Rhode Island Convention Center

Stupidly blocking two badly needed hotel projects

The exasperation of trying to get things done in Providence! One hotel project,  to replace a falling-down and ugly office building across the street from the Rhode Island Convention Center(!), is being held up because some people on the City Council don't want to offend one union; the other big union involved in the controversy desperately wants the hotel built, as do almost all Providence residents and visitors who know about the present dangerous eyesore. And the collapsing structure  is hurting business in the neighborhood.

Another outrage is the idiotic and seemingly endless blocking by some rigid officials of hotel proposals that would finally fill the ugly and dusty or muddy (depending on the weather)  long-vacant triangular lot near the U.S. District Courthouse and the downtown post office. The officials complain  that the proposals  are too  "suburban.'' But the vacant lot shouts to people entering the heart of downtown DERELICTION!

For that matter  this barren mini-steppe lot reminds us of the back of abandoned big-box store in the suburbs.

Please, please officials, drop your political alliances and aesthetic obsessions and get building going again in downtown Providence, for everyone's good.

Thank God there's some movement on developing the Route 195 relocation land.

-- Robert Whitcomb