The new building under construction.

There is a new building going up on North Main Street in Summit – the first such construction in years – and it has been described as “what should be being built along this corridor.”

It is a mixed-use development with the ground floor dedicated to retail space and with three two-story townhouses above. The project is a collaboration of Jordan Durham, of D+P Real Estate, and Peter Gill Case, of Truth Box Inc., and occupies the space formerly know as “Tar Beach” for the parking lot there.

Durham said the $750,000 development is planned for a June 1 opening, but the ground floor will be “designed around what the tenant will need,” such as a restaurant. He added that there are as yet no commitments for occupancy and the construction is on “pure speculation” of what is beneficial to the neighborhood.

The developers met at a meeting of the North Main Street Merchants Association, an outgrowth of the Summit Neighborhood Association, in 2006, Durham said, and began discussing the needs of the community, where they both are residents. He said the current design is the third they have formulated as Rhode Island’s economic situation fluctuated.

The building is engineered to be “super-green,” Durham explained, with new double-studded walls that should provide R40 insulation. He said it is “probably the most energy-efficient building in the state of Rhode Island” with a CEE Tier Three rating. With solar panels on the roof, Durham said, the building “could probably get net zero” in energy use. The insulation also works to deaden traffic noise from North Main Street, Durham pointed out, as he closed an open window and the interior of the building fell quiet.

The design/development partners’ web site for the project – – says, “From large historic mill renovations to cutting-edge new construction, our team has been successfully involved with a broad range of building types,” such as the construction of a building using former shipping containers. “Across all our work, is a commitment to sustainability, community revitalization, green building principles, and high quality design and construction,” the site says, and Durham adds that in their vision of what North Main Street should be like, “we feel very good” about their project.

Jef Nickerson, co-founder, editor and publisher of Greater City Providence, who called the new structure “what should be built,” urges more and “bigger versions of it” on North Main Street.

What the finished project will look like.

Design partner Jordan Durham with his new building.