COVID-19 in Boston

Rover

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Just as I suspected. Move out of higher priced city, expect a pay cut. Even if this particular company is throwing in one time moving costs. They'll recoup that in 2 years time on the lower salary and they have you by the balls on comp once you relocate to Idaho or somewhere similar.

 

Vagabond

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"[Outdoor dining:] Count Mayor Martin Walsh as a convert.

In comments at a community meeting in the South End on Monday, he said he was open to looking at making such permits granted for restaurants this summer a more permanent fixture citywide even after COVID-19.

“We’re having a conversation now about that,” he said. “I think the fact we have outdoor dining and it’s added a whole new and different dynamic to the communities. I love the idea…I hope to pick it up in the spring and have a conversation then with Licensing to make it permanent.”

 

meddlepal

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The fact it took a pandemic to possibly even start talking about changing this demonstrates how utterly fucked this cities attitude is towards making the place fun and vibrant.
 

citydweller

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The fact it took a pandemic to possibly even start talking about changing this demonstrates how utterly fucked this cities attitude is towards making the place fun and vibrant.
Yeah, it's hardly a novel concept. European culture seems to promote it. Visit Montreal, outdoor dining for many of the restaurants in the inner city is the norm.
 

KCasiglio

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It's great news but it could still be implemented much better. For example the restaurant I work at on Stuart St got a permit to take up 2/3rds of the sidewalk. With a street light and parking meter being in the remaining third, making it a very narrow pass.

Meanwhile there are two parking lanes on the street, even though we are directly across from a public parking garage.
20201008_124152.jpg
 

stefal

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It's great news but it could still be implemented much better. For example the restaurant I work at on Stuart St got a permit to take up 2/3rds of the sidewalk. With a street light and parking meter being in the remaining third, making it a very narrow pass.

Meanwhile there are two parking lanes on the street, even though we are directly across from a public parking garage.
It's hard to tell the exact width in your photo, but if it is less than 5 feet, this is a symptom of lack of enforcement. In order to attain a temporary outdoor seating permit due to COVID, a restaurant had to submit a proposed site plan with all light posts, trees, manholes, etc. noted and rough measurements for ADA and pedestrian clearances, with a minimum of 5' between the furthest barrier for the restaurant and the noted obstacles on the sidewalk.
 

KCasiglio

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It definitely varies based on who sets up the patio. There have been plenty of days its in violation. We've never had anyone say anything though. Even when its set up properly watching people pass in opposite directions is tough.

If the patio enforcement is anything like covid enforcement its a joke. Plenty of bars are packing people in, ignoring food requirements, employees won't even have masks. I'm surprised cases haven't been rising faster based on what I've seen and industry friends have reported.
 
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bakgwailo

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It definitely varies based on who sets up the patio. There have been plenty of days its in violation. We've never had anyone say anything though. Even when its set up properly watching people pass in opposite directions is tough.

If the patio enforcement is anything like covid enforcement its a joke. Plenty of bars are packing people in, ignoring food requirements, employees won't even have masks. I'm surprised cases haven't been rising based on what I've seen and industry friends have reported.
I know a couple that didn't even do the permit process. Don't think there is really any enforcement.
 

BJ Reiser

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I am new to the site and am hoping to have one of you explain to me how Boston is continuing this incredible building boom with Covid changing so much of the way we live and work. It seems most of the new buildings are for housing, because the demand for office space is less due to the pandemic. I just don't see the demand for all the housing unless it is highly affordable and I'm doubting that's the case. All I hear from people who worked in town is that their companies moved out. Who believes that it is going to change, even when Covid is under control? And are there really enough people to fill up all these new towers. Thanks in advance for your insight.
 

meddlepal

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I am new to the site and am hoping to have one of you explain to me how Boston is continuing this incredible building boom with Covid changing so much of the way we live and work. It seems most of the new buildings are for housing, because the demand for office space is less due to the pandemic. I just don't see the demand for all the housing unless it is highly affordable and I'm doubting that's the case. All I hear from people who worked in town is that their companies moved out. Who believes that it is going to change, even when Covid is under control? And are there really enough people to fill up all these new towers. Thanks in advance for your insight.
All of this stuff was in the pipeline well before COVID was a problem and all of them will take longer to complete than hopefully COVID is around (vaccine progress is looking good right now). Opening date for many of these projects is 2022, 2023 and beyond (e.g. South Station tower is 2025).

It's crazy to change business plans and objectives on a six month time frame and in response to a unprecedented pandemic. I don't think anyone has a crystal ball into what is going to happen, but the stakes are much higher for missing an opportunity.

The old adage, "You can't make any money if you don't spend money" still applies in a lot of cases.
 

Equilibria

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I think it's hard to predict what people will do once they have their freedom back. Same with companies.

That said, if we're vaccinated by next Summer I bet the year of COVID is going to look like a momentary blip five years from now.
 

fattony

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I think it's hard to predict what people will do once they have their freedom back. Same with companies.

That said, if we're vaccinated by next Summer I bet the year of COVID is going to look like a momentary blip five years from now.
I agree with this. The pandemic will have some long lasting effects for sure, but the death of cities is not one of them.

If anything, we’ve started a domino effect of medium-to-low-salary office jobs getting passed from expensive cities to WFH remote locations to ultimately offshore. High-value jobs will remain in city centers. The net effect will impact demand for housing in cities, but I think the smart money is on “everything will return to how it was.” There was so much pent up demand for office space and homes in Boston that I think the worst that can happen is that prices for both moderate a bit. Which people and which companies are in the city might change, but there will be no collapse.
 

Johnnyrocket891

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I agree with this. The pandemic will have some long lasting effects for sure, but the death of cities is not one of them.

If anything, we’ve started a domino effect of medium-to-low-salary office jobs getting passed from expensive cities to WFH remote locations to ultimately offshore. High-value jobs will remain in city centers. The net effect will impact demand for housing in cities, but I think the smart money is on “everything will return to how it was.” There was so much pent up demand for office space and homes in Boston that I think the worst that can happen is that prices for both moderate a bit. Which people and which companies are in the city might change, but there will be no collapse.
The corporations have a global labor pool. You can conduct business in a location that the cost of living is $10 dollars day vs Boston $300 dollars a day . I just don't know how the prices in the major US cities just don't collapse in NYC, Boston, SF, LA, Chicago. The bondholders/Investors who invested in the building boom the 3-5 years might be held holding the bag.

I could see Big Tech start buying into Boston if prices begin to drop.
Also the world is going through a transition now. China will exceed and pass the US economy in the future the way things look.
 

Equilibria

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The corporations have a global labor pool. You can conduct business in a location that the cost of living is $10 dollars day vs Boston $300 dollars a day . I just don't know how the prices in the major US cities just don't collapse in NYC, Boston, SF, LA, Chicago. The bondholders/Investors who invested in the building boom the 3-5 years might be held holding the bag.

I could see Big Tech start buying into Boston if prices begin to drop.
Also the world is going through a transition now. China will exceed and pass the US economy in the future the way things look.
If that were inevitable, it would have already happened. Before the pandemic, businesses saw positive clustering effects that outweighed the cost of space and cost of living.
 

Czervik.Construction

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I am new to the site and am hoping to have one of you explain to me how Boston is continuing this incredible building boom with Covid changing so much of the way we live and work. It seems most of the new buildings are for housing, because the demand for office space is less due to the pandemic. I just don't see the demand for all the housing unless it is highly affordable and I'm doubting that's the case. All I hear from people who worked in town is that their companies moved out. Who believes that it is going to change, even when Covid is under control? And are there really enough people to fill up all these new towers. Thanks in advance for your insight.
It is understandable to seem perplexed. However commercial real estate and multifamily residential is a long game, from lining up financing, acquiring land, getting through approvals and permitting, and then heavan forbid... construction. As you see on this site there are threads that are over a decade old.

Point is, at a snapshot in time in the last couple of months, all this construction seems crazy, but most of it has been years in the making. Also, Boston has a significant shortage of new, managed (doorman, in-house facilities teams, etc.) buildings as compared with NYC and Chicago. However, the demand exists with lots of professionals with incomes that maybe don't want to live in an 1800's brownstone. Therefore, it seems like a ton of stuff going up, but there is a lot of pent up demand. Covid will have an effect in the short term but in the long term, things will work out.
 
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KentXie

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That said, if we're vaccinated by next Summer I bet the year of COVID is going to look like a momentary blip five years from now.
This is probably a questionable statement, at least for the US, when nearly half the population said they won't take the COVID-19 vaccine according to recent polls. Unfortunately, misinformation has resulted in an increase in anti-vaxxers

If that were inevitable, it would have already happened. Before the pandemic, businesses saw positive clustering effects that outweighed the cost of space and cost of living.
Not saying it's inevitable but businesses also believed that remote working would result in a significant drop in productivity which it did not. In my opinion, this finding is similar to findings that a 4 day work-week would yield more productivity than a 5 day work-week except that unlike the remote working, the 4 day work-week has not been forced upon employers.

I'm hoping this pandemic would force the way "working" looks, either by being more flexible with remote working or a hybrid form as well as looking into things such as a 4 day work-week with a new perspective.
 

meddlepal

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This is probably a questionable statement, at least for the US, when nearly half the population said they won't take the COVID-19 vaccine according to recent polls. Unfortunately, misinformation has resulted in an increase in anti-vaxxers
If half the population in the US doesn't take the vaccine then it is what it is. The rest of us are going to get it within the next 6 to 24 months. We will be mostly immune while they continue to be infected. so what?
 

KentXie

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If half the population in the US doesn't take the vaccine then it is what it is. The rest of us are going to get it within the next 6 to 24 months. We will be mostly immune while they continue to be infected. so what?
You do know how large half the population of the US is right and you do know that people with compromised immune system will still be at risk? Herd immunity occurs at significantly more than 50% meaning unless more people immunize themselves, hospitals will continue to be overwhelmed, leaving limited resources to treat for other illnesses.
 

Charlie_mta

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If half the population in the US doesn't take the vaccine then it is what it is. The rest of us are going to get it within the next 6 to 24 months. We will be mostly immune while they continue to be infected. so what?
It's really unfortunate how Covid and it preventative measures have become so politicized into a liberal vs, conservative thing. I'm fairly conservative (whatever that really means) in my political views, but I will certainly take the vaccine when they come up with it.
 

meddlepal

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It's really unfortunate how Covid and it preventative measures have become so politicized into a liberal vs, conservative thing. I'm fairly conservative (whatever that really means) in my political views, but I will certainly take the vaccine when they come up with it.
I think we'll get much higher than 50% immunization anyways. I think the social media echo chambers are really amplifying the anti-vaccine rhetoric, but when push comes to shove most people are going to get it within the next 24 months in order to return to normal life...

My guess is the big drivers for vaccination will be:

1. Voluntary
2. Jobs mandating that employees get vaccinated, either to keep their job or to prevent liability charges that an unvaccinated employee got someone else sick.

I don't think we'll see government mandated vaccination except for healthcare, and emergency services.
 

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