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Old 06-16-2006, 07:26 AM   #21
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Originally Posted by The Globe
Waterfront luring eateries
Ventures hope to snag clients with gimmicks, ties to famous chefs

By Kim-Mai Cutler, Globe Correspondent | June 16, 2006

First came office space, then a hotel, followed by a mammoth convention center on the rejuvenated South Boston Waterfront. But try finding a place to eat.

??Unless you?re into seafood, you?re in trouble,?? said financial analyst Tim Kirwan, sitting near the World Trade Center last week as he ate a sandwich from home. ??Anything would be an improvement.??

There aren?t many restaurants in the developing Seaport District, but a batch of new eateries are finally coming. To thrive, the restaurants seem in need of a famous chef, a big chain to back them up, or a gimmick to lure patrons to an area where parking spaces outnumber pedestrians.

The latest offshoot of the Legal Sea Foods empire, LTK Bar and Kitchen, opened this week. It boasts features none of the other Legals have: touch-screen computerized menus and a place to dock your iPod.

Sauciety, opening next week at the new Westin Boston Waterfront, will let guests choose gourmet sauces to go with cuts of meat and fish.

x And when the new Institute of Contemporary Art opens in September, it will have The Water Cafe, from celebrity chef Wolfgang Puck.

Adjacent to the South Boston Waterfront, the new InterContinental Boston hotel is planning a 24-hour French brasserie, with help from two-star Michelin chef Jacques Chibois. The hotel will also open Sushi Teq, where salsa dancers serve sushi and tequila.

??You have to be a little unique. You have to have a little something to get people over here,?? said Pasquale Presa, executive chef at Sauciety and the Westin. ??We?re starting from an area that has nothing.??

Other restaurateurs may also dive in. Chef Barbara Lynch of No. 9 Park and B&G Oysters fame has looked at space in the area. The Italian food chain Sal?s Pizza is also hunting for a spot.

??A lot of people are dancing around it,?? said Legal Sea Foods? chief executive, Roger Berkowitz, referring to restaurateurs? interest in the waterfront. ??They?re very curious, but I?m not sure a lot of people are committed.??

Without a critical mass of people and attractions on the waterfront, restaurant owners said, it is difficult to decide when to jump in. Berkowitz sees a chicken-and-egg problem: Who should move in first? The people or the restaurants?

The seaport has long been heralded as Boston?s next big neighborhood, but development has been slow. In the 1990s, city officials and developers envisioned turning 1,000 acres into a thriving district with glitzy hotels, upscale apartments, shops, and cafes. But disputes between city officials, property owners, and developers, plus a cumbersome permitting process, have dashed many plans. Construction is picking up, but dining options have been limited to about a dozen or so restaurants, most notably Anthony?s Pier 4, The Barking Crab, and Aura Restaurant & Bar.

Mayor Thomas M. Menino pitched the waterfront to restaurants and retailers last month at a Las Vegas shopping center convention. One incentive: The area is a federally designated ??empowerment zone,?? making a business eligible for up to $3,000 in tax credits for every local employee it hires.

??I don?t think it?s a gamble any longer,?? Menino said. ??People see a potential for the waterfront they didn?t see before.??

??Restaurants can be part of a general revival in attracting outside traffic,?? said Stephan Weiler, an economist for the Federal Reserve Bank in Kansas City, Mo. But he added that bringing in residents rather than visitors would be more viable in the long run.

For now, restaurateurs are betting their concepts will drum up much-needed attention for the area. If Sauciety succeeds, the Westin may use the concept elsewhere as its own restaurant ??mini-brand,?? said Brian Abel, director of food and beverage.

Bigger chains like Legal see the waterfront as a chance to reinvent themselves. LTK, which stands for Legal?s Test Kitchen, is a bid for a younger, tech-savvy clientele with tapas-style plates and a twist on Boston classics. For example: a lobster roll on grilled flatbread instead of on hot dog buns, with bacon and avocado.

??There?s a generally pretty large workforce, whether it?s at the Design Center or the World Trade Center,?? Berkowitz said. ??And there?s a number of people out there in their 20s and 30s that are eating a little differently and are a little more adventurous.??

Some worry the new high-end restaurants will price out the more affordable cafes. The Boston Harbor Association?s executive director, Vivien Li, whose group pushes for a clean and accessible harbor, said the district needs more everyday food and retail outlets.

??At lunchtime, people want places where they can get quick food,?? she said. ??They only go to fancy restaurants for special occasions or if it?s on the business account.??

Kim-Mai Cutler can be reached at kcutler@globe.com.
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Old 08-18-2006, 07:01 AM   #22
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Originally Posted by The Globe
Banners fly as a new day draws near for Fan Pier

By Thomas C. Palmer Jr., Globe Staff | August 18, 2006

Fan Pier, used as a gravel parking lot for a couple of decades, finally gets some color this week.

Fallon Co., which purchased the long-languishing development site a year ago, yesterday began erecting banners and a billboard that will herald the start of construction of a mega-development, scheduled for next year.

``We're going to show everybody after 20 years it's real, it's here," said Fallon partner Richard L. Martini.

Fallon, the third owner in 20 years of the 21-acre site on the South Boston Waterfront, has so far planned a first phase of a $1 billion-plus development that will include four buildings along Northern Avenue. One building will be a five-star hotel and an undetermined number condominiums, a second building will have condos alone, and two will be office buildings.

The first building, with hotel, is scheduled to open in 2009.

The developers will erect two dozen colorful banners on poles around the site that will display ``Fan Pier -- It's Here" and ``World Class Boston" messages. The banners will be three to five feet wide and 20 to 30 feet tall. They will carry a new Fan Pier logo.

The Fan Pier branding campaign was created by the Charlestown marketing firm Kelley Habib John.

``There will be different images of what the site will be -- great office buildings, great restaurants," said Martini.

A large billboard also will address the future of Fan Pier. And later, the old chain-link fence around the lots will get a similar cosmetic treatment, to further dress up a dreary site.

``It's a vast area," Martini said. ``People who haven't followed it don't know what area it covers. This will start to give it a presence."

The filled land was once a railroad yard. Previous owners, including the late restaurateur Anthony Athanas of neighboring Pier 4, envisioned an entire neighborhood on the site. But either City Hall didn't like the plans, or when it did, the market moment had come and gone. Athanas lost the property to his then-partner, the Pritzker family, after a long ugly legal battle in the 1980s.

Fallon bought the land, fully permitted, from the Pritzkers and hopes to time the development so that the buildings open when both the residential and office markets are strong.

Boston developer Dean Stratouly said the marketing campaign might not help Fallon land commercial tenants, but it could build excitement among potential buyers of the residential units.

``You start laying some teasers out, start building some market awareness" with some signs, he said. ``It's building a brand, articulation of this vision, setting some expectations."

Fallon, with the Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Co., paid $115 million for the property, including a large marina, last year, and now has architects working on various stages of the development.

Hill Glazier Architects of Palo Alto, Calif., is designing the hotel and residences, as well as a luxury condominium tower.

BBG of New York, which designed the Fallon-developed Westin Boston Waterfront Hotel, which opened in June, will do a 500,000-square-foot office building on Fan Pier.

And Elkus | Manfredi Architects of Boston is designing a second, similar-size office building. The firm planned the overall Fan Pier site and will design about 300,000 square feet of retail space.

Fallon Co. will begin showing renderings of what the buildings will look like to the public late in the fall.

Another major development in the area is nearing completion: The Institute of Contemporary Art, positioned out on Fan Pier's marina, was scheduled to open in September, but that date has been pushed back at least until October. The museum is moving out of its far smaller space in the Back Bay.

Thomas C. Palmer Jr. can be reached at tpalmer@globe.com.
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Old 09-01-2006, 04:15 PM   #23
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Originally Posted by The Globe
Hynes, Morgan Stanley buy 23 acres of Boston waterfront
Deal worth more than $200 million


By Thomas C. Palmer Jr., Globe Staff | September 1, 2006

Boston developer John B. Hynes III and the financial services company Morgan Stanley today bought 23 acres of South Boston Waterfront land from Rupert Murdoch's News Corp. for a little over $200 million.

The deal for the prominent but undeveloped land formerly owned by Frank H. McCourt Jr. was completed rapidly -- Hynes said the parties "sprinted to the finish line" -- only about a month after it was first reported that Hynes and his partner were negotiating with News Corp.

Hynes confirmed the deal had closed today, and an official announcement was expected later today.

News Corp. acquired the land from McCourt this year, the final transaction in McCourt's purchase two years ago of the Los Angeles Dodgers major league baseball team and substantial real estate that went along with the team and Dodger Stadium. News Corp. said in June it wanted to sell or find a development partner for the site.

Hynes, president and chief executive of Gale International, successfully developed One Lincoln Street in Boston, now the headquarters of State Street Corp. Hynes also is a partner with the real estate firm Vornado, based in New York, to redevelop the historic Filene's block in Boston.

While the South Boston Waterfront, including about 24 acres owned by McCourt, has remained empty and been used largely for parking cars for a couple of decades, the area now seems to be rising from the launching pad. Developer Joseph F. Fallon bought 21-acre Fan Pier, on the water adjacent to the News Corp. land, a year ago and plans to start the first of nine buildings on that site next year.

The Westin Boston Waterfront hotel, a headquarters in for the Boston Convention & Exhibition Center, opened in June, and Fallon's two residential buildings are nearly completed, with a Marriott Renaissance hotel scheduled to open in the same block late in 2007.

LTK, or Legal Test Kitchen, a restaurant with high-tech features like iPod music docking stations at individual tables, owned by Legal Sea Foods chief executive Roger Berkowitz, opened this summer. It has been regularly crowded in an area that for years has been unpopulated after 6 p.m. and criticized as having a dearth of places for people to congregate.

Hynes, on his way to play golf after what he said was a grueling week of final negotiations on the sale, said development on the McCourt site is expected to be more than six millions square feet -- or at least double what is permitted and planned on Fan Pier. It will include residences, office space, and a substantial amount of retail and hotel use -- in roughly one-third amounts of each.

In the complex arrangement with Morgan Stanley, Hynes, who initially owns about 10 percent of the project, could increase his share if the project is particularly successful. He said he hopes to have permits with the city and state secured within two years and begin with a first phase of about two million square feet of development, of various uses, immediately after the plan is approved.

The whole 23 acres could be completed in about a decade, if market conditions are right, Hynes said.
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Old 09-01-2006, 10:07 PM   #24
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There was a covered entry pavilion as part of the ICA concept to connect the museum better to the existing street-scape, it was value engineered out, but the drawings were do such that it could be built at a later date.
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Old 09-03-2006, 07:23 AM   #25
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Just another article I found:

Hynes in waterfront deal: Developer plans massive
By Scott Van Voorhis
Boston Herald Business Reporter

Saturday, September 2, 2006

Local developer John B. Hynes III and a major New York financial firm have wrapped up a blockbuster $203 million deal for a key piece of the Hub?s waterfront.

The Gale Co., of which Hynes is a top executive, and joint venture partner Morgan Stanley yesterday closed on a deal for a 23-acre site near the harbor and just across the street from Anthony?s Pier 4 and the Moakley federal courthouse.

Mayor Thomas M. Menino, who for years has pushed for development on a site considered key to the buildout of the city?s waterfront, praised the deal in a statement.

Decades of inaction on the site had acted as a drag on plans to redevelop South Boston?s waterfront, which has long been a collection of parking lots and piers in the shadow of the Financial District.

Global media baron Rupert Murdoch?s News Corp. is the seller, having taken control of the property just a few months ago from a longtime local business executive.

?This site remained underdeveloped far too long,? Menino said in a press statement. ?John Hynes is a local developer with a proven track record in this city and I look forward to hearing his plan.?

The devloper, who built State Street?s new headquarters tower and is the grandson of an esteemed 1950s Boston mayor, envisions a ?Seaport Development Project? with as much as 6 million square feet of new construction. That?s enough to fill six Prudential towers.

Hynes said the first step will be to draw up a master plan for the 23 acres, likely in a number of phases over several years.

Retail, whether in a Copley Place-like Mall or in a string of smaller shops and stores, will be a major element. There will also be a significant office and residential development. There is also the opportunity for significant height in the development as well, anywhere between 15 and 25 stories, Hynes said.

?After months of negotiations and several weeks of intense discussions, we are done,? Hynes said.

Global media giant News Corp. acquired the waterfront land - considered one of the most valuable development tracts on the East Coast - a few months ago from longtime owner and Hub business executive Frank McCourt. McCourt sold the land to News Corp. as part of a series of transactions that enabled him to buy the Los Angeles Dodgers from the media giant.
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Old 09-06-2006, 04:14 AM   #26
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Originally Posted by The Globe
Fan Pier shaping up as a Back Bay for 21st century
Instead of stately red brick, plans for the upscale neighborhood call for lots of glass and irregular angles, all to maximize water views

By Thomas C. Palmer Jr., Globe Staff | September 6, 2006

Decades in the making, Fan Pier is finally taking shape on paper as a new Boston neighborhood, with its own identity, like the Back Bay. But the two couldn't look less alike.

Both are on filled land, both along scenic urban bodies of water. But the Back Bay, with its blocks of 19th century red-brick row houses, conveys history and tradition. Developer Joseph F. Fallon's look for Fan Pier is 21st century, emphasizing walls of glass, irregular angles, and varying heights -- all the better to maximize views and more views.

The first four buildings of a total of eight include two balconied hotel and residential towers of mostly greenish glass, with wings of precast yellowish masonry. Closer to downtown, two office buildings also show a lot of glass, but some is blue; one building has a light brown masonry, the other off-white.

``There are very few opportunities like this one," Fallon said in a recent interview. He bought the long-stagnant Fan Pier development site for $115 million a year ago and is scheduled to unveil the specifics of his plan for the 21 acres next week, with a presentation at the Westin Boston Waterfront hotel. ``You really can do something special here," he said.

On a recent morning in his office, looking out at the nearly completed Park Lane Seaport residences Fallon is building nearby on Northern Avenue, the developer stacked and restacked plastic blocks, demonstrating how the Fan Pier buildings and blocks took shape.

Some buildings have multiple floors on one side of a block -- but are low, only a couple of floors, on the other side. The valleys those varied heights create maximize views from the buildings toward the downtown skyline and Boston Harbor, Fallon said.

``Glass is becoming a prominent design element in most of the buildings," Fallon said, sometimes accented with stone or precast masonry. In one office building, ``a major feature is a bay-style element that captures city views," he said.

``These are real projects, not the phantom projects we've heard about in the past," Mayor Thomas M. Menino said yesterday. ``You've got to applaud Joe for moving forward in very difficult times, when people are pulling back because of construction costs."

Fallon hired architects from California and New York as well as Boston to design the first phase of the 2.9-million-square-foot, nine-block neighborhood, which is expected to evolve over a decade.

First to be built are a combined luxury hotel and residential building, close to the nearly completed Institute of Contemporary Art and along Northern Avenue. It is scheduled to go into construction next year.

That will be followed, depending on the status of the (ascending) office and (declining) residential markets, by another residential building and two 490,000-square-foot office buildings. Those four will complete the Northern Avenue sweep of Fan Pier and fill in the block between Anthony's Pier 4 and the Moakley federal courthouse.

The second residential building is tentatively planned for construction in 2008. Start dates for the two office buildings depend largely on the response from businesses in need of large amounts of space starting in about 2009.

Fallon has begun to solicit interest in the office space from businesses. CB Richard Ellis/New England is the leasing agent for Fan Pier.

These first four buildings include the tallest planned for the entire site -- a 234-foot office building next to the courthouse -- and one of the three lowest, a 175-foot residential building.

That residential building and the combined hotel and condominium building that will start next year, near Anthony's Pier 4, were designed by Hill Glazier Architects of Santa Barbara, Calif. The tallest office building is the work of Brennan Beer Gorman Architects LLP of New York; the other office tower is designed by Elkus|Manfredi Architects Ltd., of Boston.

Four more buildings -- residential, retail space, and probably some office floors -- will follow, closer to the water and alongside a new six-acre marina called Fan Pier Cove.

Fallon also said he is planning to build the significant amount of expensive public and civic space agreed to by the property's previous owners, the Pritzker family of Chicago, when they won city and state permits. Those include the marina, a block-sized public park, an extensive portion of the Harborwalk, a pier park leading to the harbor's waters, and space reserved for use by the nonprofit organizations Island Alliance, New England Aquarium, and Boston Children's Museum.

Vivien Li, executive director of the Boston Harbor Association, hailed those plans. ``Many thought he would try to change the environmental commitments," she said. ``That's pretty extraordinary for a developer."

Fallon has been consistent in the architectural style he wants to bring to the new South Boston Waterfront. Neither the Park Lane nor the nearby Westin, which he codeveloped, for example, features any of Boston's traditional red brick. ``I don't know that we will, either," said Fallon, showing a computerized rendering of an office building at Fan Pier with mirrored glass. ``This is what we're going with."

Thomas C. Palmer Jr. can be reached at tpalmer@globe.com.
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Old 09-06-2006, 06:05 AM   #27
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From the looks of the proposal, I am excited about how this project is turning out. I am particularly glad that the developers seem to be refraining from using excess brick and stone, as it seems like most that is built down in the waterfront area is brick. I am really looking forward to this project.
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Old 09-06-2006, 03:36 PM   #28
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These first four buildings include the tallest planned for the entire site -- a 234-foot office building next to the courthouse -- and one of the three lowest, a 175-foot residential building.
With the lack of large differences in height, I hope that the buildings are well spaced across the lot so that it doesn't look like one large mass. I wished they had built the plan from the eighties, too bad the market fell threw. Though I guess we should be happy that we are at least getting something.
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Old 09-06-2006, 03:38 PM   #29
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I like it, but need to see a rendering of the whole area before i make any major judgements of it.
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Old 09-06-2006, 06:52 PM   #30
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Originally Posted by JPC
Quote:
These first four buildings include the tallest planned for the entire site -- a 234-foot office building next to the courthouse -- and one of the three lowest, a 175-foot residential building.
With the lack of large differences in height, I hope that the buildings are well spaced across the lot so that it doesn't look like one large mass. I wished they had built the plan from the eighties, too bad the market fell threw. Though I guess we should be happy that we are at least getting something.
I thought the same thing, but this story is only about 4 of the 8 buildings. Some of the buildings to come might be shorter and some taller.
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Old 09-06-2006, 09:48 PM   #31
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I can't remember where, but somewhere in the article, it talks about the heights. One of the buildings, at 21 stories will be the highest. However, I think that there will one or two smaller buildings (17 stories or below) that will be built in the other four buildings. So I think that there will be some differential in height. How much differential is hard to say until we see all eight buildings. But I agree, I hope this appears as eight unique buildings and not one mass, as stated before.
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Old 09-07-2006, 02:16 PM   #32
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I think calling it a "Back Bay for the 21st century" has got to be a joke. I can't think of two more disimilar places.
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Old 09-12-2006, 09:39 AM   #33
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I think calling it a "Back Bay for the 21st century" has got to be a joke. I can't think of two more disimilar places.
The comparison is fair because it's based on them both being neighborhoods built in their entirety from scratch, as opposed to other neighborhoods that were built gradually and evolved over time. They are of course very different architetecturally, which is why it's "of the 21st century".

I'm not hearing much about the neighborhood's streetlife. My fear is that they will ignore this aspect and completely botch it by having high-speed car roads dominate the landscape, even with an underground transit service. The few times I've been there, on either bike or foot, the cars made me feel uncomfortable in ways I don't in other parts of Boston. In that sense it's more like D.C., where cars act like they're the only important ones on the road, which is a main reason I like Boston better.
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Old 09-12-2006, 10:24 AM   #34
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Originally Posted by The Herald
Then we push for ?D Boulevard?? Pols stir ?Seaport,? ?Southie? wrangle
By Scott Van Voorhis
Boston Herald Business Reporter
Tuesday, September 12, 2006 - Updated: 09:16 AM EST

South Boston Waterfront or Seaport?
That is the debate as Boston?s waterfront frontier near Anthony?s Pier 4 and Fan Pier suffers from an identity crisis.
While Southie political leaders want the stretch of harborfront named after the nearby residential neighborhood they represent, some developers have embraced the trendier Seaport name.
A development team led by local tower builder John Hynes recently closed a $200 million deal for a 20-acre-plus site near Pier 4 and the waterfront.
The initial name of their new endeavor: ?Seaport Development Project.?
State Sen. Jack Hart (D-South Boston) said he is confident the developer, as he talks with neighborhood residents, will rethink the name.
?It has always been known to us, the people in the neighborhood, as the South Boston Waterfront, and we are proud to be associated with it,? Hart said.
The new project joins others in the neighborhood that sport the Seaport name, including the Seaport Hotel and Seaport Boulevard.
The ?Seaport? name itself is believed to be a City Hall marketing creation back in the 1990s to promote development in the area.
But it sparked resentment in Southie. The sparsely populated stretch of fishing piers and parking lots was long considered to be part of the neighborhood. City Councilor James Kelly even pushed through a city ordinance officially naming the area the South Boston Waterfront.
Of course, there also may have been a dollars and cents element to the name debate.
Neighborhood leaders were eager to make sure Southie benefited from the jobs and other ?community benefits? typically offered up by developers, critics contend.
Meanwhile, some want a combination of the two names.
?We have waterfronts everywhere, but seaports are uncommon,? said South Boston resident Michael Tyrrell. ?What?s wrong with the South Boston Seaport District??
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Old 09-12-2006, 01:43 PM   #35
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Why shouldn't citizens from South Boston expect to get the same benefits that other neighborhoods get when there is large scale development?

Seems to me the author does not like people from South Boston specifically and locals in general. I find that odd for a person who came here from somewhere else and has made a darn good living in a very soft job.
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Old 09-12-2006, 01:48 PM   #36
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Why shouldn't citizens from South Boston expect to get the same benefits that other neighborhoods get when there is large scale development?

Seems to me the author does not like people from South Boston specifically and locals in general. I find that odd for a person who came here from somewhere else and has made a darn good living in a very soft job.
Because they aren't developing in Southie, they're developing in a different neighborhood. Southie is trying to claim it.
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Old 09-12-2006, 01:59 PM   #37
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That ain't Southie

Much as South Boston tries to claim it, it isn't South Boston.

South Boston wants to extract and/or extort as much money as they can, without having to do any of the heavy lifting.

The Seaport District is practically inaccessible from South Boston - you have Summer Street (L Street) and A Street. D Street to South Boston brings you to the edge, and then forces you around it.

What was that agreement a couple years' ago, between Jimmy Kelly and the city, about all the jobs going to South Boston residents? I can't remember. Anyone else?

South Boston complained about putting a new ballpark down there, even though it would have practically no effect on their neighborhood. Then, a couple weeks ago, Rep. Brian Wallace (D-Cornerstones) said that D Street shouldn't be developed, actually that there should be a moratorium on all construction in South Boston.

Fat chance that South Boston officials are going to get anything they want. It's Jimmy Kelly (D-MGH) on one side, Fidelity Investments, John Drew, Joe Fallon, and John Hynes on the other.
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Old 09-12-2006, 06:02 PM   #38
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Pfft! Who cares! It's not even an area yet! Build something and then I'll worry about what the politicians want to call it. Gee, I'm so glad we settled on the name "The Rose Kennedy Greenway" ten years ago. That really seems to have sped the process along. :roll: :P
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Old 09-13-2006, 06:48 AM   #39
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Re: That ain't Southie

Quote:
Originally Posted by IMAngry
Much as South Boston tries to claim it, it isn't South Boston.

South Boston wants to extract and/or extort as much money as they can...
Is this http://bostonreb.com/blog/ your blog?

The ideas expressed are almost identical.
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Old 09-13-2006, 02:28 PM   #40
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Ha ha

Ha ha. Guess one of us is just plaigarizing the other.
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