Developing Downcity

In 1999, when the Foundation moved to its current home at One Union Station in Providence, we recognized that the vitality of our new neighborhood, a six-by-eight block commercial district, is crucial to the economic health of the state’s capital city. Downtown Providence had a proud past but had fallen on tough times, with empty streets, derelict properties, and no development activity. And so the Foundation announced a $10 million package of assistance, creating a new organization – Downcity Partnership, Inc. – to manage a $9 million revolving loan fund for development of the district and granting $1 million to Travelers Aid of Rhode Island (now Crossroads RI) to expand its services for those experiencing homelessness.

“The under-utilized Downcity district of Providence provides a remarkable opportunity to stoke this economic engine. We expect too, that the improving health of Providence will emanate strong benefits for the entire state.”
Sandy McCulloch, Former Chairman of the Foundation Board

In 2003, the Providence Revolving Fund took over the responsibilities and role of the Downcity Partnership. Since then, the Fund has made 22 loans and invested $13.5 million in the vision of Downcity. These loans and grants have leveraged $101 million in development in historic buildings; creating over 110 units of new housing and assisting 18 property owners with façade renovations, new signs and awnings. Downtown Providence has truly been transformed into a vibrant city center of commerce and community, the center of Providence’s renaissance. 

"Because of the historic buildings, we have a character and a sense of place that really can't be reproduced anyplace else. It represents the identity of the people that live here."
– Clark Schoettle, Providence Revolving Fund 


One Union Station
Providence, RI 02903


(401) 274-4564

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