The ground floor of the old Union Station is getting a major makeover. Track 15, the city’s first food hall, should be ready by the end of next summer; interior work has been ongoing since plans were first announced over two years ago. This week Marsella Development Corporation released the details of the new project including the new name (the original Union Station had 14 intercity rail lines), the participating food merchants, and renderings from Vision 3 Architects.
Gail Ciampa writes in the ProJo:
The demolition of the interior of the building has been completed, joining a long-vacant space of the original Capital Grille, Raphael’s and later, Bar Louie. Marsella purchased the building from the Rhode Island Foundation.
Those were all great places, but I think they suffered from not being visible from the street and bringing life to e scene primarily at night. The daylong activity of a food hall might be just the solution. The outdoor area leads to the tunnel to the Waterplace Park basin which has become sad and forbidding; this plan might be the thing to breathe new life into the area. Constant foot traffic and creative lighting could alter this whole interface. So who has signed up? From RI Monthly:
The 10,000 square foot plaza has already secured five of its projected seven tenants in the form of a seafood and raw bar concept from Dune Brothers; regional Mexican cuisine from Chef Maria Meza and her family at Dolores; burgers and more from There There; and two Italian concepts from Kevin O’Donnell, chef and owner of Giusto and Mother Pizzeria in Newport.
The architects suggest that when completed, Track 15 will include a large central bar, a new home for seven Rhode Island based restaurateurs, indoor and outdoor seating for over 300 patrons, an entertainment venue and a 10,000 square foot plaza which will provide outdoor seating and a home for special events.
The Rhode Island Foundation remains on the third floor with its front entrance on Exchange Street facing the skating rink. (Check out their old photo to see what this area looked like prior to the skating rink.)