Bunker Hill Housing Redevelopment | Charlestown

stellarfun

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A very powerful letter to the editor of the Globe. The Globe did not treat this as a letter, but ran it as an op-ed. replete with photograph and headline bold font. Full text below.

In light of David Abel’s article “To some, trees a balm; to others, a barrier to progress” (Page A1, March 8), we would like to clarify the facts about tree preservation and the impact it has on our lives.

As the elected local tenant organization, the Charlestown Resident Alliance represents the 2,500 residents of the Bunker Hill public housing complex. We have fought to ensure that the plan for Phase 1 of the replacement of the complex retains as many mature trees as possible. When complete, the entire project will double the number of existing trees on site. The new buildings will also improve the poor indoor air quality that causes our residents to suffer disproportionately high levels of asthma and other respiratory issues.

Although the recent efforts regarding tree preservation may be well intentioned, they are misguided. These activists do not speak for us — the residents — nor have they asked about our priorities. We don’t need to be lectured on environmental injustice or inequities; we live them every day.

We can understand why some in the community believe it is a “false choice” to have to choose between replacing what Abel describes as the “crumbling, infested warren of brick buildings” we call home and preserving mature trees in our neighborhood. However, sometimes in life there are real intention-offs, not just perceived ones. The Charlestown Resident Alliance has been at the table for more than four years and is acutely familiar with the complex details and challenges of this project. No one is more able to make those choices than the directly affected residents who will call Bunker Hill home during its demolition and redevelopment.

At present, more than 100 families have been displaced from their homes in preparation for Phase 1. These Bunker Hill families are waiting to return, and delay is a luxury they cannot afford. Delay also hurts the families who live here now, in homes that have decayed beyond repair.

The Bunker Hill Redevelopment Phase 1 is a well-designed project that has been crafted with the residents at the table. While our voices may not always be the loudest, it’s time for the community to listen.

Nancy Martinez
President
Charlestown Resident Alliance
 

JumboBuc

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Financing is set, and work is set to begin on Phase I in 2021.

Can a mod also merge all the threads for this project:
 

awood91

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Wow this is really cool - truly will be a "case study" as the proponents call it, in revitalizing otherwise crumbling public housing and improving the urban fabric for a gigantic plot of Charlestown. Is anyone aware of other cities that are doing or have done the same thing (bringing in private equity to finance public housing improvements)? The New York City Housing Authority has been trying to do this for several years with no success, so Boston's ability to get it done is a big win.
 

curcuas

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David Rubenstein the lead funder of the Bunker Hill project, is a major philanthropist in DC, and has underwritten repairs to great national monuments and memorials. Its called patriotic philanthropy. No particular geographic affiliation with Boston or Massachusetts, however.

https://www.npr.org/local/305/2020/...-spending-a-fortune-on-washington-s-monuments
He's the founder and head of the Carlyle group, a PE firm which basically makes all of its money on insider gov't information.

As to the novelty of this model, it has been used in DC and in Boston before. One Charlestown is uniquely large. NYC has not attempted anything like this.
 

JeffDowntown

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He's the founder and head of the Carlyle group, a PE firm which basically makes all of its money on insider gov't information.

As to the novelty of this model, it has been used in DC and in Boston before. One Charlestown is uniquely large. NYC has not attempted anything like this.
Wasn't the revitalization of Columbia Point into Harbor Point in the late 80's the benchmark model for this type of public/private partnership?
 

Scott

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^Yep and in 1988 Boston, given the location, it wasn't clear at all it would work. At inception BH enjoys a better location and a better local economy
 

stellarfun

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How many trees are there now and how many are being felled? Numbers always sound big alone, but this area is huge.

That site is behind a paywall.
Can you post some of them?
40+ slides on the trees. Net gain of 250 trees!! Arborists, ornithologists, squirrels will be pleased.,,
https://bpda.app.box.com/s/6hbasxxot8ew5sps68xw1eyuqkt27q5m

See also:
https://www.lmp.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/04/Trees-QA-website-1.pdf

If only there were trees to hide behind as the Redcoats charged the redoubt.
 
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Bananarama

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