Let's Talk About Gentrification...

whighlander

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Its offices lol not lux condos... but these idiots dont work so jobs means gentrification to them...
Stick -- Worse than offices -- the people doing the editing on the sign could probably get a job in the building if it was offices

It's trying to be Kendall / Seaport - type Class A Lab Space -- even the janitors need at least an associate degree
 

stick n move

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I wasnt even joking, offices cant be called gentrification can it? Am I wrong or does that make no sense? How are jobs being put on empty land gentrification... Luxury condos are one thing, but jobs that anyone can work at, fail. That person is indicative of the uninformed idiots who stymie development in this city. People just complain about everything and in this case something good, and their uninformed views actually hold weight and affect many developments negatively.

The people in the area will gain high paying jobs, that they can walk to, next to transit, where there is nothing but dirt now. This can lift people out of poverty with hundreds of jobs right in downtown, but the first thing this idiot does is vandalize the sign.
 
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whighlander

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I wasnt even joking, offices cant be called gentrification can it? Am I wrong or does that make no sense? How are jobs being put on empty land gentrification... Luxury condos are one thing, but jobs that anyone can work at, fail. That person is indicative of the uninformed idiots who stymie development in this city. People just complain about everything and in this case something good, and their uninformed views actually hold weight and affect many developments negatively.

The people in the area will gain high paying jobs, that they can walk to, next to transit, where there is nothing but dirt now. This can lift people out of poverty with hundreds of jobs right in downtown, but the first thing this idiot does is vandalize the sign.
Stick -- You are absolutely on target

It always amazes me how people have such minimal regard for anything signifying progress -- basically Nihilists or Luddites

Even if the project transforms an existing structure -- unless the "artist" used to work at the site -- got fired or laid off on a business closing and have a personal ax to grind -- I just don't see that kind of disfigurement of a sign -- maybe the old building??? -- But a sign of progress???

Kind of a mild digression -- here's a sign at the Google project in Kendall
DSCN1258.JPG
 

fattony

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I wasnt even joking, offices cant be called gentrification can it? Am I wrong or does that make no sense? How are jobs being put on empty land gentrification... Luxury condos are one thing, but jobs that anyone can work at, fail. That person is indicative of the uninformed idiots who stymie development in this city. People just complain about everything and in this case something good, and their uninformed views actually hold weight and affect many developments negatively.

The people in the area will gain high paying jobs, that they can walk to, next to transit, where there is nothing but dirt now. This can lift people out of poverty with hundreds of jobs right in downtown, but the first thing this idiot does is vandalize the sign.
These aren’t jobs that just anyone can work at. Folks already in the area who don’t have the qualifications to get those high paying jobs will get outbid by newcomers who do. That’s why building office and lab space drives gentrification. Let’s say they open a pharmaceutical laboratory there that employs mostly people with PhDs and MSs. How many longtime residents of union square do you think will get a job there? Realistically, employers like that relocate their employees from all over the region, country, and the world.

I'm not saying don’t build it. However it absolutely will contribute to gentrification in the area.
 

stick n move

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The buildings alone have lots of low paying jobs. They require receptionists, security, janitors, maintenance workers, groundskeepers, electricians, building managers...etc. as well as the buildings having ground floor retail which adds more.

Add to that the companies that will locate here within the buildings and they will have entry level jobs as well like all companies do. There are going to be many more lower paying jobs here after this is built than before.
 
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fattony

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There are going to be many more lower paying jobs here after this is built than before.
A) I think it’s many fewer low-qualification jobs than you might think

B) The low paying jobs aren’t the important part regarding gentrification, the high paying jobs are. The scientist pulling down $200k can and will buy any house/condo he wants in Somerville for $10k more than the next highest bidder and not blink an eye. If there aren’t very many houses (which in our constrained-supply market, there aren’t) those wealthy newcomers snatch them all up. Voila. The working class is displaced by the gentry - the literal definition of gentrification.
 

stick n move

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Its possible, but Im not sure how much more prices would go up beyond the effect of the glx and also existing high prices. Luckily theyve been working very closely with the community so people like sign guy can have his voice heard and both sides can work together towards a common ground.

“For a year, the negotiating committee of the Union Square Neighborhood Council (USNC) has been meeting with Union Square master developer US2 to develop a community benefits agreement (CBA), a contract signed by the developer and community representatives requiring the developer to provide specific amenities or mitigations to the neighborhood.”

“When US2 was selected as the master developer in 2014, the community began actively advocating for public benefits that would enrich the neighborhood and ensure "development without displacement."

“We achieved gains in housing, labor, environmental sustainability and open space (amongst others), which many thought were impossible."
Link
 

whighlander

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A) I think it’s many fewer low-qualification jobs than you might think

B) The low paying jobs aren’t the important part regarding gentrification, the high paying jobs are. The scientist pulling down $200k can and will buy any house/condo he wants in Somerville for $10k more than the next highest bidder and not blink an eye. If there aren’t very many houses (which in our constrained-supply market, there aren’t) those wealthy newcomers snatch them all up. Voila. The working class is displaced by the gentry - the literal definition of gentrification.
Fattony -- that's a useless static model of what actually happens in many urban areas
as posted elsewhere I use my family as an example:

  1. Grandfather arrives in US from Central Europe -- lives in Somerville and East Cambridge working mostly as a common laborer
  2. His son -- my father and my father's brother live in the same area just prior to WWII working at the Squires Meat Packing Plant -- mostly a lot of manual labor
  3. My father starts working at the Hingham Shipyard building Destroyer Escorts -- still living in Cambridge / Somerville and commuting
  4. My father joins the SeaBees -- and builds Communications Complexes on a couple of islands to enable the B-29's like the Enola Gay to bomb Japan
  5. After the War using the GI Bill my father attends BU while living as a commuting student in a house owned by his sister and her husband in East Cambridge -- he gets his BS and MS
    1. His sister never goes to college but works in a shoe factory in Boston when she wasn't managing the other 5 apartments in the house
    2. His brother never attends college but continues to work at Squires until it shuts down
      1. meanwhile he goes to war in Itally and returns with an Italian Bride and her mother
      2. They settle in working-class Medford and raise 4 girls and 1 boy
      3. All attend college
  6. my father moves to Hartford where working as a teacher of various topics he marries a literally "Coal-miner's Daughter] from Western PA
    1. attends night classes and gets a Master's in Education
  7. They build a house in a suburb of Hartford and have 3 kids [me first then 2 brothers]
    1. All of us attend MIT and graduate with SB's
      1. All of us continue on in various graduate schools and get science Ph.D's
    2. After we leave the house in CT -- my mother returns to school and gets her Master's in Education
  8. Meanwhile one of my father's brother's kids [my cousin] goes to college and ends up working for Northeastern as an IT professional
    1. she ends up part inheriting and part buying the multifamily house in East Cambridge once owned by my Aunt and my Aunt's husband
    2. The very same house once used for studying by my father circa 1948
    3. My cousin spends some of her salary fixing the old place up [gentrifying it?].
      1. Most of the people who occupy the house now have incomes higher than those who would have occupied it when my Aunt lived in it and managed the house while also working in the shoe factory in Boston.
      2. or who lived in it when I spent my summers living in the house while attending MIT and occasionally doing the handyman job -- fixing sinks and light fixtures, etc.
        1. Note the house was then subject to onerous rent-control so expenditures had to be kept to a minimum
While we aren't the 2 generations of the Curie's with 5 Nobel Prizes amongst four of them -- 5 people across two generations just removed from being [near penniless] immigrants to acquire 3 Masters and 3 Ph.D's -- that's why we came here

The above may not be typical -- but it does represent the kind of generational change making the concept of "Gentrification" a very misunderstood and misused term in the context of the American Experience
 
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shmessy

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Fattony -- that's a useless static model of what actually happens in many urban areas
as posted elsewhere I use my family as an example:

  1. Grandfather arrives in US from Central Europe -- lives in Somerville and East Cambridge working mostly as a common laborer
  2. His son -- my father and my father's brother live in the same area just prior to WWII working at the Squires Meat Packing Plant -- mostly a lot of manual labor
  3. My father starts working at the Hingham Shipyard building Destroyer Escorts -- still living in Cambridge / Somerville and commuting
  4. My father joins the SeaBees -- and builds Communications Complexes on a couple of islands to enable the B-29's like the Enola Gay to bomb Japan
  5. After the War using the GI Bill my father attends BU while living as a commuting student in a house owned by his sister and her husband in East Cambridge -- he gets his BS and MS
    1. His sister never goes to college but works in a shoe factory in Boston when she wasn't managing the other 5 apartments in the house
    2. His brother never attends college but continues to work at Squires until it shuts down
      1. meanwhile he goes to war in Itally and returns with an Italian Bride and her mother
      2. They settle in working-class Medford and raise 4 girls and 1 boy
      3. All attend college
  6. my father moves to Hartford where working as a teacher of various topics he marries a literally "Coal-miner's Daughter] from Western PA
    1. attends night classes and gets a Master's in Education
  7. They build a house in a suburb of Hartford and have 3 kids [me first then 2 brothers]
    1. All of us attend MIT and graduate with SB's
      1. All of us continue on in various graduate schools and get science Ph.D's
    2. After we leave the house in CT -- my mother returns to school and gets her Master's in Education
  8. Meanwhile one of my father's brother's kids [my cousin] goes to college and ends up working for Northeastern as an IT professional
    1. she ends up part inheriting and part buying the multifamily house in East Cambridge once owned by my Aunt and my Aunt's husband
    2. The very same house once used for studying by my father circa 1948
    3. My cousin spends some of her salary fixing the old place up [gentrifying it?].
      1. Most of the people who occupy the house now have incomes higher than those who would have occupied it when my Aunt lived in it and managed the house while also working in the shoe factory in Boston.
      2. or who lived in it when I spent my summers living in the house while attending MIT and occasionally doing the handyman job -- fixing sinks and light fixtures, etc.
        1. Note the house was then subject to onerous rent-control so expenditures had to be kept to a minimum
While we aren't the 2 generations of the Curie's with 5 Nobel Prizes amongst four of them -- 5 people across two generations just removed from being [near penniless] immigrants to acquire 3 Masters and 3 Ph.D's -- that's why we came here

The above may not be typical -- but it does represent the kind of generational change making the concept of "Gentrification" a very misunderstood and misused term in the context of the American Experience
Holy crap😱 isn’t there ANYONE in your life who can pay you a moment’s attention and save us from this ongoing needy emotional release of yours?
 
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George_Apley

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This may be somewhat along the same lines as the 'Housing' thread, so let's try to keep this on what causes gentrification, what its effects are, how much to mitigate it, etc. I'm populating this with a tangent from the Union Square thread.
 

goody

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I want you to know that I didn’t read that
Nor should you, it's garbage. This is 100 percent gentrification for the reasons you note. Those new higher paying jobs at this location will start to fundamentally change the land economics of the area, and are symptomatic of broader economic changes which have already happened. As it becomes an employment hub with many new jobs across pay scales, the land values around it will increase, thus also increasing rents for tenant types, residential, retail, office, and so on. This will displace not only lower income folks but also businesses that cater to low income communities and low rent businesses themselves.

That said, employment growth and the expansion of locations that can support dense employment centers is really symptom of a growing city and I would agrue in this case, particularly one with a limited supply of land and not merely a lack of housing. I don't see job growth as a bad thing, and nor do I see the growth of new employment centers as a bad thing. In many ways it is beneficial to have a dense polycentric city (a city with more than one major employment center) rather than a monocentric one, especially if those cities are land constrained which Boston certainly is. Spreading out jobs increases access to those employment centers and helps to spread their associated tax dollars, services, and other positive externalizes around the city.

As always, the challenge is how to protect vulnerable folks and businesses that make vibrant communities from being displaced. The short answer in my option is, you can't entirely. The longer answer is, build more mixed income housing that provides deed restricted units and establish some method to protect some lower rent business, especially retail and service based businesses, from being displaced. I am less familiar with those commercial strategies but think that larger commercial development could conceivably provide an amount of space subsidized in a similar way residential development does, and of course there is always tax breaks and grants.
 
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DBM

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I'm sure the new tenants will be thrilled with their two neighbors as families with children come to visit....."Mommy, what's ecdysiast?"
I cannot remotely conceive of these tensions/concerns being a plausible scenario, for a number of reasons:

1.) the strip joint is shoehorned in by 3 preexisting very large apartment towers: 45 Stuart, Kensington, 660 Washington. 1,200+ units. The first two are abutters and across the street, respectively. Ever read any headlines about issues/tensions between them and the strip club? Me neither.
2.) Boston's strip club scene is, of course, a joke, compared to those in Sun Belt cities. Centerfolds/Glass Slipper are anomalous aberrations--vestigial relics from the now long-since dismantled Combat Zone. Curiosities, really. I've never heard of this strip club generating fights, long lines, loitering, anything.
3.) Tenants self-select. There's a homeless shelter immediately adjacent too, of course. Anyone who walks around this neighborhood for just a minute appreciates its urban grit (for better or worse). If someone doesn't do their "homework" on a neighborhood, shame on them, right? But then again, it's really irrelevant, because it's all apartments surrounding the strip clubs, so they can just ride it out for the next 364 days...
 
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kmp1284

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So this sounds like they don't have any real intentions to develop it at all. It's a strip club company buying a strip club. My initial excitement regarding the sale lasted only as long as it took to look up ecdysiast. Which actually is kind of cool, I guess. Usually news of this kind strikes a defeatist note for me, but at least this one came with an education beyond your average titty bar.
Why does everything have to be developed? Lagrange is already getting two crappy apartment buildings far below what should be built there both in terms of density and overall design quality. What would a third accomplish other than to completely sterilize one of the last bits of grit in the city?
 

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