Distributed May 29, 2003
For Immediate Release

News Service Contact: Tracie Sweeney

Thayer Street Improvement District

Brown, Providence, merchants announce plans for improvements

Brown University has joined with the City of Providence and property owners and merchants along Thayer Street to improve conditions in the area by establishing the Thayer Street Improvement District.


PROVIDENCE, R.I. — Brown University and a coalition that includes the City of Providence and Thayer Street property owners have launched an ambitious plan to revitalize Thayer Street by establishing the Thayer Street Improvement District.

The District plan addresses security and sanitation concerns as well as aesthetic issues:

  • The District has hired a private security firm, Pinkerton, which will coordinate its efforts with Providence and Brown University police. Providence Police will have a greater presence and role on the street, and the Brown Police detail will be redirected based on input from Providence Police Chief Dean Esserman.
  • Capital improvements for the area include improved lighting, attractive paving and an elaborate horticulture plan. A common news box program, more attractive trash cans, better directional and regulatory signage, and removal of abandoned utility poles, obsolete building signs and redundant street signs will also enhance the area.
  • A commercial parking provider working with the City of Providence and the resources of the University will increase parking capacity.
  • Other cosmetic improvements, including graffiti removal, will be undertaken to enhance the look of the streetscape.

Implementation of security and sanitation programs began earlier this month; work will continue throughout the summer.

The 10 largest Thayer Street property owners, who together account for more than 70 percent of building square footage on the street, are involved with the current and proposed enhancements. The capital improvements will cost $800,000, of which Brown will contribute $350,000, the city of Providence will contribute $400,000 through a street improvement bond, and the merchants or property owners will contribute a fee based on the square footage of their property.

“Thayer Street is one of the city’s most significant commercial areas and serves as an important gateway both for the University and our East Side neighbors,” said Brown President Ruth J. Simmons. “I am delighted that so many individuals, organizations, businesses and government agencies are now working together to realize Thayer Street’s enormous potential as an attractive, cohesive and useful urban commercial district.”

The effort comes after more than a year of analysis and research conducted by Biederman Redevelopment Ventures Corporation (BRV) of New York. BRV is responsible for such projects as the revitalization and management of Bryant Park Restoration Corporation, 34th Street Partnership and the Grand Central Partnership, all in New York City. Based on a needs assessment, BRV developed the overall program and a management plan for Thayer Street.

Thayer Street Property Owners and Businesses

108-10 Waterman
(Owner: Spira Chaika)
Red Carpet Smoke Shop
Ocean Coffee Roasters

112-14 Waterman
(Owner: Donna Paolino)
Harvey Ltd.

212 Thayer
(Owner: Ken Dulgarian)
Jo-Art Printing and Copy Service
D’Angleo Sandwich Shop
Starbucks Coffee

215-221 Thayer
(Owner: Jon Sornberger)
Metro Mart
Foreign Affair
Morrison Office Supplies
East Side Vision

82 Fones Alley
La Creperie

223 Thayer
(Owner: Carol Baker)
Au Bon Pain

225-233 Thayer
(Owner: Gene Goldstein)
Providence Travel
Thayer Street Cleansers
Pie in the Sky

230 Thayer
(Owner: Andy Mitrelis)
STA Travel
Paragon Grill

165 Angell
(Owner: Arnold Kilberg)
Asian Paradise
The Liquid Lounge

183 Angell
(Owner: Mark Leventhal and Mike Shore)
Angell St. Curiosities

184 Angell
(Owner: Andy Mitrelis)

189 Angell
(Owner: Jonathon Bell)
Stereo Discount Center

235 Thayer
(Owner: Mark Leventhal and Mike Shore)
Smoothie King
Ragtime Clothing
Kind Connection

240-48 Thayer
(Owner: Brown University)
Brown University Bookstore
Fleet ATM

249 Thayer
(Owner: Raymond Johnston)
Store 24

252-54 Thayer
(Owner: Grant Dulgarian)
College Hill Bookstore
Antonio’s Pizza
Gordito Burrito

257 Thayer
(Owner: Mary Ferrara)
Esta’s Too

260-264 Thayer
(Owner: Grant Dulgarian)
Avon Cinema
Andreas Restaurant

261-265 Thayer
(Owner: Mark Leventhal and Mike Shore)
Rockstar Piercing
Kabob n Curry

269 Thayer
(Owner: Mark Leventhal and Mike Shore)
Johnny Rockets

235 Meeting
(Owner: Bernie Kotlier)
Garment District

236 Meeting
(Owner: Mark Leventhal and Mike Shore)
Adesso Restaurant

237 Meeting
(Owner: David Shwaery)
Ben & Jerry’s

271 Thayer
(Owner: Gene Goldstein)
The Gap

272 Thayer
(Owner: Paul Anjoorian)
Berks Shoes and Clothing
Café Java
Sovereign Bank
Max’s Upstairs
Wings to Go
Meeting St. Café
Spiritus Fermenti

275 Thayer
(Owner: Levitt-Thayer Realty Trust)
Dunkin Donuts
Family Photo
Spike’s Junkyard Dogs

280-286 Thayer
(Owner: Steve Lewinstein)
East Side Pockets
In Your Ear
Million Year Picnic

281-283 Thayer
(Owner: Myron Guttin)
Tom’s Tracks
Hole in the Wall
Shades Plus

285-289 Thayer
(Owner: Steve Lewinstein)
Urban Outfitters

288-296 Thayer
(Owner: Steve Lewinstein)
Bead Works
Zu Zu
Savage Brothers

10 Euclid
(Owner: David Shwaery)
Squires Salon

291 Thayer
(Owner: Don Malkin)

297 Thayer
(Owner: Steve Lewenstein)
Vision World
La Femme Boutique

297.5 Thayer
(Owner: Levitt-Thayer RealtyTrust)
Petals Flower Shop

300-308 Thayer
(Owner: Brown University)
Photo Studio
Persia Haircutting Salon
Gregory Optical