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Old 02-14-2013, 01:30 PM   #21
cybah
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Re: Chelsea

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Should be a great improvement over Chelsea's current hotel:

Otherwise known as "crack momma hooker hotel". Seriously.. SHADY people go in and out of there.

I actually think its more of an rooming house than a 'hotel'...
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Old 02-14-2013, 01:34 PM   #22
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Re: Chelsea

Why do I feel like Chelsea is more likely to hipsterize/gentrify ahead of Eastie? Is that irrational?
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Old 02-14-2013, 04:16 PM   #23
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Re: Chelsea

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Well, it is more accessible by bike. Cue dreams of a pedestrian/bicycle bridge from downtown to Eastie.
The ferry is on the way, right? (Anything heard any news on that, btw).

and btw, beyond making Eastie accessible by bike, i think a new SBW / Charlestown ferry to eastie is also going to make Eastie 'legible', in the 'image of the city' sense. When i tell people i live in East Boston, the answer is almost universally "where the heck is that?" It has to be the case that once anyone in the city can see ferries going back and forth across the harbor, they'll have a much better grip on the idea that there is, you know, more city over there too.

That and a big new condo in the foreground will put the place on the (mental) map (perhaps).
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Old 02-14-2013, 04:30 PM   #24
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Re: Chelsea

I really would not call Chelsea 'accessible by bike'. Only the hardiest would want to deal with Beacham Street and Route 99.
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Old 02-14-2013, 04:37 PM   #25
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Re: Chelsea

I've run home from the city down 99 and Beacham after work more than a few times, it's not sooo bad.
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Old 02-14-2013, 05:15 PM   #26
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Re: Chelsea

Remember the scenes in 'Ted' that took place in Chelsea?
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Old 02-14-2013, 05:15 PM   #27
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Re: Chelsea

I've done it too. I just don't think most folks, even those who regularly bike around town, would want to deal with that truck traffic and the condition of that road.
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Old 02-14-2013, 07:17 PM   #28
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Re: Chelsea

I've lived in Orient Heights for most of my life, and even when I wasn't living here, East Boston was still home. For those of you looking for folks in skinny jeans and vintage concert shirts, there's a growing crowd. Rent can be pretty affordable on Eagle Hill and in Jeffries Point. For those with defined career-path, home ownership is more accessible than equivalent properties in JP or Somerville. There's a growing arts community, a terrific non-profit for kids and young adults, and scores of great restaurants and bars. It's not the hinterland over here...
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Old 02-14-2013, 10:58 PM   #29
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Re: Chelsea

I usually cheat when I'm riding my bike into Boston and take the Blue Line between Maverick and Aquarium rather than take Beacham Street through the food market. I think overall East Boston is better than Chelsea transportation wise because of the Blue Line. There is a major difference between having buses that get bunched up, stuck in traffic and stopped by draw bridges and a train line.
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Old 02-15-2013, 06:29 AM   #30
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Re: Chelsea

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Why do I feel like Chelsea is more likely to hipsterize/gentrify ahead of Eastie? Is that irrational?
In the early 1900's Chelsea was a place to go and a preferable neighborhood.

I grew in East Boston and still love the area. Its Home. I hear ya Beton Brut!! Its not even close to what people make/belie it to be. Its lack of connection, lack of investment of mid to higher income housing. and I think the oil tanks really kill the area too.

Once Portside at Pier One really get going, the ball will start rolling for East Boston. The first building of 170+ units is already underway. As the Clippership development, New street and others get done I am hoping there will be more ferry services to connect created also. Its really gonna take a cataylst of investment, which will happen. its time has come.

I hope both neighborhoods can grow out of the ruts they're in. I'd suggest some TOD's near all the T stops in Eastie and some near the highways in Chelsea as well as more improvements to both waterfronts and the Chelsea River. Any residential housing needs to be mid scale income and higher. There is more than enough low income housing everywhere.
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Old 02-15-2013, 08:50 AM   #31
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Re: Chelsea



Another turkey in the Colonial Theme Park crudscape.
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Old 02-15-2013, 08:58 AM   #32
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Re: Chelsea

For the hipster crowd, Chelsea has a couple of things going for it that Eastie doesn't. Transportation is always the most obvious one for any demographic. But Chelsea's also the next logical step in the slow creep of gentrification that's moved the former Central Square crowd through Somerville and into Medford. Chelsea's next in line and you can get a cab to take you there after midnight. For what it's worth, Chelsea already has a band practice space and recording studio. Eastie doesn't as far as I know. At least not one that's popular with the indie crowd.
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Old 02-15-2013, 10:29 PM   #33
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Re: Chelsea

I think Chelsea is attractive because of its amazingly intact and dense urban fabric. I've never walked around the area but I've driven through the center and its just amazing. I wouldn't want to see it gentrify, only because I think that would spawn a lot of new construction (a la southie), and unless that happened on the other side of RT 1 it would require a decent amount of teardowns.

It could be amazing as a haven for hipsters and artists of all types. Honestly all it would take would be to build a low level pedestrian/bike/bus drawbridge reconnecting Broadway to Chelsea St. Chelsea is around a mile and a half closer to the city then Allston, and about the same distance as Somerville and Dudley. I think they really just need a mayor with a vision.
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Old 02-15-2013, 11:47 PM   #34
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Re: Chelsea

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amazingly intact and dense urban fabric
A lot got destroyed in the fire of 1973.
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Old 02-16-2013, 01:20 AM   #35
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Re: Chelsea

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A lot got destroyed in the fire of 1973.
My understanding was that was more of an industrial area?
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Old 03-18-2013, 11:25 AM   #36
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Re: Chelsea

Another hotel going in. City Manager Jay Ash's economic update:

Hi, all. Happy St. Patty’s Day, or, for those of you veterans who are still around from it, happy Evacuation Day (when the British forces were repelled from Boston during the Revolutionary War). Either way, I have some rare time on my hands and thought I might give you an elongated Inside Scoop. It’s been a while since I’ve done so, which means one of two things: 1. I’ve become lazy, or 2. I’ve been so busy that I haven’t found the time to write. You be the judge, as I go a bit more in depth in several important function areas today, starting first with this email on Economic Development:

Economic Development

1. I start this section out by informing you that the State Secretary of Economic Development recently called out Chelsea’s economic development performance as a stellar example of such in the commonwealth. Hey, not bad for the smallest city in the state. I regularly lament “only if we had more land.” But, that limitation is real, so we continue to go vertical instead.

2. First up, you’ve all been asking “When is the FBI going to start?” Good question. I have no real news on that, but I can tell you there have been sporadic sightings of FBI agents around, so it looks like they continue to plot for something. We all hope it is soon. I can tell you that I have heard nothing that changes my belief that something will be happening eventually.

3. While I can’t say much more about the FBI, I can tell you that the Sixth Street residential development (called One North of Boston) is in full swing. Foundation work is going well and I am looking forward to steel going vertical the week of the 25th. 230 market rate units are going there, as the first phase. We also spent the week on the infrastructure improvements to be made around the site. Occupancy is still about a year away, but you’ll start to see the building take form right away, and you’ll see that billboard coming down very soon.

4. We’re planning another hotel for the corner of Beech and Carter, adjacent to the highway and across from CHS and the Marriott (which is doing great – they had some staff from American Idol staying there two weeks ago – no doubt, they heard about my singing in the shower!). Both the federal and state government has been a huge help in working with us on the contamination of the parcel. Late spring, we believe we’ll be carting out tons of pcb-laden dirt, thereby creating a clean site for a late winter construction start. Next spring, look for the FBI, Sixth Street residential and this hotel to all be under construction. Boy, will that say a lot about what’s happening in Chelsea, as tens of thousands of cars and hundreds of thousands of eyes see us going vertical, while transforming the old, blighted vestiges of our industrial past into a gleaming cosmopolitan destination.

5. But, we’re not done. We recently acquired a parcel on Central and Marginal, and have an RFP out for its redevelopment. That is the kick-off of the future transformation of the waterfront, which is also being aided by the spectacular park being created by Eastern Minerals, and the great work done by Harbour Foods to rebuild the dock adjacent to it. Several properties are also in transition along Marginal Street. Someday, maybe not tomorrow, but someday in the future, you’ll see along Marginal Street what you are now seeing happening in the urban renewal district: residential, hotels, offices and retail replacing old, dirty and run-down industrial activity.

6. The redevelopment of Forbes is lingering. Forbes is a 19 acre site on the end of the Chelsea River, accessed behind the Mary C. Burke School Complex on Crescent Avenue. It is a spectacular opportunity to create a major development campus, although we have and continue to expect that campus to promote public access (so it won’t be a gated community). Its redevelopment has been a victim of the recession, but with the housing market heating up again, don’t be surprised if I soon talk about hearing from a new developer with new plans sometime soon. What typically happens on these is that the bank takes over the property and sells it to the next developer, getting as much value as it can for the asset that is worth less than the bank is owed on it (all of this is currently happening). As Chelsea’s star continues to rise in a better market, another development team may ride the crest upwards. All of what happened at Forbes almost happened at Admirals Hill, when that was first redeveloped. The difference was the original developer just barely hung on, and when the market turned upward again it was the original developer who benefited. Timing is so important to these developments.

7. As another important project in the Box District has just opened, two more phase of development are ready to bring near complete the transformation of that neighborhood. It was once a desolate industrial area. Now, there is much life, with great mixed income housing, new infrastructure and a great new park. The two developments soon to break ground combine for just under 100 units of mostly market rate housing. The development should start sometime this spring or early summer.

8. For a discussion about smaller projects, I’m working on another gym (although Planet Fitness is great – when will I see you there?!) and the potential for a doggie day care. Some of you have been clamoring (I could have written “barking” but decided not to go there) for the latter. Hear there is a salon going in the old Larry J’s space. Still looking for restaurants, though. The Building on the corner of Spruce and Williams is coming out great, thanks Anthony Simboli, the younger. It will be the new home for Baldour, a food distributor. Look for a new food producer coming to Chelsea - Golden Cannoli will be coming to Crescent Avenue.

9. Speaking of Planet Fitness, the construction behind it is fascinating (they were picking things up and putting them down, modular units that is – I hope you Planet Fitness commercial fans appreciated that one). 56 units have been assembled. It will take another three to four months to complete that market rate rental project, which is due to open in July.

Had enough on Economic Development (although it is critical to balancing budgets, promoting revitalization, adding jobs and redefining our places and spaces)? Be looking for the next installment of this week’s Inside Scoop for info on Community Development and Neighborhood Enhancement.
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Old 03-18-2013, 11:35 AM   #37
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Re: Chelsea

Jay ash's inside scoop. Thought some might appreciate his comments regarding "regionalism" #4 below:

Financial

1. The City’s finances continue to be stable, but insecure. Expenses are easier to manage than revenue. The revenues have been drying up from federal and state sources. You see, I used the term stable to describe the City budget. No one on the state or federal level would use the same term to describe theirs. If you think of the state and feds as parents to cities, especially smaller cities like Chelsea, then whenever they have problems, the kids cannot be truly stable. For example, non-school local aid, our second biggest non-school account, is the lowest it has been in thirty years (adjusted for inflation – it’s just the lowest in 27 years if you don’t adjust!).

2. Having said all of that, we’re not borrowing our way into any deep problems. We’re using today’s surplus to both improve our infrastructure and avoid borrowing charges and piling up of debt in case we have another revenue shock. So, we’re not borrowing a dime for roadway improvements, and have one of the lowest debt ratios in the area, even though we are committing to 15 street improvement projects, and…

3. …we have a major push on for a renovation or new school to replace the Clark Avenue School. Unlike many communities which need an override to accomplish that, we’ve put aside money to do so, so it isn’t a financial pressure on us (sure, I’d like to spend the money elsewhere, but it is nice to know we’ll be improving that old school – maybe we can even get the ghost of Jay Ash the high schooler out of there!) The City Council has been so responsible and we’ve been fortunate on some economic development and other entrepreneurial activities, from refinancing old debt to hitting it just right on some leases. Our financial team, as well as the Council, deserves kudos.

4. I spend a lot of time on regionalism (just spoke at the Fed about the subject as a matter of fact). Regionalism, in my view, can save money. However, more importantly, it can improve services. There are many things we can do more of or better. For example, in Chelsea, our public health services are not where they should be (an early casualty of budget issues a decade ago). Regionalism may allow us to find the right size to offer services that are not unique to a particular community. Again, thinking about public health, obesity, drugs, food insecurity, asthma, etc., know no boundary lines. By working with our neighbors, we can staff, train, message and better manage many issues.

5. On the expense side, employee and retirement costs bear watching. In general, we are okay on both. Our most significant cost is for people, so we have to make sure that cost is considered and planned for in the future. Our unfunded liability for retirees is enormous, and is that way everywhere. It hovers over my daily and certainly my yearly decisions, as I try to keep costs low (like borrowing) and maximize revenues. The bill is coming due…I want to make sure we can pay it without eliminating our entire workforce to do so.


6. This is a busy time for us with financial stuff. Just had a great audit report, are preparing our 5 year financial forecast (which seems to still be impacted by a small yet lingering structural deficit) and will be readying a budget submission. Council also has to consider the Capital Improvement Plan (CIP) I recently submitted.

Government Philosophy

1. We competed for and received a state grant to partner with several other communities on an open checkbook project. What this means is that sometime later this year we’ll have an on-line function that will allow you to log in and see with whom and why we are spending taxpayer dollars. Yes, I am excited about this. In particular, thanks to the City of Woburn for taking the lead, and our legislators and the Patrick Murray Administration for making the funding available.

2. Board and commission appointments are available. Send me a note and a quick bio or resume if you are interested in serving on something.

3. We’ve been using the Reverse 911 option more and more to let you know things like snow emergencies or postponement of street sweeping (which is starting tomorrow). If you haven’t been receiving the calls, log on to our website or let me know and I’ll get you on the line.

4. Thanks to all of you who email me. It’s great to get your feedback and ideas, and it really does help me as I think how to help you (paraphrasing from a movie – do you know which one?). Keep’em coming.


5. I tweet on occasion. You can follow me at @CMJayAsh.

I’m going to save the public safety rundown for tomorrow night. I’ll do one more email, though, with some random thoughts.
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Old 05-05-2013, 10:25 PM   #38
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Re: Chelsea

Saw this, very large, project on the north side of route One this nmorning. It looks like it will take up the better part of two city blocks. This shoot was taken towards the SE from Spruce Str. which intersects with Heard Str. Anyone know what it is?


Chelsea Project at Spruce & Heard Streets
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Old 05-06-2013, 01:05 AM   #39
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Re: Chelsea

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Saw this, very large, project on the north side of route One this nmorning. It looks like it will take up the better part of two city blocks. This shoot was taken towards the SE from Spruce Str. which intersects with Heard Str. Anyone know what it is?
It's called "One North of Boston".
http://www.gateresidential.com/projects.html*scroll down*
Ground floor is a garage, it's surrounded by parking lots, and it looks like there is a parking lot being built across the street too.

See also the first post in this thread.

Last edited by gooseberry; 05-06-2013 at 01:27 AM.
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Old 05-06-2013, 06:23 AM   #40
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Re: Chelsea

It's been gruelingly slow in construction considering it was an empty lot, surrounded by more empty lots for staging vehicles.
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