Suffolk Downs Redevelopment | East Boston

whighlander

Senior Member
Joined
Aug 14, 2006
Messages
7,812
Reaction score
639
The legitimate concerns are outlined in this article.


And I'm going to have to agree with him. The term "affordable" is very loose. Yes its affordable to some, those that make 75% of Boston's median income. However, current residents of East Boston, especially those who are minorities and make up the largest portion of current residents make an annual income typically 30-40% of Boston's median income.

It's clear that this development serves to benefit only newcomers but does not convey any benefits to the existing resident and that in itself is a legitimate concern.
Kent -- you have absolutely no way to support the last statement
There are plenty of people already living in Boston who could be able to live in the new development -- including probably quite a few already living in East Boston since to get your "largest portion of current residents make an annual income typically 30-40% " there have to be some significant % making 50% and some making 65% and even a few probably making 110%]
and of course the draw could be from Dorchester, West Roxbury, the North End, etc. --- Since when did East Boston have an identity independent of the other 600,000 or so Bostonians.

Sorry with the kind of static analysis which you state [based on probably worse pseudo analysis by the staff of Senator Sanders] the Back Bay would never have been filled
of course we know that the majority of the people who occupied the new houses in the Back Bay moved from the formerly Uber South End -- making those houses available for others
 

kingofsheeba

Active Member
Joined
Aug 22, 2013
Messages
502
Reaction score
355
The legitimate concerns are outlined in this article.


And I'm going to have to agree with him. The term "affordable" is very loose. Yes its affordable to some, those that make 75% of Boston's median income. However, current residents of East Boston, especially those who are minorities and make up the largest portion of current residents make an annual income typically 30-40% of Boston's median income.

It's clear that this development serves to benefit only newcomers but does not convey any benefits to the existing resident and that in itself is a legitimate concern.
Better than I could’ve ever put it
 

atlantaden

Senior Member
Joined
May 31, 2006
Messages
2,210
Reaction score
308
As usual, when it comes to progressives (and I consider myself a mix of progressive and moderate), so many things fail due to this one statement...."Perfect is the enemy of good."
 

whighlander

Senior Member
Joined
Aug 14, 2006
Messages
7,812
Reaction score
639
I do think that since there is no Amazon II -- that the planning for Suffolk doesn't have to be so detailed.

Let the Master Developer build a few structures and lay down some streets then start selling off blocks just as has been done in the Seaport. This approach will let the new neighborhood of Suffolk evolve just as the Back Bay and the Seaport has evolved with different "hands working the dough"
 

George_Apley

Not a Brahmin
Staff member
Joined
Jan 22, 2012
Messages
5,078
Reaction score
1,615
Bernie Sanders NIMBY tangent moved here. Old thread with a name change.
 

stellarfun

Senior Member
Joined
Dec 28, 2006
Messages
5,166
Reaction score
468
KentXie, the median household income of East Boston (census tract 051101) is within 10 percent of the median household income of Suffolk County as a whole.

The population of census tract 051101 is 7,100+ and it has the sixth highest population density of all the census tracts in Suffolk County. 1.5 percent of the population in this tract are black; 46 percent are Hispanic.

For household income distribution by race for East Boston, census tract 051101, see table #9.


There is a very pronounced spike for black household income at about $25,000; but given the minuscule black population, it would be highly speculative to try to define their housing situation. Their household income is so low that they could not afford to live in subsidized housing at Suffolk Downs, unless households at 40 percent of median income were allowed to qualify.

Hispanic median income in East Boston (tract 051101) is within five percent of the median income for all of Suffolk County, and is about 45 percent higher than the median Hispanic household income for all of Suffolk County.

That statisticalatlas link slices and dices household income in East Boston six ways from Sunday.
 

whighlander

Senior Member
Joined
Aug 14, 2006
Messages
7,812
Reaction score
639
KentXie, the median household income of East Boston (census tract 051101) is within 10 percent of the median household income of Suffolk County as a whole.

The population of census tract 051101 is 7,100+ and it has the sixth highest population density of all the census tracts in Suffolk County. 1.5 percent of the population in this tract are black; 46 percent are Hispanic.

For household income distribution by race for East Boston, census tract 051101, see table #9.


There is a very pronounced spike for black household income at about $25,000; but given the minuscule black population, it would be highly speculative to try to define their housing situation. Their household income is so low that they could not afford to live in subsidized housing at Suffolk Downs, unless households at 40 percent of median income were allowed to qualify.

Hispanic median income in East Boston (tract 051101) is within five percent of the median income for all of Suffolk County, and is about 45 percent higher than the median Hispanic household income for all of Suffolk County.

That statisticalatlas link slices and dices household income in East Boston six ways from Sunday.
Stellarfun -- My guess is the origin of the NIMBYism is potential loss of their political power.
Just like the folks already living in Southie fought a pitched-battle with BPDA and the developers in the Seaport not to build nearly as much housing as the developers wanted to build. Why -- you ask?

Because at the time through a herd voting mentality -- Southie through sheer % of registration and % voting was able to outvote other more populated parts of Boston. Southie had a disproportionate share of the "goodies" that came in mid-century Boston for voting for the right people. Note that the expected in-flux of new folks would probably not reinforce the old-Southie of the St. Paddies Breakfast when Bill Bulger was Master of it all. Hence -- old - Southie -- didn't want new folks in the Seaport.

So we see that Eastie in the vicinity of Suffolk [census tract 051101 ] is a small [ 7,100+ ] and probably fairly homogeneous population with fairly long-term residences [back to the days before Logan was Logan]. Now just like the Seaport -- add 10,000 or 15,000 new residents -- suddenly the old-guard loses its electoral punch.
 

Equilibria

Senior Member
Joined
May 6, 2007
Messages
5,186
Reaction score
2,576
The legitimate concerns are outlined in this article.


And I'm going to have to agree with him. The term "affordable" is very loose. Yes its affordable to some, those that make 75% of Boston's median income. However, current residents of East Boston, especially those who are minorities and make up the largest portion of current residents make an annual income typically 30-40% of Boston's median income.

It's clear that this development serves to benefit only newcomers but does not convey any benefits to the existing resident and that in itself is a legitimate concern.
And again, every person earning 75% of the median that lives here is a person who isn't competing for the apartments of those making 30-40%.

Unless you want this to be a giant public housing project, the best way to help the people feeling housing anxiety at the bottom of the market is to build more stock above them. If you don't house the new arrivals to this market, they will drive out those already here.

I truly hope that the idea that "neighborhoods" are where family's live does not pin me as nostalgic. This is an office park on steroids, with housing to help feed the mill.
There are more people in Boston than there used to be. We must house them. That means no more backyards in inner city neighborhoods. It sounds like that was a luxury even in days or yore.
 

Rover

Active Member
Joined
Nov 10, 2016
Messages
891
Reaction score
253
There are more people in Boston than there used to be. We must house them. That means no more backyards in inner city neighborhoods. It sounds like that was a luxury even in days or yore.
Its a ridiculous standard based on a mix of nostalgia and fantasyland. Its why NIMBY's tend to be old people romanticizing their youth and wanting the pace of development to conform to whatever point in time they're stuck in. If someone thinks the affordable housing % should be upped a little bit I understand, but my original objection was to the notion that the entire project needs to go back to the drawing board. Absurd. 25% might be a little high but if that's the goal the city/state can chip in to make that happen. The worst scenario is inaction and delay, thus starving the city of badly needed housing and tax revenue so we can stare at a boarded up horse track for another 20 years. Build it already.
 

stick n move

Senior Member
Joined
Oct 14, 2009
Messages
7,405
Reaction score
2,173
Drives me nuts when the people who have houses protest against anymore being built, while their own kids, their kids friends, their kids entire generation has nowhere to live and everything is crazy expensive. The “I got mine so F everyone else” attitude of the older generations is cancer..
 

Vagabond

Active Member
Joined
Mar 17, 2017
Messages
357
Reaction score
652
Drives me nuts when the people who have houses protest against anymore being built, while their own kids, their kids friends, their kids entire generation has nowhere to live and everything is crazy expensive. The “I got mine so F everyone else” attitude of the older generations is cancer..
Newton, Brookline, Belmont, etc definitely. You're right in principle, but that's not what is happening here. This is a workforce housing neighborhood that is worried about getting priced out. An urban planning view says this will happen anyway (based on the rate of gentrification in East Boston) with or without this project. Even 10,000 homes over 15 years might not stop it. That this development will also bring in lots of jobs is not going to resonate with people who still won't make enough to pay rent.

Fighting for a BLX to Lynn is the best option here to preserve workforce housing access.
 

Cortes

Active Member
Joined
Jul 23, 2013
Messages
274
Reaction score
146
Blue to Lynn should absolutely be a part of this.
I'm not asking for a technical explanation for why or why not this, but (Please no thoughts on why the orange line works better), but if somebody could help me...
If it was determined during all that study that the state saw benefit in spending all that money for transportation improvements in order to land Amazon, why don't they realize that those improvements will have exactly the same benefits without them and do it anyway? The more I understand about the issue, the more it becomes a no brainer. The state is doing well financially, at least well enough to dangle such a very pretty carrot. Is the answer to this really something I want to hear? I mean, we should have a GLX size plan all ready drawn up, right?
 

goody

Active Member
Joined
Nov 2, 2006
Messages
158
Reaction score
102
Drives me nuts when the people who have houses protest against anymore being built, while their own kids, their kids friends, their kids entire generation has nowhere to live and everything is crazy expensive. The “I got mine so F everyone else” attitude of the older generations is cancer..
There is certainly a cultural aversion to change but is is strongly supported by economic benefits owners reap from limiting supply. I personally think there is much to be said for thinking of homeowners as a cartel.
 

stellarfun

Senior Member
Joined
Dec 28, 2006
Messages
5,166
Reaction score
468
The statistical atlas does not have a housing component; e.g., how many households own their home, or rent. Home owners ought not be particularly worried about gentrification, as the value of their property would likely increase.

East Boston -- the entirety, not just tract 051101 -- is a peculiar neighborhood. Of all Boston neighborhoods, it has the highest percentage of residents who are foreign-born, nearly 50 percent. Of the foreign born, nearly half are from El Salvador and Columbia. Nearly 40 percent (15,600 residents) of the total population of East Boston are resident aliens. (A child born in the United States to a resident alien would be a U.S. born citizen.)

Without sounding xenophobic, I think it a fair question how much you tweak housing policies in a city to reflect and accommodate the housing needs of the resident alien population, --who are not voters.
 
Last edited:

Equilibria

Senior Member
Joined
May 6, 2007
Messages
5,186
Reaction score
2,576
I'm not asking for a technical explanation for why or why not this, but (Please no thoughts on why the orange line works better), but if somebody could help me...
If it was determined during all that study that the state saw benefit in spending all that money for transportation improvements in order to land Amazon, why don't they realize that those improvements will have exactly the same benefits without them and do it anyway? The more I understand about the issue, the more it becomes a no brainer. The state is doing well financially, at least well enough to dangle such a very pretty carrot. Is the answer to this really something I want to hear? I mean, we should have a GLX size plan all ready drawn up, right?
Because MassDOT doesn't plan that way. The only reason we have GLX is because it was required by a legal settlement, and even then they tried to wriggle out of it for decades. Only in the FMCB era is there a grown-up in that room pushing to lay the groundwork and have actual plans for good ideas in a back pocket.
 

whighlander

Senior Member
Joined
Aug 14, 2006
Messages
7,812
Reaction score
639
Drives me nuts when the people who have houses protest against anymore being built, while their own kids, their kids friends, their kids entire generation has nowhere to live and everything is crazy expensive. The “I got mine so F everyone else” attitude of the older generations is cancer..
Stick -- that's not the US -- that's some semi-feudal European notion

In the US we tend to move around a real lot -- the average homeowner -- lives in four or five houses [about every five to seven years] by the time that they retire. Then its likely that they might "downsize" and move again. Gone are the days of 3 generations living in some Southie or Dorchester 3 decker. Now its likely the three generations don't even live in the same time zone. As someone pointed out recently -- if not for a continuing influx of new people mostly from outside the US -- Boston like the rest of the northeast would be essentially at 0% growth or below. In much of the northeast more people are leaving than the local population can replace through births.

Boston / Cambridge CSA has managed to change the inequality so that the local economy generates enough high-paying jobs that a continuing stream of technical people migrate into our region from overseas and also other parts of the US often via one of the local U's to replace the retirees and the "foot-lose and fancy-free" young adults who grew up here and who continue to leave for the South and Southwest.

The simplified view above -- is what makes the entire issue of "Affordable housing" in the Boston / Cambridge CSA so complex. This region features both local migration [as almost all other CSA's from the core to the suburbs and back] but like only a few other of the large CSA's: DC, SF/SJ, Austin, etc., there is a significant amount of young professional in-migration. Boston/Cambridge then has a early to mid mid professional level outflow as families look to raise the kids "in a nice quiet place". However, Almost unique to Boston/Cambridge there is also a substantial amount of senior-level in-migration -- most of the bigger companies concentrate a lot of their top-level jobs here. All of these career demographic components have different housing requirements and desires. To continue to be successful Boston / Cambridge needs to accommodate their requirements first -- the rest of the economy is so dependent on their being "happy" -- that all the rest have to wait in line.

This seems harsh -- but its the difference between a growing and vibrant economy like the current Boston / Cambridge CSA and Detroit -- an old industrial city literally plowing up once populated areas to revive farming and plant forests.
 

JeffDowntown

Senior Member
Joined
May 28, 2007
Messages
3,485
Reaction score
844
Stick -- that's not the US -- that's some semi-feudal European notion

In the US we tend to move around a real lot -- the average homeowner -- lives in four or five houses [about every five to seven years] by the time that they retire. Then its likely that they might "downsize" and move again. Gone are the days of 3 generations living in some Southie or Dorchester 3 decker. Now its likely the three generations don't even live in the same time zone. As someone pointed out recently -- if not for a continuing influx of new people mostly from outside the US -- Boston like the rest of the northeast would be essentially at 0% growth or below. In much of the northeast more people are leaving than the local population can replace through births.

Boston / Cambridge CSA has managed to change the inequality so that the local economy generates enough high-paying jobs that a continuing stream of technical people migrate into our region from overseas and also other parts of the US often via one of the local U's to replace the retirees and the "foot-lose and fancy-free" young adults who grew up here and who continue to leave for the South and Southwest.

The simplified view above -- is what makes the entire issue of "Affordable housing" in the Boston / Cambridge CSA so complex. This region features both local migration [as almost all other CSA's from the core to the suburbs and back] but like only a few other of the large CSA's: DC, SF/SJ, Austin, etc., there is a significant amount of young professional in-migration. Boston/Cambridge then has a early to mid mid professional level outflow as families look to raise the kids "in a nice quiet place". However, Almost unique to Boston/Cambridge there is also a substantial amount of senior-level in-migration -- most of the bigger companies concentrate a lot of their top-level jobs here. All of these career demographic components have different housing requirements and desires. To continue to be successful Boston / Cambridge needs to accommodate their requirements first -- the rest of the economy is so dependent on their being "happy" -- that all the rest have to wait in line.

This seems harsh -- but its the difference between a growing and vibrant economy like the current Boston / Cambridge CSA and Detroit -- an old industrial city literally plowing up once populated areas to revive farming and plant forests.
Whigh, Your view of Americans moving all the time is outdated. Housing costs and low wage growth/underemployment for most Americans is trapping people in place.

Brookings report from November 2019:
https://www.brookings.edu/blog/the-...d-fewer-than-10-of-americans-moved-in-a-year/
 

Rover

Active Member
Joined
Nov 10, 2016
Messages
891
Reaction score
253
So...now that Sanders got crushed can we go ahead and build this thing as is? ;)
 

Suffolk 83

Senior Member
Joined
Nov 14, 2007
Messages
2,523
Reaction score
732

Top