archBOSTON.org

Go Back   archBOSTON.org > Boston's Built Environment > Development Projects

Development Projects New urban and/or architectural developments in Boston metro.

Closed Thread
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old 05-02-2018, 06:01 PM   #1761
SeamusMcFly
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: Brockton
Posts: 1,956
Re: Amazon HQ2 RFP

Quote:
Originally Posted by KentXie View Post
Expanding public transit is a great idea until you realize most TOD development still price out the lower and middle income. *
You could easily add 10,000 units of housing around the three train stations in Brockton and they would be more affordable than the cheaper parts of Boston. They would be nice areas as well if actually done. Improve that local area and add more affordable homes in nice areas than the lower class folks being forced out of Boston are used to.

Of course you have to be able to visualize a built out place instead of the slum everyone sees when they think Brockton. But, this could be done within 1/2 mile walks of three train stations.

Other areas have less centrally located stations and don't have the same ability but could be doing much more. The lack of grade crossings to me always makes Brockton seem so much more attractive from a development standpoint.

No political will exists, and no developer is looking to break the ice and take the risk when the local government cannot even see the possibilities.

People always seem to strive for the goods of socialism but always push for it's bads too. Constantly forcing developers to use union labor drives up costs to the working poor and working class, yet it's required left and right. Everyone wants to cry about the greed of landowners, developers, CEOs, and bankers (with good reason) but refuse to see how much their viewpoint also impacts the unaffordability of living.

Too much my side is right and yours is wrong. So few realize both sides are very broken. This continued argument (from time unknown to Infiniti) more or less cement the Gap and push everyone further apart and solves nothing except pumping up one's own self righteousness.

If everyone else is always wrong... Maybe you're just part of everyone after all.

Expanded and improved transit is a must. Additional housing near transit is a must. Both need to be provided at lower costs. The existing systems for achieving these ends don't work. Why do we keep clamouring for more of the same whichever leaning you prefer?
__________________
Quote:
Originally Posted by TheRifleman View Post
You can have fun anywhere---Fun shouldn't cost the taxpayers a dime.
SeamusMcFly is offline  
Old 05-02-2018, 08:23 PM   #1762
stick n move
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: Dorchester
Posts: 4,570
Re: Amazon HQ2 RFP

Framingham is looking to add thousands of new residential units around the commuter rail as well. If the outlying suburbs start picking up some of the slack it will help the city a lot as no matter how much housing you build in Boston people are always going to commute from outside the city.
stick n move is offline  
Old 05-03-2018, 10:56 AM   #1763
cadetcarl
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2012
Location: Boston/Medford
Posts: 286
Re: Amazon HQ2 RFP

Take control of housing regulation out of the cities' hands, as clearly only a few are willing to do their part. There's no reason Malden and Medford couldn't do what Somerville has done on the Orange Line. Malden Center is starting to pick up steam which is nice, but within walking distance of Wellington, after Station Landing all the new development is 3/4 over 1 with huge parking lots and structures. Not enough.

Hell, crazy housing pitch: consolidate T parking in the Wellington lot into a huge structure and develop the rest of it. Then cast your eye over to the east and notice how the Gateway Center has acres of parking that the same thing could happen to. Target's the only critical retailer over there, the Home Depot's redundant.
cadetcarl is offline  
Old 05-03-2018, 11:09 AM   #1764
FenwayResident
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2013
Posts: 760
Re: Amazon HQ2 RFP

Quote:
Originally Posted by cadetcarl View Post
Take control of housing regulation out of the cities' hands, as clearly only a few are willing to do their part. There's no reason Malden and Medford couldn't do what Somerville has done on the Orange Line. Malden Center is starting to pick up steam which is nice, but within walking distance of Wellington, after Station Landing all the new development is 3/4 over 1 with huge parking lots and structures. Not enough.

Hell, crazy housing pitch: consolidate T parking in the Wellington lot into a huge structure and develop the rest of it. Then cast your eye over to the east and notice how the Gateway Center has acres of parking that the same thing could happen to. Target's the only critical retailer over there, the Home Depot's redundant.
I'd be on board with a version of California's (failed) bill that proposed to remove all local zoning withing 0.25 miles of a transit stop. That would allow developers to build dense on transit with minimal NIMBY pushback.

What ultimately sank the CA bill was that they classified buses as transit, so essentially 100% of LA and SF were considered within 0.25 miles of a transit stop. It would have stripped those cities of any ability to zone themselves. If the MA bill limited it to rail-only I think it could work incredibly well for the Greater Boston area.
FenwayResident is offline  
Old 05-03-2018, 11:23 AM   #1765
Rover
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2016
Posts: 536
Re: Amazon HQ2 RFP

A few thoughts about a good discussion to have frankly...

1) Throughout my pissing match with the resident socialists on the board I always advocated for better transit to cheaper cities in the metro area. That offends some people because it forces people within Boston to move, which I feel is inevitable but its a good solution from a regional level. You can find decent housing from Framingham to Brockton to Malden to Braintree without giving up your first born as a down payment.

2) I do wonder if Chicago's ability to have middle class housing is due in part to massive depopulation. A quick look shows about 1M less people in the city than its peak in 1950. Assuming most of the dwellings are still there that probably helps keep prices down. By comparison Boston also reached its peak of 800K in 1950, which we're probably 100K below at this point but increasing every year. This hypothetically gives Chicago an advantage if their economy starts going gangbusters as they'd be able to accommodate the growth for some time.

3) Lastly I feel people from a Bernie Sanders socialist perspective while having good ideas tend to discount the benefits of economic activity. Yes, those dastardly developers and rich people make money. However, getting once again back to Amazon, raising taxes on the rich is great and IMHO should be done. However, we know how this will play out. GOP comes in and lowers top tax rates. Dems come in and raise them. GOP comes back in and cuts, Dems come back in and raise...and on and on since 1980. However, if you have a company set up shop here, and they and their employees pay state income taxes, property taxes, sales taxes, etc that's a permanent source of income, not one that will fluctuate by whoever's in power in DC at any given time. That money, not dispersed to 49 other states but directly under state and local leaders' control, can have a much greater impact than lifting the federal tax rate from 37%? to like 50% or higher.
Rover is offline  
Old 05-03-2018, 11:28 AM   #1766
JumboBuc
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2013
Location: The Fenway
Posts: 1,753
Re: Amazon HQ2 RFP

Quote:
Originally Posted by FenwayResident View Post
What ultimately sank the CA bill was that they classified buses as transit, so essentially 100% of LA and SF were considered within 0.25 miles of a transit stop. It would have stripped those cities of any ability to zone themselves. If the MA bill limited it to rail-only I think it could work incredibly well for the Greater Boston area.
An unintended consequence would be that this would basically preclude any future rail expansion ever.

Also, CA has relatively more transit stops surrounded by parking lots while MA has relatively more transit stops surrounded by traditional city "squares." This sort of upzoning policy works better in the parking lot model than the city square model.
JumboBuc is offline  
Old 05-03-2018, 11:54 AM   #1767
KentXie
Senior Member
 
KentXie's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2006
Location: Fenway
Posts: 3,752
Re: Amazon HQ2 RFP

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rover View Post
A few thoughts about a good discussion to have frankly...

1) Throughout my pissing match with the resident socialists on the board I always advocated for better transit to cheaper cities in the metro area. That offends some people because it forces people within Boston to move, which I feel is inevitable but its a good solution from a regional level.
Here's why it offends some people. Pushing people, especially lower income residents, out of Boston affects them more than just increasing travel time. Depending on where they get pushed out, most likely to poorer cities and town, they wind up with lower service quality that they could get if they live within Boston's boundary. This include schools, hospitals, police coverage, etc. Pushing them to cities and towns that doesn't have the infrastructure or tax base to provide support or services to the influx of people lowers their quality of life significantly. This negatively impacts lower income families significantly more than it would impact wealthier families and can have a trickle effect to their future generations. They are the most vulnerable demographic.

I know you don't care about the welfare of those that fall in the lower income so you probably won't see this as a problem but some of us do.
KentXie is offline  
Old 05-03-2018, 12:18 PM   #1768
Rover
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2016
Posts: 536
Re: Amazon HQ2 RFP

Quote:
Originally Posted by KentXie View Post
Here's why it offends some people. Pushing people, especially lower income residents, out of Boston affects them more than just increasing travel time. Depending on where they get pushed out, most likely to poorer cities and town, they wind up with lower service quality that they could get if they live within Boston's boundary. This include schools, hospitals, police coverage, etc. Pushing them to cities and towns that doesn't have the infrastructure or tax base to provide support or services to the influx of people lowers their quality of life significantly. This negatively impacts lower income families significantly more than it would impact wealthier families and can have a trickle effect to their future generations. They are the most vulnerable demographic.

I know you don't care about the welfare of those that fall in the lower income so you probably won't see this as a problem but some of us do.
My apologies if I haven't been clear on this subject, that's on me.

I don't like people being displaced by high housing prices. What I'm saying is its inevitable. We can and should build affordable housing, but you have to realize its a drop in the bucket. If the city builds 50,000 new housing units as planned by 2030, and sets aside 20% as affordable (more than the current requirement IIRC), you've created 10,000 units over that time. Great, this is a good thing. Problem is this - you've allowing 20,000 people (2 people per apartment) to live affordably over the next 12 years....when based on recent estimates the city gained 15,000 people from 2016 to 2017! A few lucky people who win the lottery will get the cheap housing. Everybody else will have to relocate as much as we don't like that.

Its not possible for the city of Boston to keep up even if they were the most competent and well meaning city planners working today. Hence my desire to focus on the greater impact to more people - transit links to currently affordable nearby cities. I'm sorry if some people have to move away from their friends, or can't spend generations in the same rental. I just don't see how to change that on a widespread level. And back on subject, I certainly don't think telling Amazon to get lost helps with this problem at all and most likely hurts the city and state's ability to fund affordable housing.
Rover is offline  
Old 05-03-2018, 12:31 PM   #1769
ant8904
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Posts: 548
Re: Amazon HQ2 RFP

Catching up here, I can read that everyone agree same overall issues. Everyone agrees on what are possible tactics to address it. Everyone even agrees on the limitations on the tactics we have.


It's the same bullshit that happened 50 pages ago. Just a different topic. Everyone is fighting because things are worded things horribly rather than actual disagreement. What is said around it affects how well things are communicated. That includes insults, dismissing arguments by labeling things, or a tone of apathy.

Refreshing this last page, I can see from the newest posts that reason might be returning to this discussion, so I'm just going to leave here and hopefully let it return. Just remember, no matter what you "main" point of the argument. r
ant8904 is offline  
Old 05-03-2018, 01:39 PM   #1770
SeamusMcFly
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: Brockton
Posts: 1,956
Re: Amazon HQ2 RFP

Quote:
Originally Posted by KentXie View Post
Here's why it offends some people. Pushing people, especially lower income residents, out of Boston affects them more than just increasing travel time. Depending on where they get pushed out, most likely to poorer cities and town, they wind up with lower service quality that they could get if they live within Boston's boundary. This include schools, hospitals, police coverage, etc. Pushing them to cities and towns that doesn't have the infrastructure or tax base to provide support or services to the influx of people lowers their quality of life significantly. This negatively impacts lower income families significantly more than it would impact wealthier families and can have a trickle effect to their future generations. They are the most vulnerable demographic.
.
The point I would make here is, you build dense TOD in the burbs and smaller cities, you can replicate (or be better than) those leaving the poorer parts of the city. Most of the poorer parts of the city, are those under served by public transport. Building dense around CR stations with dense residential, and supportive retail, puts you in a potentially better situation amenities wise.

I use Brockton obviously because I live there, but also because it has an empty center, with an elevated train station, across the street from the main hub of a great regional bus system. This could be a real downtown easily (if money and will were easy things.) The city is also home to 3 hospitals (Caritas/Good Sam, Brockton Hospital/Signature, & the VA).

Places like Brockton and others with CR station built near city/town centers need to get on the dense TOD train.

Places like Weymouth piss me off based on placement of stations. Similarly Lowell only has the one station and it's horribly located. The proposed location for the Taunton station sounds terrible (nowhere near downtown). They are all built with cars in mind instead of people walking or busing to them.

Locations on the orange line were mentioned. Also, those on the red line like Braintree, Quincy Adams, and Quincy Center should have thousands of units around them. Instead there are big box stores and gigantic parking lots around them.

The other side of this is the gentrification that would follow in places like Downtown Brockton. Sooner or later people would get priced out of there, or young professionals would take those too. But, then again, getting young professionals (YP's) to smaller urban areas if built, would ease the pressure on the people being forced out of Boston. If YP's want to live in an urban setting with all of their amenities, and they can get it for less money, they might want to live in Malden Center, or Brockton. It's only a short ride to their tech job in the city, or heaven forbid in a small city center outside of Boston.

This would kind of be the bay area design, but on rails as opposed to highways. Not everything is in San Fran. It's spread across all the other cities in the area. Just do it right for a change instead of building a Cupertino or Waltham, build it on the rails. Then with the added revenue, electrify those rails, and run regional rail more often. My gooness what a pipe dream of an idea.
__________________
Quote:
Originally Posted by TheRifleman View Post
You can have fun anywhere---Fun shouldn't cost the taxpayers a dime.
SeamusMcFly is offline  
Old 05-03-2018, 01:48 PM   #1771
cadetcarl
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2012
Location: Boston/Medford
Posts: 286
Re: Amazon HQ2 RFP

Just when things were getting back to civil, I came back to add:

Things rich people like are expensive and boring. Gentrification hurts not only economically, but because it turns diversity into monoculture, and that culture kinda sucks. GAP is boring. J.Crew is boring. Starbucks is boring. And you can get them anywhere.

Here's hoping that if we can successfully do what's outlined above, we end up with places that are authentic and flavorful over time. Stable, reasonable rents for mom-and-pops would help.
cadetcarl is offline  
Old 05-03-2018, 02:09 PM   #1772
JumboBuc
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2013
Location: The Fenway
Posts: 1,753
Re: Amazon HQ2 RFP

Quote:
Originally Posted by cadetcarl View Post
Things rich people like are expensive and boring. Gentrification hurts not only economically, but because it turns diversity into monoculture, and that culture kinda sucks. GAP is boring. J.Crew is boring. Starbucks is boring. And you can get them anywhere.

Here's hoping that if we can successfully do what's outlined above, we end up with places that are authentic and flavorful over time. Stable, reasonable rents for mom-and-pops would help.
This is WAY off-topic, but I'll bite....

Rich people don't shot at GAP, or J.Crew, or Starbucks; they shop at places WAY more expensive places than those. J.Crew is aimed at the upper-middle class; GAP and Starbucks are more middle class.

As far as "expensive," GAP and Starbucks are cheaper than the mom-and-pops. What exactly is a "mom-and-pop" clothing store, anyway? If it's not a thrift shop it's a boutique. The primary non-"rich person" alternatives to places like GAP and J.Crew are Wal-Mart and Target; they're far from "authentic and flavorful". And as far as coffee, a no-frills cup at Starbucks is usually cheaper than the same thing at Dunkin and it's definitely cheaper than any "non-boring" hipster place. Starbucks also offers better wages and insurance and retirement plans and tuition assistance for their (non-rich) employees than the mom-and-pops and hipster places do.

Rag on chains all you want for being boring (I agree!) but this is not an issue of "rich people" versus everyone else. This is a cultural distinction, not an economic one.

New England as a region, even in all of its "gentrified" glory, has WAY fewer chain restaurants and way more independent restaurants than other "non-gentrified" economically-downtrodden areas of the country. Go to any random off-the-map town in the South or Midwest and most of what you'll find are downmarket chains. In New England you find mom-and-pop sub shops and pizza places in practically every town (both "rich" and less-than-rich); in much of the (non-rich, non-gentrified) country you find Subways and Papa Johns in their place. Again, this is a cultural issue, not an economic one.

"Boring" places don't succeed because they're exclusive, with prices that are only obtainable for a small few. In fact, it is quite the opposite. They succeed because they are generic and inoffensive, making them appear approachable to a large consumer base. In a sense, the very thing that makes these places "boring" is actually their inclusivity.

Last edited by JumboBuc; 05-03-2018 at 02:31 PM.
JumboBuc is offline  
Old 05-03-2018, 02:13 PM   #1773
odurandina
Senior Member
 
odurandina's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2015
Posts: 4,016
Re: Amazon HQ2 RFP

Quote:
Originally Posted by SeamusMcFly View Post
The point I would make here is, you build dense TOD in the burbs and smaller cities, you can replicate (or be better than) those leaving the poorer parts of the city. Most of the poorer parts of the city, are those under served by public transport. Building dense around CR stations with dense residential, and supportive retail, puts you in a potentially better situation....
New Jersey and the DC metro are kicking our ass.

Take little towns like Fairlawn, NJ, or even the communities on the NJT Coast Line.... Fairlawn just finished a dense TOD project 1/8th of a mile from their NJT station. Our failure to solve the politics to get these types of projects built outside RT128 is going to be a huge problem going forward.
odurandina is online now  
Old 05-03-2018, 02:49 PM   #1774
Rover
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2016
Posts: 536
Re: Amazon HQ2 RFP

I'd also add gentrification isn't a bad thing if the place is a shithole. The Combat Zone needed to be gentrified unless you really miss hookers walking the streets and peep shows. The South End was a dump before it got gentrified. I never found too much charm in Whitey Bulger's Southie from back in the day. Yeah the sleazy bars were okay but it was really annoying tripping over dead bodies all the time. Its not all bad if a neighborhood steps up. I'm guessing Lawrence, Springfield and Fall River would welcome a bit of gentrification if it ever came their way.

Quote:
Originally Posted by odurandina View Post
New Jersey and the DC metro are kicking our ass.

Take little towns like Fairlawn, NJ, or even the communities on the NJT Coast Line.... Fairlawn just finished a dense TOD project 1/8th of a mile from their NJT station. Our failure to solve the politics to get these types of projects built outside RT128 is going to be a huge problem going forward.
This has to be the first time in my life I've ever seen anybody advocate that we be MORE like...New Jersey?!? Kudos!
Rover is offline  
Old 05-03-2018, 04:34 PM   #1775
jpdivola
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2014
Posts: 103
Re: Amazon HQ2 RFP

Quote:
Originally Posted by odurandina View Post
New Jersey and the DC metro are kicking our ass.
Obviously Boston suburbs have a lot more charm and are more cohesive.

But, just for comparison here is what is planned for Bethesda Md.
https://dc.urbanturf.com/articles/bl...bethesda/13915
jpdivola is offline  
Old 05-03-2018, 04:52 PM   #1776
jl326
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2016
Location: Boston
Posts: 507
Re: Amazon HQ2 RFP

Quote:
Originally Posted by cadetcarl View Post
Just when things were getting back to civil, I came back to add:

Things rich people like are expensive and boring. Gentrification hurts not only economically, but because it turns diversity into monoculture, and that culture kinda sucks. GAP is boring. J.Crew is boring. Starbucks is boring. And you can get them anywhere.

Here's hoping that if we can successfully do what's outlined above, we end up with places that are authentic and flavorful over time. Stable, reasonable rents for mom-and-pops would help.
Unfortunately, I think what you ended up doing, albeit unintentionally, is to say that the middle class is boring.

Anyway.... baack on topic now, yes?
jl326 is offline  
Old 05-03-2018, 05:56 PM   #1777
jklo
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2015
Posts: 209
Re: Amazon HQ2 RFP

Yeah, getting back on topic, Amazon is pretty mad about a new payroll tax proposed by Seattle... seems like a good time to announce HQ2. As I mentioned earlier I think a big part of this HQ2 scheme is to scale back their headcount in Seattle dramatically.
jklo is offline  
Old 05-03-2018, 06:19 PM   #1778
chrisbrat
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2015
Location: Winter Hill, Somerville
Posts: 476
Re: Amazon HQ2 RFP

i like anna's taqueria, bowling, and order lots of stuff from amazon. im rich now, yes?
chrisbrat is offline  
Old 05-03-2018, 06:32 PM   #1779
SeamusMcFly
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: Brockton
Posts: 1,956
Re: Amazon HQ2 RFP

Quote:
Originally Posted by chrisbrat View Post
i like anna's taqueria, bowling, and order lots of stuff from amazon. im rich now, yes?
https://patch.com/massachusetts/bost...be-rich-boston

Apparently it takes less than I thought to be rich in Boston.
They may have a different idea of what rich means than many of us methinks.
__________________
Quote:
Originally Posted by TheRifleman View Post
You can have fun anywhere---Fun shouldn't cost the taxpayers a dime.
SeamusMcFly is offline  
Old 05-03-2018, 06:47 PM   #1780
coleslaw
Senior Member
 
coleslaw's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2013
Posts: 597
Re: Amazon HQ2 RFP

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rover View Post
My apologies if I haven't been clear on this subject, that's on me.

I don't like people being displaced by high housing prices. What I'm saying is its inevitable. We can and should build affordable housing, but you have to realize its a drop in the bucket. If the city builds 50,000 new housing units as planned by 2030, and sets aside 20% as affordable (more than the current requirement IIRC), you've created 10,000 units over that time. Great, this is a good thing. Problem is this - you've allowing 20,000 people (2 people per apartment) to live affordably over the next 12 years....when based on recent estimates the city gained 15,000 people from 2016 to 2017! A few lucky people who win the lottery will get the cheap housing. Everybody else will have to relocate as much as we don't like that.

Its not possible for the city of Boston to keep up even if they were the most competent and well meaning city planners working today. Hence my desire to focus on the greater impact to more people - transit links to currently affordable nearby cities. I'm sorry if some people have to move away from their friends, or can't spend generations in the same rental. I just don't see how to change that on a widespread level. And back on subject, I certainly don't think telling Amazon to get lost helps with this problem at all and most likely hurts the city and state's ability to fund affordable housing.
There are other ways to ensure affordable housing besides build, build, build. like.. gasp... rent control, squatting and holding homes after evictions, tenant unions fighting evictions in the first place, etc. You ignore the possibility for action by anyone but the political and capitalist class. Displacement is class war and people will fight back.

Also these things just simply are not inevitable. They may be under neoliberal capitalism but they are ultimately choices. We structure our society in a certain way that makes it hard to see an alternative but it could be structured differently. Whenever you start acting like capitalism is just the way of nature you are preaching a market cult.
coleslaw is offline  
Closed Thread

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Forum Jump

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Amazon wants office space downtown. stellarfun Boston Architecture & Urbanism 25 07-01-2017 09:19 PM


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 01:33 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.7.3
Copyright ©2000 - 2018, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.