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Downcity

The Downcity Partnership, Inc.
One Union Station, Providence, RI 02903, Tel 401.274.5972, Fax 401.274.6236, Email info@providencedowncity.org  

Organization Description 
Our Mission:  The Downcity Partnership, Inc. is a leader and a collaborator in the continuing renaissance of downtown Providence.  The Partnership works in concert with business, institutional, neighborhood, and civic leaders to transform the Downcity Arts and Entertainment District as a vibrant, diverse, and authentic community in the historic heart of downtown. 

Our Partners:  Our two most critical partners are the City of Providence and the Providence Foundation, the downtown-wide membership association.  The Partnership also works closely with a host of public and private groups from various communities including higher education, businesses and professionals, arts and entertainment, property owners, financial institutions, developers, preservationists, religious congregations, residents, community services, and government agencies. 

Our Primary Roles and Strategies:  The Partnership plays two equally important roles:
1. The Principal Advocate for Downcity:  We provide a forum for the wide range of public and private partners to work collaboratively on community problem solving for Downcity.  We aim to magnify the positive impacts of the individual partners and help focus their combined energies on overcoming obstacles to continued revitalization.  The Downcity Arts and Entertainment District needs a coordinated strategy of economic development,  urban design,  historic preservation,  public services, and community building.  The Partnership is in a unique position to play this coordinating role and to become the ?keeper of the vision? for a revitalized Downcity. 

One example of this advocacy role is a strategy we call Coordinated Arts and Retail Management, which the Partnership will launch this fall.   Working cooperatively with property owners, merchants, arts and entertainment businesses, lenders, and the City, we will guide a cooperative program to strengthen and redefine Downcity?s ailing retail niche.  We will assist in recruiting and retaining a realistic mix of specialty shops, galleries, and restaurants in mutually supportive, economically sustainable clusters and districts.

2. A Lender of Gap Financing:  We will stimulate appropriate real estate and business development with a revolving loan fund to fill the gap between the costs of projects and the conventional sources of funds. Our emphasis is real estate lending, particularly for the rehabilitation and adaptive reuse of underutilized historic structures.    The source of our Revitalization Loan Fund is a $9 million "program related investment" of the Rhode Island Foundation.  We use our loan commitments to leverage more conventional financing and strive to keep our loans no more than 10% of total project cost with a typical maximum for any single project of $1 million.