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      Commission shows off improvements to 195 land

      The land opened up by the relocation of Interstate 195 has been dubbed The Link, and it holds 19 acres and the hope for a rejuvenation of the capital city's economy.

      But there are no buildings yet.

      "Everyone wants to see tower cranes. I want to see tower cranes," said Colin Kane, chairman of the I-195 Redevelopment District Commission.

      Kane knows it is still many months before there will be businesses building here, but he took officials around the area Tuesday to show off the $50 million investment in the property in the form of sewers and utilities, streets and sidewalks.

      One thing the commission has always wanted to address is parking, and a new garage proposed next door, behind the Garrahy court complex, is a first step.

      "It's the perfect location to centralize parking to support what we hope is 3 million or 4 million feet of building fabric," Kane said. "If we do 3 million or 4 million square feet of building we're probably looking at 3,000 to 4,000 parking spaces."

      That estimate is three or four times the size of the proposed garage.

      But even though Tuesday was just a chance to show new streets and sidewalks still being built, Kane said the work already finished is on schedule and that the marketing of the land is moving satisfactorily.

      "We're exactly where I'd hoped we'd be from a schedule perspective. The commission laid out a work plan about two years ago that got us to a permitting stage, got these roads embedded to a very high standard, and we went to market in January and have indeed received what I think are some very exciting proposals," Kane said.

      Kane would not elaborate on any details of the proposals. He said says there are between four and 12 that have been submitted. Once those have been considered, he said there will be another round of submissions.