Harriet Tubman House | 566 Columbus Avenue | South End

cjbski

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This is on the BPDA agenda for approval tonight, and according to Tim Logan it's going to be given the thumbs up: LINK
 

odurandina

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Rojas had to warn hecklers to stfu.
testimony interrupted a few times....

Passed.... more bedlam ensued.
Meeting momentarily halted.
 

tobyjug

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What was it about this anodyne specimen that aroused passions of the masses?
 

whighlander

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Thanks. It is rough when good organizations have to asset strip to survive.
Toby as Executive Director Maicharia Weir Lytle -- the lead person from the United South End Settlements pointed out - -when they move to a place they have on Rutland st in need of some reno work [to be paid for by the sale of 566 Columbus] -- it will be the 4th location for the Tubman House*1 -- so moving is not something with which they are unfamiliar

Executive Director Maicharia Weir Lytle. “We’ve been looking at how we can utilize our real estate to further our mission.”
Long before its building at 766 Columbus Ave. was constructed, the Harriet Tubman House began in 1892 as a settlement house for black women moving to Boston from the South. Harriet Tubman, the abolitionist for whom the nonprofit was named, was an honorary president of the settlement house until her death in 1913. For nearly 60 years, the organization was located on Holyoke Street in the South End.

In 1975, United South End Settlements built the 566 Columbus Ave. building and the nonprofit moved to that location, expanding its programming and functioning more as a multi-service organization.
 

navigator4

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Thanks. It is rough when good organizations have to asset strip to survive.
I'm never in support of the NIMBYs, but since this land was apparently given to the organizations by the City to build a social services center, should they be able to simply sell it for a profit? In this case, there seems to be some logic to the NIMBYs arguments.
 

Blackbird

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This is on the BPDA agenda for approval tonight, and according to Tim Logan it's going to be given the thumbs up: LINK
From the article:
If the deal goes through, United South End Settlements would join a growing list of Boston nonprofits — universities, arts organizations, and social service agencies — that are selling their historic properties in this hot real estate market to help fund and grow operations.
They call this building “historic”, but it reeeally isn’t.

Not saying that it should be torn down if it’s really important to the community. We just shouldn’t pretend that this building should be saved because it’s old.
 

HenryAlan

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I'm never in support of the NIMBYs, but since this land was apparently given to the organizations by the City to build a social services center, should they be able to simply sell it for a profit? In this case, there seems to be some logic to the NIMBYs arguments.
Is that really the concern, though? I think they just don't want the site redeveloped, but don't care whether the USES gets a windfall. Who gets the profit, by the way, is only an issue because the city doesn't put in place strong policies on such questions. Had the structure been built using federal support, there would be what's known as a "federal interest" in the asset, and they would recoup their share of the gains. The city, on the other hand, seems happy to grant all of that to the non-profit. And maybe they should. If USES isn't able to do this, they likely disappear. There have likewise been other non-profits -- shelters, neighborhood health centers, etc., that have been able to survive fiscal trauma by the city essentially converting what might be seen as loans in to unrestricted grants. This falls within that category, and if it enables USES to maintain viability, then that's a net good in my opinion.
 
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sm89

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The opposition to this is confusing. From what I can tell:
USES: We need to sell this building so we can continue to operate.
Neighbors: Don't sell out to developers we need you here.
USES: We can't afford to keep this location.
Neighbors: Well you have to because we want you to.

It just doesn't add up. Whether or not it becomes luxury condos, USES has decided on their own to offload the building.
 

statler

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What I don't uderstand is where are they going to move that is cheaper than land they already own? How much of that sale money is just going to be sunk back into land acquisition or lease payments? If they want to be anywhere near where they are now, I would guess the answer would be 'most' (if not "all" or "more".)
 

reverend_paco

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What I don't uderstand is where are they going to move that is cheaper than land they already own? How much of that sale money is just going to be sunk back into land acquisition or lease payments? If they want to be anywhere near where they are now, I would guess the answer would be 'most' (if not "all" or "more".)
They are planning on staying on their main campus on Rutland street, between Tremont and Shawmut.
In fact, they are planning on using the money from the sale of the Columbus Avenue (in part) to significantly expand their Rutland street campus.

I saw a presentation (can't find it right now) of the propose addition and it would be significant.
A lot of the Harriet Tubman house is rented out to other non-profits who have been some of the loudest voices in raising a stink. I believe it was the Tenant's Development Corporation that wanted the opportunity to buy the building at significantly less than what Boston New Ventures was offering.
 

cden4

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It's not historic and it's not particularly attractive either. The ground floor is pretty abysmal to pedestrians.
 

reverend_paco

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