The Boston Guardian reports on a meeting this week about the proposal by a developer to buy the Harriet Tubman House in the South End and build condos on the site. The Boston Sun has more.
want to clarify this isn't Harriet Tubman's actual house its a community center. Im sure a few people wont realize that key fact before commenting.
Not difficult to understand operating a community organization with years of deficit spending, but JUST ONCE it would be heartening to see the BPDA advocate the interests of the neighborhood and not private real estate developers.
Mayor Walsh should have abolished, not renamed, the BRA as he promised when he first ran for office.
At the BPDA meetings I have witnessed, the Agency just acted as a shill for the developer in question. Perhaps this meeting demonstrates to the City of Boston the need for true public input.
Like when the BPDA rep had no response to community complaints about the ownership of 92 Maple St in Grove Hall, a building that has since had a fire in the basement. The same developer who screwed over Fort Hill (can't remember their name right now) has now set their sights on Grove Hall and the BPDA is shilling away.
These people are a day late and a dollar short on these objections. I despise the racism evident in the shouts indicating Goldman should leave town.
“I grew up here, but these are just bricks,” said USES’ Jerrell Cox, who runs the organization’s New Hampshire youth summer camp. “It’s been difficult to see how hard it is to keep the doors open every year. We are selling this building to survive.”
This says it all. This is not just some development project. USES will not survive if they don't sell this building. This isn't some outside force steamrolling the neighborhood. This is a vital resource in the neighborhood saying they want and need to do this.
This is what confuses me about those who are outraged as well. This is not USES being kicked out, or the city doing some kind of shady deal. Their anger is misplaced when it's directed at the BPDA, which is just doing what the property owner desires. Their complaints should be directed to USES, not the City or the developer (who also seems to be trying to make the project a benefit for the community as well, not just their bottom line.)
The complaints are, and have been, directed at USES. Nobody is mad at a for-profit developer trying to make a profit, and some may even acknowledge that New Boston at least seems like they're trying. The anger is at USES: for failing to do adequate community outreach in the early stages of the sale process, for being opaque about their finances and the costs to operate and repair the existing building (while everybody else seems to just take their word for it), for lying about support they say they've received for the sale, for lying about a lack of support they claim to have received from others when they asked for help before committing to sell, for showing disrespect to the community by repeatedly calling the building "just bricks" in a room full of people telling them it's so much more than that... it goes on.
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