter services must notify the Department of Planning and
Development at 680–8400, 48 hours in advance of the hearing date.
• Contact
Choyon Manjrekar
with the Department of Planning and Development at 
cmanjrekar at providenceri.com
if you have any questions regarding this meeting.

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