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Poor Clare Nuns won't have Jamaica Plain monastery razed when they move out

Jamaica Plain News reports that when the sisters who now live in a prominent parkway monastery move out, they will leave the building behind, rather than sell it to a developer who wanted to replace it with townhouses.

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Comments

Developed to a tax paying property is halted.
With some construction jobs being lost to build the new property.... Brilliant

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Maybe even the same developer. So, most likely, it will become a taxpaying property.

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But more units means more taxes.

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Not only did they get the nuns to violate their code of practice (to demolish where they have been) but they're forcing a developer to keep that blah building.

"Oh, we love the building!"

Bullshit. You love that you don't want anything to change. You don't want more people living in your neighborhood because it's good for your home prices. You don't want houses where there's currently a waste of grass. You couldn't give two good fucks about that schoolhouse dorm of a building.

And now the developer, assuming they stay in the deal, is going to have to make fewer units and they'll be even more expensive to justify the cost.

But guess what...that just means your neighborhood prices went up...bully for you! You win again!

There's a vested interest in "the community" not wanting to replace less dense housing with more dense housing. We have to stop caring what "the community" wants or we're going to strangle the city to death with its own wishes.

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Sometimes keeping simple, competent and modest buildings is worth far more than than creating yet more sardine cans for human beings.

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You should read about how this "competent" building is full of asbestos and faulty wiring and missing chunks of roof.

Simple would be tearing it down and putting up functional housing for people.

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I knew they’d do the right thing! It’s ridiculous to tear a building like that down.

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Justify why tearing it down is ridiculous.

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You’re hysterical. Cool down, bud.

It’s a large, well-built, well maintained building that can and should be repurposed. Why should it all end up in a landfill?

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Per the nun's site (quote below), the building needs some major renovation. It's not far fetched for it to be truly better value to build something new: the design will fit the purpose, it's easier to build modern HVAC & electrical into new construction than trying to gut an existing building, and ideally the new construction can be more energy efficient.

"...our building has had big problems. For starters, the asbestos around all pipes and in the floor tiles has to be removed, new heating system installed, all electric wiring replaced, plumbing pipes replaced, roof and bricks repaired, etc., etc. Since we do not have the finances to do major repairs – we are told it would cost 10 million dollars to bring the building up to code"

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That is what the owners want.

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The objecting to razing the building is nearly the same as people lamenting the closing of a restaurant / bar / store that they never went too but thought it was great for the streetscape and their own ego.

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Except to the gift shop.

Locals like the building and the grounds. Maybe it should stay, maybe it shouldn’t, but locals have the right to at least voice an opinion. The nuns are equally free to disregard it.

From the Globe article it sounds like the building will be gutted and expanded, not demolished and replaced with a clone of every other new complex. Sounds like the community, the developer, and the nuns all gets something they want.

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I don't have a stake in what they do, but a generic townhouse development in such a prominent location of Boston would have taken something away from the area for sure.

Looking at the size of the lot it seems like they can expand and develop behind the building in a way that would allow them to have more living space to sell than what's available in the existing building, but to maintain much of the existing structure visible from curbside so the appearance is not like some suburban/exurban townhouses that could be in Anytown USA.

Of course having no stake in it personally means that whether that sort of development is viable financially is not a consideration in my comment.

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We aren't Anytown.

That's why everyone looking to buy a house is moving to Anytown other than here.

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If people were leaving Boston the rents and sale prices would fall and the housing problem would be solved.

People want to live here, hence the expensive real estate.

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All we need is for what you say is more people to want to live here than available housing (depending on price bracket).

That does not mean that, in general, people would rather live here than elsewhere.

Look at the trends in where people are moving: (one example) https://www.pods.com/blog/2022/04/moving-trends/

We are much more like the top cities people are leaving than the ones that people are moving to.

We just weather that a lot better because we have SO fewer houses than most of those other cities people are leaving.

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Supply and demand are only part of the picture. A middle class that is dividing between a lower middle class and and upper middle class with no one bridging the two is a big part of why housing prices are high.

There are too many people who can afford super high prices and too many people who can’t.

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All we need is for what you say is more people to want to live here than available housing (depending on price bracket).

There are too many people who can afford super high prices and too many people who can’t.

Like holy fuck, my dude. Are you saying that the rising costs are due to too many people who want to spend a ton of money but can't find enough houses to do it in AND too many people who can't spend a ton of money and can't find enough houses in that price bracket to do it in either?

Whodathunkit?

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People were allowed into the chapel (half of it - all the sisters would be on the other side of the cloister grill except whichever of them was greeter). I was never in the shop myself. I was in the downstairs room (next to a side entrance, in a mostly service hallway) once or twice a number a years ago when they had their Christmas Bazaar.

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The Arboretum provides deep and important physical and mental health benefits to anyone who visits. Turning land that is immediately adjacent into domestic human sardine cans will negatively impact a place that offers health benefits for only the cost of a literal walk in a park.

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Two completely different situations.

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Is 281 Acres. It's 7 times the size of the Common.

If you need not to have housing next to a park (you know shelter for people), perhaps a ticket to Billings or Kodiak Island might be better for you and your need for open space.

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