Capital Center

In 1978, Marsella Development conceived of Providence’s most ambitious urban renewal project. The undertaking involved the relocation of the railroad tracks and station from the center of the city to an area formally occupied by freight tracks and parking lots. The relocation of the so-called “Chinese Wall” immediately expanded the land area of downtown by approximately eighty acres. The project involved the coordination of a multiplicity of federal, state, city and private interests coalescing around a unified plan of development of both private and public uses. No condemnation or purchase of land was required in that Marsella Development proposed and implemented a series of no cost land transfers and swaps which provided clear title to attractive development parcels within a framework of local and interstate road systems and open spaces.Capital Center, as it is known, has become the focus of the city’s major development projects including the Providence Place Mall, the Rhode Island Convention Center, the Omni and Marriott Courtyard Hotel, Homewood Suites, the restoration of the historic Union Station complex, multiple luxury residential towers, the headquarters of the Citizens Financial Group, IGT, Blue Cross and American Express. This catalytic public/private project has now generated over $1 billion of additional economic activity in the District.