State of Rhode Island Historical Preservation & Heritage Commission - Annual Rhody Award 2020 & 2009 For Historic Rehab Tax Credit Project

2020 - USG and our Hope Artiste Village and The Village Lofts properties are honored to be selected by Preserve Rhode Island and RI Historical Preservation & Heritage commission for this reward. It took $40 million and 15 years to transform a massive turn-of-the-century textile plant built for the Hope Webbing Company into a mixed-use destination.

2009 - Greystone Lofts, North Providence North Providence’s Greystone Mill produced textiles from the 1910s to the 1970s. Developer Urban Smart Growth (USG), architects from Annino Incorporated, and Metric Construction created 150 residential units in the facility. The completed project demonstrates the versatility and enduring quality of historic mill buildings.

Wall Street Journal Article – The Perfect Long Weekend In Providence

In the Wall Street Journal’s “How to spend your weekend in Providence” article, our Hope Artiste Village is the recommended Saturday morning activity. “Grab a coffee and drive 10 minutes to the Hope Street Farmers Market, in Lippitt Memorial Park from May through October. Come winter, it takes cover just outside city limits, in Pawtucket's Hope Artiste Village, a restored mill that's home to retail shops and studios (999-1005 Main St., Dozens of artisans keep their spaces open for Saturday walk-throughs.”

ULI Columbus Award For Excellence In Development-Small Scale 2017

“An early success in the up-and-coming Franklinton neighborhood, 400 West Rich is a prime example of urban adaptive reuse. Urban Smart Growth turned the once vacant and crumbling industrial building into a thriving community of art studios, offices, a bar and restaurant and event space.”

American Planning Association 2014 National Planning Excellence Award For Economic Development & Planning – East Franklinton Creative Community District Plan Columbus, OH - Catalytic Developer

Our 400 West Rich project was the catalytic development responsible for the start of the East Franklinton Creative Community District Plan.

“A nine-month planning process that began in 2011 focused on specifically attracting and retaining young 'creative class' residents who cannot afford the city's increasingly gentrified neighborhoods. As many as 2,000 new lofts, live/work houses, and single-family houses will be built, along with nearly 50,000 square feet of stores, cafes, and galleries. There is potential for more than 100,000 square feet of adaptive reuse of industrial buildings for artist studios and entrepreneur/small business incubator space. The new district is projected to become home for 3,600 to 4,800 new residents. Already under development are the adaptive reuse of two warehouses and one new mixed-use project.”

The Pawtucket Foundation – 2008 Person Of The Year Award Lance Robbins

Each year The Pawtucket Foundation honors individuals who in some way enhance the City of Pawtucket and make significant contributions to Pawtucket’s development as a community. The award honorees represent examples of civic leadership. The Foundation has presented awards each year since 2004. The Foundation’s Person of Year award recognizes a person who significantly contributed to enhancing the economic and community life in Pawtucket during the previous year.

This year the Foundation decided to honor an individual who has significantly contributed to urban revival in Pawtucket. The Foundation presents the 2008 award to Lance J. Robbins and Urban Smart Growth for his achievements and successes. Before Mr. Robbins and his company, Urban Smart Growth arrived in Pawtucket, Mr. Robbins worked for nearly 30 years in the arena of real estate development, focused primarily in Los Angeles, California.

In 1994, Robbins acquired a blighted section of Los Angeles, then conceived and spearheaded a program where his concept of private redevelopment and rehabilitation of an entire blighted neighborhood was the largest of its kind in the City of Los Angeles. In 2005, based on its potential for his new redevelopment model, Robbins sought out Pawtucket for its abundance of large, vacant mill buildings. Urban Smart Growth acquired Hope Webbing Mill, providing over 600,000 square feet of space for redevelopment. Hope Webbing is being transformed into Hope Artiste Village: a mixed-use artisan village of light industrial, art and theatre spaces, restaurants and live/work lofts on 12 acres.

Columbus Underground Article – Top 10 Best Bars In Columbus, Columbus Alive Article - Runner-Up: Best Cocktail List, Good Day Columbus - Best Veggie Eats In Columbus, The Columbus Dispatch - Review | Sophisticated Strongwater Menu

Strongwater is the result of the creative minds at the 400 Square art studios. USG brought the restaurant and event space to life in 2013 and, since then, it has become a cornerstone of the Franklinton area.

"For creative and value-oriented food served in an artsy ambience, it’s hard to beat this outpost of contemporary style and fun." - Columbus Dispatch

"Strongwater has a reputation for providing unique vegan eats as well as delicious non-vegan options, including what very well may be the best damn hot chicken sandwich in town. At the center of the culinary creations taking root in Franklinton is the executive chef at Strongwater." - 614 Magazine

Strongwater Events Space

Whether you want a unique wedding venue, to host your next fundraiser, throw yourself a birthday bash, catch local music, browse unique markets and fleas, or create the hippest company party your boss has ever seen, Strongwater Events is the place to do it. Strongwater has been featured in countless local and national wedding and event publications and recently won peoples choice for best urban event venue in Columbus Wedding Magazine.

Headquarters Address

Urban Smart Growth
1005 Main St #1220
Pawtucket, RI 02860

Contact Details


Office Hours

9:00am to 6:00pm EST
Monday to Friday

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