FAQs

This page answers frequently asked questions about the redevelopment project that will relocate several Brown administrative offices to South Street Landing in the Jewelry District.

Move logistics

Work and meeting spaces

Day-to-day operations and amenities

Parking, transportation and more

 

Move logistics
 

What are the benefits of relocating administrative staff to South Street Landing?

For Brown, the South Street Landing project is central to efforts in the Building on Distinction strategic plan that call for more space on College Hill for academic and student programming. For the administrative units that will relocate, the project makes it possible to strengthen connections between departments and build collaboration into the way we work every day. Brown’s spaces in South Street Landing are being built with a vision that re-imagines the workplace for the departments that will occupy them.

Who is moving to South Street Landing?

The following 11 are preparing for relocation: Division of Advancement; Office of University Communications; Environmental Health and Safety; Finance Division (Accounts Payable, Office of the Controller, Budget Office, Insurance & Purchasing Services, Treasury, and Academic Finance and Administration); Business and Financial Services; Office of the Vice President and General Counsel; Government and Community Relations; Human Resources; Internal Audit Services; Real Estate and Auxiliary Housing; and Office of the Vice President for Research.

When will the move take place?

The phased move-in dates for South Street Landing have been finalized. Staff will be relocating on October 27, November 10 and December 1, with different offices moving on different dates. To see the full plan, view the phased move dates in detail.

Who will manage the logistics of the move?

The University has hired Fort Point Project Management, a relocation management company, to help facilitate the move, which will be supported by Brown’s Department of Facilities Management. Each department will appoint a move coordinator who will work with Fort Point to help with the move to South Street Landing. Though much of your furniture will not move with you to South Street Landing, professional movers will handle the move of computers, vital work files, and other items that need to be moved into the new space. While the movers will move everything to the new space for you, you will be responsible for packing it up beforehand.

Will I be able to take any of my furniture with me? Can I choose new furniture? What about items such as mini-fridges, personal file cabinets and plants?

New furnishings have been designed and selected to meet the needs of the new space by Gensler, the consulting company that Brown is working with to design and equip the University's space in South Street Landing. Separately, we are assessing the relocation of chairs for offices that have previously purchased them for employees.

You may not bring items such as mini-fridges and file cabinets with you. Each floor has one or two kitchenettes that have refrigerators, and each workspace comes with a small amount of file storage capacity. Fort Point is working with departments and individuals regarding file needs and will be available in the months before the move to help advise on best practices for filing.

You may bring disease-free plants with you. Please take your plants home with you before the move and bring them back after the move.

Are there any health and safety concerns associated with power lines being located adjacent to South Street Landing?

In 2006, Brown contracted with industry experts to conduct what is called an ELF survey at South Street Landing, then called Dynamo House. ELF stands for Extremely Low Frequency. ELF magnetic fields are found anywhere electricity is generated, delivered or used. Power lines, wiring in homes, workplace equipment, appliances and motors all produce ELF magnetic fields. Exposure to an ELF magnetic field varies throughout the day depending on the source, the load (amperage) and how close you are to the source.

The World Health Organization and other similar agencies continue to report that any implications of low levels of ELF for health are undetermined. Guidelines have been established for strong levels of exposure.

The readings at South Street Landing were all well below the exposure limit of 2,000 milligauss (mG) established by the International Commission on Non-Ionizing Radiation Protection, an independent scientific organization that provides guidance on the health hazards of non-ionizing radiation exposure. The highest magnetic field level recorded at South Street Landing during the survey was 29 mG. As a point of comparison, household appliances, like coffee makers, can produce magnetic field densities up to 80 mG at a distance of one foot. The survey concluded that no adverse health effects were anticipated from exposure to ELF magnetic fields at the site.

 

Work and meeting spaces
 

What will my workspace look like?

The main criteria that have driven the interior design of the building are flexibility and amenities for staff, such as diverse spaces for meeting, gathering and dining, as well as centralized mail and supply rooms. Our consultants from Gensler, the  company Brown is working with to design and equip the University's space in South Street Landing, have worked closely with the relocating departments for more than a year to identify the types of individual and group work spaces required by each department to best support their work. In January 2016, staff members were able to tour mockups of the new workstations and give their configuration preferences. The majority of workspace at South Street Landing is open, though there also will be private offices for individuals in work roles identified as requiring offices. There also will be shared meeting areas, conference rooms and quiet areas. Each individual workspace has a workstation with a height-adjustable work surface, allowing employees to reconfigure their desks to accommodate their work preferences (for example, the surface can be adjusted for standing or sitting). Each workstation also includes shelving and file space, as well as two electrical outlets and one data outlet.

What are the benefits of moving to an open workspace environment?

From the start, South Street Landing has been designed to allow for a more flexible, collaborative work environment. The open environment encourages more frequent communication between colleagues who can approach each other more readily for assistance, advice and brainstorming. In turn, this can both enhance collegiality and increase innovation and productivity. The variety of both private and group workspaces, as well as building-wide wireless internet access, encourages employees to work in different settings — their own personal space as well as formal and informal group areas — reflecting the fact that people’s work needs and styles vary throughout the course of a day.

What types of meeting spaces are available?

An abundance of collaborative space has been built into South Street Landing from its earliest plans. A total of 52 meeting rooms, that accommodate groups from two to 150, are integrated throughout the floors occupied by Brown. These include: a multipurpose room on the fourth floor that can be configured to fit up to 150 people; 18 large conference rooms that fit as many as 12 people; and 34 “huddle rooms” for two to four people. All meeting rooms can be reserved. Additionally, each floor will contain informal, collaborative areas with tables and seating that are available without being reserved.

How will I be able to reserve a meeting space?

Given the need for both continuity for standing meetings and flexibility for those that arise on short notice, we have investigated the best options for room reservations. The project team has selected Room Wizard, an online scheduling system that seamlessly integrates with Google Calendar, to be used at South Street Landing.

Where can I go to have a confidential telephone conversation?

There will be 32 "phone booth" locations available throughout the building for private phone calls. These are not subject to reservation and are intended for short-term use by one person.

I've heard that video conferencing will be available — how does this work?

To allow for effective collaboration with colleagues off site, video conferencing technology will be available in one conference room on each floor. Staff from Computing and Information Services will provide appropriate training and guidance after staff have moved into the building.

Are there any concerns about noise levels in an open work environment? 

The building will have a white noise system to help dampen the sound of people’s voices, and the panels that separate workspaces have acoustic properties that decrease noise. Private “phone booth” spaces will allow employees to make phone calls that are private or confidential. We are hard at work on tips and guidelines for working effectively and courteously in an open environment — we will make these available to all who are relocating.

Can I review the workspace space designs? 

For those who missed last year’s mockup tours, this January 2016 video mockup shows a portion of a typical “neighborhood” in the new space. It includes one private office, one huddle room (a small meeting room) and two groupings of furniture arranged to offer different approaches to working — collaboratively or more individually. Please note that most of the specific details about the furniture selections in offices, space allocations and which administrative units are assigned to floors have changed as the project has progressed. The features of height-adjustable desks, the individual workstations, and various meeting areas are similar to those presented in the video.

 

Day-to-day operations and amenities
 

In the new open work environment, what options are available for printing documents, especially those that are confidential?

While the goal is for a more paperless office environment, we recognize the need for printing options and have been attentive to the fact that many documents must remain confidential. For that reason, we are exploring a “managed print” program for South Street Landing. The result will be two large printing areas on each floor where new multi-function (printer/copier/scan/fax) network devices will be housed. For confidentiality, software will enable users to print to a print queue, walk to the printing area and pick up the file from any printer using a pin code or Brown Card swipe to keep documents private. This program is under evaluation currently — we will keep you informed as additional details become available.

Will there be overflow paper file storage available? What about storage for other items, such as seasonal decorations? What about larger personal items, such as coats?

With the goal of becoming mostly paperless, we are asking employees who currently have large amounts of paper files to reduce their files considerably by recycling anything no longer of use and digitizing anything that is essential. Each workspace comes with a small amount of file storage capacity, but there will be no overflow file storage available. Fort Point has already contacted departments and individuals regarding file needs and will be available in the months before the move to help advise on best practices for filing. In general, employees should reduce paper files by at least 40 percent. Other items will need to be housed within the departments in file cabinets. There are some storage closets spread around the floors, but they are not department specific. There will be shared coat closets on each floor.

Does the new building have kitchen spaces and places to eat?

Kitchenettes in South Street Landing will each house a sink, refrigerator, coffeemaker and microwave along  with a small space for seating. There will be one kitchenette on the third floor and two on the fourth, fifth and sixth floors. In addition, a large dining space on the fourth floor will seat approximately 60 people.

What dining options are available in the building or nearby?

The primary dining facility in South Street Landing will be a public cafe in the lobby of the building where employees can purchase food. With a burgeoning mixed-use neighborhood near South Street Landing’s Jewelry District location, numerous eateries are located a short distance from the building. A map with a list of dining options will be posted as we approach the move-in phase.

Are there Brown or private fitness centers nearby? Will there be onsite wellness programs? Are there onsite showers?

We know that physical fitness and opportunities for recreation are important to Brown employees. The Brown University Shuttle, which will serve South Street Landing, includes a stop at the Nelson Fitness Center; and Synrgy Fitness, a private gym, is located immediately next to the building. On-site Brown Wellness programs will continue to be offered at Jewelry District buildings, including South Street Landing. There are two restrooms — one men's and one women's — that each contain two showers. These are available to all who work in the building, not just Brown employees. 

I’m wondering about the daily things – where I get my mail; how newspapers get delivered; making coffee; getting water from the water cooler; shredding documents; getting pens, tablets and supplies …?

The project team for South Street Landing established working groups in summer 2015 in the areas of Operations Coordination and developing a Transaction Center. These groups have been developing effective approaches to managing these aspects of daily work life in a shared resources environment. Our planning for the move, assisted by the firm Fort Point Project Management, includes phased communications about these routine aspects of our daily lives as the moving date draws nearer.

 

Parking, transportation and more
 

What options will I have for parking after relocating to South Street Landing? 

Based on current parking studies and use trends, Brown expects to meet 100 percent parking demand for employees relocating to South Street Landing. We anticipate having more than 400 Brown-specific parking spaces available. Information about all staff moving to the Jewelry District has been captured and is being evaluated as part of the parking relocation effort. 

This parking will be available in fee-based surface lots and parking garage locations throughout the Jewelry District — including both the new, 744-space garage being constructed as part of the South Street Landing project and existing Brown lots. This is in addition to the existing options on College Hill. Brown is implementing a new, income-sensitive approach to parking, and fees for all Brown employee parking lots and garages will be determined based on salary range. This is in line with Brown’s updated parking policies, effective July 1, 2017. You can find Brown parking rates on the Parking and Transportation website.

Many employees choose not to take advantage of the University’s fee-based parking, and we expect that this will continue to be the case. We don’t expect changes to availability of non-Brown parking options on College Hill, though this is largely beyond Brown’s control. Improved shuttle service will help accommodate employees who choose to park on the Hill while working at South Street Landing.

What shuttle options are available for transit between the Jewelry District and College Hill?

Brown’s shuttle program has been expanded and improved with the new South Street Landing building in mind. There is now a 10-minute, daytime express shuttle that runs between College Hill and South Street Landing. This route has two vehicles, and each vehicle has a seating capacity of 20 passengers. This transportation option is particularly useful for employees who choose to park on College Hill while working in the Jewelry District, and also for members of the community who have reason to travel between the Hill and the Jewelry District during the day. 

A second “connector” shuttle, with a seating capacity of 13, runs in both directions between the Medical School, South Street Landing, Brook Street (Fox Point) and Power/Brook Streets with a loop on one end to the hospital and the Coro building and on the other end through campus via Brook, Hope, Bowen and Thayer streets. 

While the connector route is not specifically identified as "express," for someone parking at the Power Street garage, on the street near Power Street or in Fox Point, this shuttle offers a fast, convenient way to move between the Jewelry District and the south end of College Hill or Fox Point. 

The daytime shuttle schedule has been expanded, and shuttles will now run between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m. See the route schedules and maps here. You can also track the shuttle online or on your phone using the shuttle tracker app for iPhone and Android.

With South Street Landing just one mile from the heart of College Hill, we expect that in many instances, employees will elect to walk or bike between locations. 

What public transportation options are available for traveling to South Street Landing?

In addition to Brown’s shuttle system, another option for transportation to the Jewelry District is public transportation via the Rhode Island Public Transportation Authority (RIPTA). Brown fully funds RIPTA ridership for members of the Brown community. Current faculty, staff and students are able to ride any RIPTA bus or trolley anytime, anywhere in the state at no charge when they show the driver their Brown University identification. RIPTA Route 1 services the Thayer Street Tunnel and has a stop on Eddy Street near South Street Landing as well as Rhode Island Hospital and runs every 20 minutes. Four additional RIPTA routes serve South Street Landing from various areas around the state, including routes 3, 58, 62 and 92. Please visit RIPTA.com for more detailed schedule information.

What will the process be for obtaining a parking permit for one of the South Street Landing spaces?

A South Street Landing parking plan will be finalized well before offices start to relocate and will be administered through a fair and equitable process using seniority of time in the parking system or date of hire for those not currently paying for parking.

All waitlists for the parking lots in the Jewelry District have now been put on hold, and no assignments from the waitlists will be made until the parking relocation plan has been finalized.

Will there be handicap-accessible parking available?

The South Street Landing garage has 15 handicap-accessible parking spaces available to all tenants and visitors of South Street Landing. To receive a Brown parking permit for these spaces, you will need to visit Transportation and Brown Card Services and show your state handicap placard (blue) and the associated certification card, and pay for parking at Brown's parking rates. Alternatively, staff with a handicap placard may continue to park for free in any metered parking space available in the Jewelry District or on College Hill. An accessible express shuttle will be available from College Hill with service to the main entrance of South Street Landing.

Will there be somewhere I can work on College Hill if I have downtime between multiple meetings?

Given the spirit of collaboration across academic and administrative departments at Brown, we continue to investigate the best ways to allow for temporary workspace on College Hill. We anticipate making temporary space available to employees who need to be on College Hill for a portion of their workday. The project team will provide information on “hotel space” on the Hill when the details are final.

Will there be after-hours access to the South Street Landing building?

Card access will enable visits to the building by employees seven days a week, 24 hours a day.

Will there be a security presence in the building?

In South Street Landing’s main lobby, a staffed security station will operate during normal business hours. Access to the building itself will be controlled by key/card access at all entrances and on each individual floor. Parking garages will have security cameras and emergency “blue light” phones. Officers in Brown’s Department of Public Safety will continue to patrol the Jewelry District as they do now in close collaboration with the Providence Police Department, including staffing a joint substation maintained by both departments across the street from South Street Landing.

How will I receive updates and information as the move approaches?

As the project nears completion, we will continue to post status updates on this website. The website will be supplemented by email correspondence with the relocating departments, in-person discussions and printed materials. We are committed to keeping the relocation process clear and responsive to your concerns. 

What if my question is not answered here?

We know that you may have additional questions and have established an online submission form for relocation-oriented questions. Questions will be received by a member of Brown’s Facilities staff.

Construction-related queries will continue to be answered by the developers at CV Properties, LLC, and you can email those questions to questions@southstreetlanding.com. The developers have promised to communicate construction impacts that arise over the course of the project to affected members of the Brown community.