DBVW Architects has been working with FarmFresh RI to develop a center for food- and agriculture-related businesses on vacant land in the Valley neighborhood of Providence. With an $850,000 loan from the Providence Business Loan Fund, Farm Fresh recently bought the former Eastern Wire Products Co. property at the intersection of Kinsley and Sims Avenues. Farm Fresh expects to move from the space it’s outgrowing at Hope Artiste Village, in Pawtucket, into a new 60,000-square-foot building it plans to construct on a 3.2 acre parcel. DBVW is currently working with FarmFresh on Programming and Conceptual Design, with the goal of starting construction in 2018 and completing the project in 2019.
Co-Director Jesse Rye said the Farm Fresh building — which they’re calling the Rhode Island Food Hub: A Center for Food and Agriculture — fits well in the neighborhood. “I think the concentration of organizations like the Steel Yard, WaterFire, the great artists’ spaces [nearby] and other locations in the Valley neighborhood really makes for a strong concentration on craft and a focus on things being made,” Rye said. “We’re viewing our work as a place where people will come to make things, and that fits totally in line with the identity of the neighborhood as it is right now.”