Cambria Hotel | 515 Somerville Ave | Union Sq | Somerville

maxdatabook

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Great vid, thank you!

BTw, Is this one of those Cambridge/Somerville hotels you feel are completely unnecessary and will be highly vacant? ;)
HAHA. I'm trying to turn a new positive leaf! I do wonder if the top floor will fly off in a future super-wind storm. Ooops...there I go again! :)
 

shmessy

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HAHA. I'm trying to turn a new positive leaf! I do wonder if the top floor will fly off in a future super-wind storm. Ooops...there I go again! :)

Hang in there! Looking past the short-term here - - the longer-term for the Boston area looks truly spectacular.

Demographics of longer life expectancies (more empty nester high rise living) and globalization of middle classes (first generations leaving subsistence existences for professions in India, Morocco, Vietnam, Brazil, China, etc.) portend a future wave of tourism and business in-flow to one of the great combined HISTORIC, HIGHER ED and BIOTECH cities on the face of the earth.

Boston is almost singularly positioned for this in a very serendipitous way. I'm not sure many truly understand the confluence of this lottery win yet.

And despite the limiting factor of space, there are many devlopment potentials still left untapped. I'm envisioning a great - both sides of the river - interface stretching along the Mystic someday.
 

maxdatabook

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Recently, Somernova, which owns the Artisan's Asylum building, closed off the alley and had an event. I'm a member of the Cambridge Hackspace which is across the way. We weren't invited to this event. (I heard they blocked off our parking too) A few years ago, we weren't invited to the opening of the new GreenTown Labs either. In short, none of these developers have shown any interest in community outreach. They all focus on Harvard, MIT, other large businesses in and around Boston. Okay, I don't know what they're interested in, I just know it isn't us small makers, artists and businesses in the neighborhood. It's a shame, they ignore the very people who make the community interesting in the first place. As I've pointed out, there are two other (soon be 3) hotels in the area that will all look the same. And these hotels are spread out all over New England. I see success if these new development ADD to their communities. Instead, the risk is high that they're building white elephants. IMO, the developers who think long term will succeed long term. Exhibit A, for a developer who gets it, and built into the fabric of the community, is Bow Street.
 
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Texasian

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Recently, Somernova, which owns the Artisan's Asylum building, closed off the alley and had an event. I'm a member of the Cambridge Hackspace which is across the way. We weren't invited to this event. (I heard they blocked off our parking too)
When I've lived/worked in buildings impacted by large events, its the responsibility of building management/owners to communicate it to tenants and stuff does get lost in the churn. If your talking specifically about this past weekend's closure, that was Somerville Open Studios, a city-wide event. Somernova is a sponsor of theirs and was hosting artists who didn't have spaces that could accommodate physical distancing in their own studios/spaces. I'd argue that the act of hosting the event is showing that they're interested in the artists and makers in the community.

As for Bow Market, did you know that the original plan was going to have the second floor rented out as small artist studios? Turns out retail interest was so strong that they ended up nixing the studio plans altogether: even the scrappy, weird, the stars must have aligned for this to happen, development followed the money.

Back to the hotel side of things: Enough people thought there was enough need for a hotel that they ponied up ~$60 million to finance the project. The first floor is going to have an independently run restaurant with a massive outdoor seating area (or at least that seems to be the hope). It's less beige and boxy as Cambrias can be, and it replaces an empty lot that played host to a racist, verbally abusive squatter who seemed determined to ruin my day whenever I walked by (which was daily). In my books, its a win, especially since it might have otherwise been a consolidated fire station.
 

maxdatabook

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Yes, I know Somervnova is trying! And I don't believe they did it on purpose. I'm just pointing out there isn't as much community as their should be, enough neighborly communication. I didn't know about Bow Street.

As for the Cambria. Who is this "enough people"? Whose money are they spending? I'm sure we could get into that topic!

Let me be clear, I'm happy they're building a hotel (or anything) on that land. I'm with you. I want it to succeed. I want Somernova and GreenTown to succeed. But I feel someone has to point out these issues. They need to do better neighborhood outreach not because I think it's the right thing to do, but because it's good business for them. They need the neighborhood more than the neighborhood needs them. It's a competitive world! Just my business opinion!
 

ra84970

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Exhibit A, for a developer who gets it, and built into the fabric of the community, is Bow Street.
Bow Market may work for you, but, to me and a number of folks I'm in community with, Bow Market's events are highly problematic. It would be incorrect to say that they are built into the fabric of "the community." They are built into the fabric of the White dominant culture in this area.

Keeping it short, the entire Bow Market complex is geared toward the White, professional class - even the "ethnic" restaurants are primarily "fusion" (read: adulterated/altered for White-acceptable flavors/spices). After the initial soft opening, I have not gone back and I see that the stores of interests for White non-professionals or people of color (of all classes) have departed.

I appreciate the design and the active reuse of the facility and think that it's novel that they reused a former storage/garage site, but, these kinds of markets consisting of a rotating cast of stall owners are so common to most of the rest of the world, that, what's more surprising is just how novel White Americans seem to think they are.
 

Vagabond

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Crazy how few hotels there are nearby to Union or this site. Shows how under-commercialized this "downtown Somerville" area was - fills the gap in perfect timing before the office towers go up.
 

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maxdatabook

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Bow Market may work for you, but, to me and a number of folks I'm in community with, Bow Market's events are highly problematic. It would be incorrect to say that they are built into the fabric of "the community." They are built into the fabric of the White dominant culture in this area.

Keeping it short, the entire Bow Market complex is geared toward the White, professional class - even the "ethnic" restaurants are primarily "fusion" (read: adulterated/altered for White-acceptable flavors/spices). After the initial soft opening, I have not gone back and I see that the stores of interests for White non-professionals or people of color (of all classes) have departed.

I appreciate the design and the active reuse of the facility and think that it's novel that they reused a former storage/garage site, but, these kinds of markets consisting of a rotating cast of stall owners are so common to most of the rest of the world, that, what's more surprising is just how novel White Americans seem to think they are.
I'm pretty sure anything I say is going to anger you even more. I'm 59. I went to public schools in NYC. Blacks are 14% of the population. Whites are the larger population. Dominant? In a sense, how could they not be? However, this plays out with many races in many nations. Anyway, I was comparing Bow to Cambria. And yes, from what I've learned on YouTube, the U.S. doesn't hold a candle to stall-markets around the world. This is from restrictive zoning, of course. Anyway, I don't think it's novel. I think it's good, like you. And you'd be surprised, I'm probably even more upset about the lack of opportunities in stores for lower income people than you are :) But I don't want to bring race into it.
 

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