Monthly Archives: March 2014


Tuesday 3:38pm
Rodney Singleton

DND/City Funding Awards for Rental Housing — June 2009

Hi John: I beg your pardon for not quoting the DND funding round information precisely last night. The DND/city rental funding awards that I made reference to were from June of 2009 (tabulated below) .

The total award for that round was $22,383,755, of which non-profits received $20,316,430. This represents nearly 91% – a disproportionate share indeed – of all city funding for that round awarded to the CDC non-profit sector. A share of funding did go to for-profit developers (Frank Thomas, Trinity, and Mitchel Properties) of a little over 9%, representing $2,067,325, but we’ve been having this discussion for spell now (see Banner letters below).
I quoted a lower number of 85% or 87% of the funding going to non-profits, indicating the disparity of city rental awards was more acute for the funding round in June of 2009. The point remains though, and we can argue the precise numbers and if they have changed much since 2009 (in lieu of arguing and to promote full transparency the city can also just provide the information — it’s a freedom of information issue — and a metric that helps establish a direction for change), but it’s clear the city spends more money with non-profits than it does with for-profit firms to develop rental housing. This has the effect of eroding the local business sector that provides the service of providing rental housing because winning city bids builds the kind of capacity that not only sustains the business and helps it grow, but also helps sustain and grow the community the local business is part of. So the city is in fact culpable in some measure for the capacity problems we face in our neighborhoods.
Add to Mr Guscott’s point, if he knew or the city had worked with his firm to locate the school department at Ferdinand’s, he would have been able to go to nearly any bank with lease in-hand and secure the funds required to develop the Ferdinand building.

— Rodney Singleton / Seen from the Hill




5 hours ago
from Rodney Singleton

Women’s History Month Networking Breakfast

<> <> <> March 2014 Dudley Square Main Streets [image: dsms_logo] *Executive Director:* Joyce Stanley *Board of Directors:* Fred Fairfield Kathy Kottaridis Mary Churchill Jeanne Richardson Ronette Taylor-Lawerence Renee Jolley Jumaada Smith Randy Garry Toula Politis Angela Yarde Marvin Gilmore Jacob Abdal-Khallaq 2nd Annual Dudley Square Main Streets Women’s History Month Networking Breakfast [image: DSMS Womens Breakfast flyer 2014-March26 wmwc] Hello Rodney, Dudley Square Main Streets cordially invites you to our Women’s History Month Networking Breakfast: *”Innovative Sources to Start, Fund and Maintain a Business”* *[image: Cassandria Campbell]*This is a free event celebrating Women In Business. We encourage you to bring your business cards to network. This will also be a great opportunity to learn about *crowdfunding* from our featured speaker, *Cassandria Campbell*, of Fresh Food Generation<> ..

*WHEN*: Wednesday, March 26, 2014  8:00 AM to 10:00 AM

*WHERE* Islamic Society of boston Cultural Center, 100 Malcolm x Blvd, Roxbury MA 02119

On street parking and parking lot available (enter from King Street)

to RSVP or for more information please coontact Dudley Square Main Streets at 617-445-6902



Last night I attended a “community input” meeting sponsored by Jamaica Plain Neighborhood Development Corporation (JPNDC) to discuss, with such members of “the community’ as cared to, plans for a residential building on the now vacant 75 Amory Street parcel. The District’s City Councillor, Tito Jackson was there, along with about 40 residents with questions to ask.

For those who might not be familiar, the parcel in question abuts the Orange Line on its eastward side and also the south side of Centre Street across from the Jackson Square bus station/T stop.

If you knew Jackson Square a generation ago but haven’t seen it since, you won’t recognize the intersection of Columbus Avenue and Centre street. Gone — almost all, –are the weather-worn brick manufacturing floors, the smoke-blackened warehouses , abandoned, hulks of the age of heavy lifting. Gone, too, the Edward Hopper-ish storefronts, the taverns and cigarette stores, the machinists’ works, the garages — and the people who worked in them, many from Germany and Baltic nations, who lived on the Square’s side of Fort Hill. In their place, the Jackson Square of today wide-avenues the world. It’s an emporium of huge complexes, apartments over retail frontage, an entire community in a single Centre Street address.

The new Jackson Square does not embrace; it looms. Thus the new structure that JPNDC unfurled to the community citizens gathered at Julia Martin House last night on Bickford Street. granted that the community in question is well used to buildings that loom, blank brick flat topped. In their midst — home to many — is the notorious Bromley Heath Housing Project, as architecturally featureless as a prison camp, a gravestone of 1940s-1950s public housing in which several generations of the very impoverished have grown up or lived because that was where they were put. One might expect housing of tomorrow to look less boxed than that; the JPNDC proposal does play fun games with its windowing — I suppose that’s a gain — but it clings to box-ness as if boxes were gods. I was not clear that the meeting attendees disapproved. Probably they’re glad to be getting a new box, at least. They’ve sure waited long enough.


Planning began in the late 1990s — the young administrators presenting were probably still wearng pinafores and knickers then. Earnest they looked; well informed about they project they spoke. I could almost hear their resumes, feel their Linked-In profiles. They convinced me that they care; that they are glad that in three years construction will begiun on the 39-unit, “100 % affordable” 75 Amory Street box; that they might be found, now and then, enjoying the transit and Amtrak noise while walking the greenery strip that, if all goes as drafted, will border the Orange Line corridor through which trains roar and zoom.

And of the anticipated residents of these “100 % affordable” apartments ? The artist’s rendering had me grinning. One saw sleekly dressed, high-heeled women walking, presumably to a high tech or law firm office meeting, along a sunny path amid outdoor tables with parasols and, on either side, big brick cubes, utterly quirk-less, pocked by windows long or tiny, tall or small and bordered in pale yellow. Oh what fun !

New boxes do at least freshen the air. Their halls are much easier to inhale the than the old Bromley brickwork with its disinfectant hallways painted 1950s hospital green.

It’s improvement, all right. 1970s motel, even 1980s Loft.

For people who have lived on waiting lists, basically, since they were the children of parents living in bilious green, architecture that’s only one generation obsolete is a great thing. I am glad that it’s coming to them.

But wouldn’t it be even nicer, though perhaps a smidgen more expensive, to give the people of Bromley dwellings side by side, like in Madison Park Village or the row houses along Wasington Street near Circuit Street ? Dwellings that feel like an individual home rather than a Unit with a # next to a number ? And what about ownership ? In other of the proposed Jackson Square blank twelve story boxes, some ownership units will be offered. But not, it seems, in the three-story 75 Amory Street. The ownership of 75 Amory will be an acronym.

—- Mike Freedberg / Roxbury Here