RI Association of Fire Chiefs Unveil RGB’s design for the First “RI Firefighter Memorial”

FIREFIGHTER-MEMORIAL

Image credit: RIAFC Blog
Image credit: RIAFC Blog

RGB’s Andrew Barkley, Assoc. AIA MArch provided the RI Association of Fire Chiefs (RIAFC) with renderings for the planned memorial. The RIAFC Foundation is currently fundraising and hopes to build the memorial in proximity to the RI Fire Academy, which was also designed by RGB Architects.

As reported on the RI Association of Fire Chiefs Web site blog:

The RI Association of Fire Chiefs and the RIAFC Foundation unveiled the renderings of the planned RI Firefighter Memorial, which will be located at the RI Fire Academy.  The plans were presented on June 28, 2018 at their monthly meeting that was held at the RI Fire Academy. In addition, the first official donation to the fundraising effort was made by the RI Southern Firefighters League, presented by league president, Chief Nate Barrington and Chief Fred Stanley, Ret. who just retired as league president and made the motion for the donation. Also presenting the check to RIAFC president Chief Frank Brown was Chief Justin Lee, league treasurer.

Also announced was the start of the fund raising process that will include various ways to support Rhode Islands first statewide firefighter memorial. Plans to sell different size bricks that will outline the walkway will be offered with the ability to have a personalized inscription. Additionally, a series of bronze plaques will be made available for larger donors. These plaques will be placed on the face of the sitting wall at the front of the memorial plaza. Other forms of support will come from a “Go Fund Me Page” and a raffle to win a weekend at Block Island.

The RI Association of Fire Chiefs and the RIAFC Foundation have already committed $25,000, so far, to this project that is being designed and managed for them by the Robinson Green Beretta Corporation. Construction documents are being drawn up and a budget will soon be established. The project is expected to cost in excess of $100,000 that will also hopefully include in-kind donations of materials and services.

The RIAFC Foundation, which is the charitable arm of the RI Association of Fire Chiefs,  is a 501C3 organization and all donations to this project are completely tax deductable. As the fund raising effort begins to ramp up more information will be coming out. Fire service organizations around the state will be invited to support this effort that is expected to be completed in the next 12 months, if not sooner.

Westerly Crossings Retail

RGB continues to work with Carpionato Properties on commercial and retail developments. Currently, RGB is designing several buildings at Westerly Crossings retail shopping center. RGB previously worked on prior phases of this development, and the current work planned is to add several buildings totaling approximately 60,000 square feet.  A Starbucks location and an O’Reilly Auto Parts location are two buildings now in design.

RGB Designs for LIUNA Headquarters and Training Facilities

LIUNA-Headquarters-RenderingRGB is currently providing design services for Laborers’ International Union of North America (LIUNA) at its Pomfret, CT and Hopkinton, MA campuses. RGB completed a master plan for these sites earlier this year, and is now designing a number of projects that will significantly improve the headquarters and training facilities, including:

  • Renovations to the existing training building
  • Residence room improvements
  • Renovations to historic mansion office building
  • A new 15,000 square foot training building
  • A new two level Apprentice building. The program will include classrooms, private enclosed offices, open office areas, large conference room, IT room, cafeteria, restrooms and general support spaces.
  • Expansion of the Conti Building Dining facility and kitchen. Program will include modifications to the existing kitchen and dining spaces, expansion of the building for additional dining seating and new outdoor patios.

RGB OPM Team to Represent City of Somerville

Somerville Buena Vista GarageRGB was recently contracted by the City of Somerville, Massachusetts to perform owner’s representative services for renovations at a two-level parking garage with a capacity of 189 vehicles. The garage is adjacent to the Harvard Vanguard office building and Davis Square. The priority work will alleviate potential safety issues and immediate maintenance issues including concrete repairs, expansion join replacement, waterproofing, and replacement of fire protection sprinkler heads and piping as well as repair of storm/sanitary drainage systems.

After a decade of dreams, Hyatt Place is first of D’Ambra’s City Centre projects

 LEAVE IT TO MOM: Michael D’Ambra called on his mother, Sue, to wield the scissors and cut the ribbon held by Mayor Joseph Solomon and Gov. Gina Raimondo to open the Hyatt Place Hotel.  [Warwick Beacon photos]
LEAVE IT TO MOM: Michael D’Ambra called on his mother, Sue, to wield the scissors and cut the ribbon held by Mayor Joseph Solomon and Gov. Gina Raimondo to open the Hyatt Place Hotel. [Warwick Beacon photos]
The Warwick Beacon reports on the completion of Hyatt Place hotel:

Michael D’Ambra’s dream to transform the site of his construction offices and asphalt plant into a hub of office buildings, hotel and retail uses dates back to 2008. He moved ahead with planning and zoning board approvals and sought out possible investors and tenants, but as he pointed out Wednesday, the economy at the time took a nosedive. Nothing happened.

Now, however, D’Ambra’s dreams appear to be on the fast track. At the official opening of the state’s first Hyatt Place, D’Ambra announced the 125-room hotel set the record for the fastest construction of a Hyatt hotel with it taking 13 months from the groundbreaking to its opening. On average, said Glenn Ahlborg, vice president of Ahlborg Construction Corp., it takes 16 months.

There was more to getting the project off the ground than a dedicated construction team.

Addressing an assembly that included the governor and state and city officials and most importantly his mother, Sue, who he attributed with making everything possible for the family, D’Ambra also singled out the people at Hyatt who stuck it out with him and city and state tax incentives. The hotel is one of 33 state projects granted incentives introduced by Governor Gina Raimondo and the General Assembly. D’Ambra is also taking advantage of the city Tax Stabilization Agreement (TSA) that uses the pre-construction property assessment for tax purposes, implementing the new valuation over ten years.

“They really got this project going,” D’Ambra said of the incentives.

It was a perfect opening for Raimondo.

“There were so many projects bottled up and stuck ten yards from the finish line,” she said, underscoring her efforts to bring development and new jobs to the state.

She noted that Green Airport can be directly accessed from the Hyatt via the neighboring car rental garage and interlink and now offers twice the number of direct destination flights than it did when she took office. Additionally, she said the state’s unemployment is now at 4.4 percent and that the state has the highest number of jobs – more than 500,000 – in decades.

“It’s all about creating good jobs for Rhode Islanders,” she said.

Mayor Joseph Solomon, who as a councilman voted on the zone changes for D’Ambra’s master plan as well as the TSA, noted that the Hyatt is the 17th Warwick hotel. He called it a vital component to the vision of a vibrant City Centre Warwick of mixed uses.

“It’s the momentum for additional development,” he said.

Stefan Pryor, Rhode Island Commerce Corp. director, looked at the Hyatt development as playing a role in extending the trend of more jobs and development. He termed the state’s economic growth as “very healthy” and the best of the states in the Northeast.

As for the jobs created by the $17 million that went into site work and the building, Ahlborg said the project required 15,000 man labor days. By no means is the hotel a cookie cutter of other Hyatts, either. David DeQuattro, managing principal with RGB Architects, architects on the job, said Hyatt revised materials and color schemes throughout construction in adjustment with brand schemes. Ahlborg, he said, rolled with the changes, enabling the project to be completed for the Hyatt record.

“You’ve got to be able to adjust and keep things moving,” said Ahlborg.

Ahlborg said the key to completing the job was to have the structure up and the roof on by last September, thereby allowing crews to work on the interior during the winter months.

Listening to D’Ambra, it was more than weather and timing that brought everything together. Apart from tax incentives, the cooperative efforts of the city building department, financing, the efforts of the Waterford Group that will oversee hotel operations, which he mentioned, D’Ambra talked of how people worked as a team.

Speaking specifically of Ahlborg, he said when it came to a problem, “instead of throwing their hands up, they rolled up their sleeves and got the job done.”

PBN reports on the completion as well:

WARWICK – The 120-room Hyatt Place Warwick hotel has opened near T.F. Green Airport, a $23.8 million project.

It is the 17th hotel in Warwick, according to the R.I. Commerce Corp.

A ribbon-cutting ceremony was held Wednesday.

The hotel at 800 Jefferson Blvd. is the first of several projects scheduled for the former asphalt site owned by D’Ambra Construction. It received incentives for its construction from Commerce RI, including up to $3.5 million in tax-increment financing, $300,000 in a sales tax exemption for construction materials and $1.4 million in Rebuild Rhode Island tax credits.

The hotel will be managed by the Waterford Hotel Group Inc., of Waterford, Conn., a management company whose properties include the Connecticut Convention Center in Hartford, Conn., The Lord Jeffery Inn in Amherst, Mass., and, also in Warwick, the Courtyard by Marriott on Jefferson Park Road.

 

Benny’s Store Redevelopment with RGB Architects and Carpionato Group

RGB Architects is currently working with the Carpionato Group in design for conversion of a Benny’s Store in Mansfield, MA to become a Dollar General store; this may be the first Benny’s location to reopen.

As PBN reports, Carpionato Group purchased all of the Benny’s Stores locations and is seeking to redevelop these locations:

When can we expect to see some redevelopment on those sites? The first [former] Benny’s will open for Christmas, in early December. Then they’ll be in waves, going forward, over the next 36 months, by the time they’re all fully leased out. Each building is going to be divided into one, two, up to four or five tenants, depending on the size. So, a Benny’s typically was 27,000 square feet. These tenants that I’m discussing are typically in the range of [10,000 square feet].

 

 

RGB President Joseph Beretta Granted Honorary Degree at Johnson & Wales University

Joseph Beretta

RGB President Joseph Beretta was honored at the recent Johnson & Wales University graduation with an honorary degree.

Joseph has been associated with Johnson and Wales University and Chancellor Bowen for more than 30 years which has resulted in working relationship in which RGB has designed more than 30 projects.

As reported in the Providence Journal:
http://www.providencejournal.com/news/20180519/johnson-amp-wales-1608-undergraduate-degrees-awarded-at-dunkin-donuts-center–gallery

Bomes Theater Restoration Design

RGB is currently working in the design of the restoration of the Bomes Theater in Providence for Fernando Tavares.

As reported in Providence Business News:

PROVIDENCE – The Bomes Theatre is being taken over by Fernando J. Tavares, owner of Tavares LLC, a local general contractor, the city announced Thursday.

The theater, located at 1017 Broad St., was built in 1921 as a theater and portions of it later were converted to retail use, including as a furniture store and restaurant. The property has been vacant since 2004.

The city said that Tavares LLC will conduct a complete restoration of the building to a mixed-use development, including retail, office and event space.

“I’m thrilled to see this historic and important building coming back to life,” said Mayor Jorge O. Elorza in a statement. “When we’re working together, we can make great progress, and this is yet another example of that.”

 Work is expected to be completed by the end of 2018.

The property was acquired by the Providence Redevelopment Agency in 2004 as part of the Ward 9 Redevelopment Plan. The PRA will transfer the property to Tavares LLC in exchange for his investment of $2.2 million to restore the property.

Tavares LLC has worked on many high-profile projects in the area, including South Street Landing, the new Citizens Bank campus, the Twin River Casino Hotel and also has contracted with Providence and the state in the past. Tavares himself has worked as project manager of some of those developments as well.

“One of the great things about America is our love of a comeback,” stated City Council President David A. Salvatore. “The Bomes Theatre began as a movie house that served as an escape from the ravages of WWI and then later the Great Depression. Over the past 97 years, the theater has seen many lives, and I’m excited to see what this comeback will look like.”

No tax incentives have been applied for or granted at this time.

RGB’s Teresa Le Honored as ACE Mentor of the Year

ACE at Station Row 2-28-18 Teresa Le

RGB staff have volunteered as part of the ACE (Architecture, Construction, Engineering) Mentor Program for more than 10 years. RGB’s Teresa Le has been part of this program mentoring high school students for the past several years, and was honored for her dedication to the program as 2017-2018 Mentor of the Year for the ACE RI West Bay Group. Congratulations, Teresa!

State of Rhode Island Adds 3% Veteran Procurement Goal

As reported in Providence Business News:

A new law signed by Gov. Gina M. Raimondo last year requires 3 percent of all state contracts be awarded to businesses that are owned by military veterans. The bill, according to its text, aims to “assist” these types of businesses by “increasing opportunities for veteran-owned small businesses to participate in state agency contracts and subcontracts.”

… “it’s a major step in the right direction” said [RGB Managing Principal] David DeQuattro.

The new State statute is under RILIN 37-14.3. The text of the statute is available here: http://webserver.rilin.state.ri.us/Statutes/TITLE37/37-14.3/INDEX.HTM