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West Broadway Neighborhood Association and Spurwink RI, Neighborhood Revitalization Award, 1577 Westminster SWELL Project, 1577 Westminster Street

On a site that was once a vacant and blighted auto shop, the new mixed-use building at 1577 Westminster Street is the result of collaboration between the WBNA and SpurwinkRI, two organizations that came together with the express purpose of creating a place that would contribute positively to the community. In 2005, the WBNA held a design competition for a local architect to design a mixed-use building for affordable housing and a natural foods grocery for this site. Neighbors selected KITE Architects who designed the building to fit the West Side Overlay Zone and to be current yet sensitive to the historic, urban character of the neighborhood. Funders include the Champlin Foundations, City of Providence and RI Housing HOME Funds, HUD, Neighborhood Opportunities Program

The Fertile Underground will be operating an affordable grocery cooperative on the first floor of this building with hopes of opening as soon as June. The 1577 Westminster Street project has become the centerpiece of the WBNA’s “SWELL” campaign that supports local food systems and community economic development. “SWELL” is an acronym for “Shop, Work, Eat and Live Local.”