In the recent past, many of Providence’s neighborhoods had their own neighborhood shopping districts within walking distance where area residents could buy goods and services. The development of housing and shopping centers in the suburbs and the decline of independently-owned “Mom and Pop” businesses have since led to the redevelopment of many of these shopping districts. The continued deterioration of these districts has further dissuaded entrepreneurs from opening store-front business. Denied convenient access to goods and services, residents have been forced to shop outside of their neighborhoods and often outside of Providence.
The continued decline of many of these neighborhood districts into the late 1990s prompted PPS to include them on the 1997 Most Endangered Properties list. It was believed that the revitalization of these districts would greatly improve the quality of life for Providence residents.
SAVED: Efforts to bring life back to these historic neighborhood commercial districts have successfully resulted in the revitalization of several neighborhood shopping districts in such areas as Elmwood Avenue, Douglas Avenue and Westminster Street. These projects serve as a positive example for the neighborhoods that are still struggling to save their own shopping districts.