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 Westin and Marriott Courtyard Hotel, the restoration of the historic Union Station complex, a luxury residential complex, the headquarters of the Citizens Financial Group and the regional headquarters for American Express. In the last two years alone, the district has seen the completion of the world headquarters for the GTECH Corporation, the completion of a 32 story Westin Hotel expansion with luxury residences as well as the city’s newest luxury residential complex by the Intercontinental Real Estate, providing further evidence of the ongoing vitality of the city and the role that Capital Center has played in that Renaissance.