Tufts unable to meet timetable on redevelopment of former school; Process to Proceed to Consideration of First Alternate Bidder

powder_house_school_webMayor Joseph A. Curtatone announced that the City of Somerville will re-open the process of finding a developer for redevelopment of the Powder House Community School, due to Tufts University being unable to meet the timetable terms on a land disposition agreement.

The city and Tufts have been in an exclusive negotiating agreement period, during which they have discussed specifics of a land disposition agreement. During that time, Tufts has also held a series of community meetings on the design for a proposed new administrative/academic building and open space on the site of the current school. To develop the site, the land disposition agreement would need to address a number of issues, including the timeline for breaking ground on the development, set at three years in the city’s original Request for Proposals (RFP). At a recent meeting with city officials, Tufts indicated that they could not commit to a timeline and did not foresee developing the property for at least 15 years.

Because this timeframe does not meet the terms set forth in the RFP, which was developed to reflect the wishes of the community, the mayor has ended the exclusive negotiating agreement with Tufts. The city will retain the university’s $10,000 deposit, which will be marked for improvements in the neighborhood around the school.

“Tufts University has been a terrific partner for the City of Somerville in the past, and will continue to be a great partner for us, especially in the realm of education,” said Mayor Joseph A. Curtatone. “Unfortunately, while Tufts was successful at engaging the community in designing a building and a park, they could not commit to a timetable that meets the terms of the agreement as well as the community’s desires, hopes and expectations for the site. I look forward to continuing to partner with this tremendous resource in our community, while finding the right partner to help us achieve the community’s vision for the Powder House School.”

With the termination of the exclusive negotiating agreement with Tufts, Mayor Curtatone will reconvene the Technical Advisory Committee with the intention of revisiting the committee’s recommendations and determining next steps for redevelopment of the Powder House School. Two alternate proposals by Davis Square Partners and Diamond Sinacori were also recommended alongside Tufts’ proposal for final consideration by the mayor.

If the first alternate bidder, Davis Square Partners, is determined to still be eligible, prepared and willing to move forward, the process to negotiate the terms of their proposal will commence. Their proposed project, which was also highly rated by the Advisory Committee, includes thirty to forty units of family-sized housing, with significant publicly accessible open space. If selected, a community design planning process will be held. Next week, a community meeting originally planned to continue discussions of the Tufts proposal will now instead offer the community an opportunity to discuss this news as well as next steps. The meeting will be held on Wednesday, March 26, at 6:30 p.m., at the TAB Building, 169 Holland St.

In August 2013, Mayor Curtatone accepted the recommendations of the Powder House Community School Technical Advisory Committee, which ranked Tufts’ proposal as the top recommendation for redevelopment of the former school with more than 80 percent group favorability. That recommendation was based upon Tufts’ proposal to combine the Powder House School and Tufts Administration Building into a larger site, and creating the largest contiguous publicly accessible open space of the proposals submitted.

“We truly appreciate the professionalism and collaboration shown by Mayor Curtatone, his team, the Technical Advisory Committee, members of the Board of Aldermen and Somerville residents who devoted extensive time and attention to reviewing our proposal,” said Mary Jeka, Tufts Senior Vice President for University Relations.  “Tufts remains committed to working closely with the City of Somerville in the future.”

The 15-member Technical Advisory Committee includes seven residents, one business representative, three city staff members, at-large Aldermen Dennis Sullivan and Jack Connolly, former School Committee member and current at-large Alderman Mary Jo Rossetti, and former Ward 7 Alderman Robert Trane. The mayor and city officials convened the Technical Advisory Committee in May 2013 to review responses to the city’s RFP seeking partners to reuse and/or redevelop the site.

The RFP sought proposals that would meet the objectives of the neighborhood developed through a two-year public process. Additional criteria included the experience of the development team in developing the project and leading a community design process, the long-term economic impact of the proposal, as well as the price offered for the property. According to RFP criteria, the pedestrian route from Broadway to Holland Street must be preserved, enhanced, and maintained by the community partner. The vote of the Board of Aldermen to surplus the land also requires that a minimum of 40 percent of the site must remain public open space.

— City of Somerville

 

33 Responses to “City ends negotiations with Tufts on Powder House School redevelopment”

  1. Jim says:

    This is terribly unfortunate. If Tufts had any sense, they’d consolidate offices at the Powder House School property which would free up on-campus space for more dorms.

  2. Franklin says:

    Best news I have seen in some time. Tufts has been exploiting Somerville for generations. The idea of giving Tufts a gem location was a sickening one. Particularly when its clear the city needs a new high school. Joey C is typically in their pocket. Glad he had the sense to walk away this time. Kudos

  3. Ron Newman says:

    Why did Tufts even bid on this if they did not anticipating developing for 15 more years? No way can the city tolerate an abandoned building in this location for so long.

  4. Ron Newman says:

    Why did Tufts even bid on this if they did not anticipate developing for 15 more years? No way can the city tolerate an abandoned building in this location for so long.

  5. ritepride says:

    It’s about time that the tax paying residents issues came first and Tax-exempt Tufts was put aside. Glad the mayor and Board of Aldermen are on board. A big thanks to those residents who attended the meetings and those who wrote about the meetings in this greatly appreciated venue provided by the Somerville Times for those who were not able to attend.

    Now the city needs to address a users fee (for police/fire/ems/dpw calls) for all the tax-exempt residential properties in the city owned by Tufts, Harvard-Health, Group homes, etc. In these tough economic times those issues should be addressed before thinking of cuts in city personnel/services.

  6. question says:

    If a timetable was included in the RFP, why would Tufts wait until now to announce they cannot commit to anything less than 15 years? Or did person or persons on the committee know this and keep it to themselves? Or has Tufts become so arrogant and entitled that they assumed the city would be happy to just sit back and wait?

  7. Ron is right says:

    I hate to agree with Ron but he is right. That is really spitting in Somerville’s eye to land bank a property for 15 years. Of Course Joe plays nice and say’s we look forward to working with Tufts in the future. If this is the work we can look forward to, then people need to realize that they are opponents and not neighbor’s.

  8. Johnnie Jazz says:

    Lucky we dodged that bullet. Tufts gets enough breaks, but to sit on that property would have been criminal. Sadly, having the city go back to the drawing board = 15 years of delays and hand wringing. Whatever we do just make sure the nitwits at Mystic View Task Force don’t hear about this and get involved or nothing will EVER get built there.

    Level it and pave it over.

  9. Ron is right says:

    Having just read another article on this I noticed Tufts states that they don’t have the money to develop this property for another 15 years. which makes me think what are they planning for the next 15 years?

  10. It is curious why Tufts gave up. Maybe they realized Ward 7 residents would not tolerate their arrogance. “question”, I believe you are right–”so arrogant and entitled”…because their attitude all along is, “we are doing you a big favor, how dare you complain”. I attended every meeting. By the third meeting, some people realized we were being played. They told the city they wanted PHCS for administrative offices, second meeting they suggested using PHCS for evening graduate classes and day time undergraduate classes. By the third meeting, we were looking at a slide with 10-12 options for PHCS including moving Eliot Pearson or School of Engineering to the site as well as classes for “innovation”, without explaining details. There were unresolved issues with “bedrock” under the PHCS building, entrance and exit of the garage. Many of the Broadway/Packard Ave., residents were only too happy to let them dump 265 cars onto already dense traffic on Holland. Nothing but lies, distortions and deception by Tufts representatives.

    Much thanks to aldermen-at-large Bill White, Dennis Sullivan and Mary Jo Rosetti for supporting wishes of abutters and residents of Ward 7 who called, wrote and attended the meetings.

    I only hope that we can all agree 2-3 bedrooms for growing families should be developed at the site. We need to keep working families in our city and for the most part, all we see are 1-2 bedroom luxury condos being built because developers can maximize their profits and number of units by not supplying that 3rd bedroom. They can make more money creating a large inventory of smaller units which childless professionals feeding gentrification are ready to buy.

    I’ll continue to attend meetings until a decision is made. Thanks to the Ward 7 resident, member of the advisory committee who spoke out at the last two meetings. It’s nice to know there are still long-time residents who care enough to not allow Tufts to continue their free ride on taxes which becomes an unwelcomed burden to the rest of us.

    One victory for the people, there can be more if we understand there is great strength in numbers. With steadfast determination, it can happen.
    My dad bought this place in 1930 and I hope to be able to pass it on to my children one day. There is a difference between owning a house and a home. Not many people know the significance of either.

  11. MarketMan says:

    Pixie: I agree more housing for families is needed, but I have to say that many of the condo developments and home renovations I have seen in the Davis Sq area in the last couple of years are 3 bedrooms and geared for families. I used to see more of the 1-2 bedrooms several years back. I’m not sure what changed, but I have noticed more young families in the area. In any case, these new condos/homes are very pricey, but that’s where the market is these days.

  12. Jim says:

    Totally agree with Pixie regarding large apartments so working families (stress working) can stay here.

    The real arrogance is Tufts using West Somerville multifamily homes (owned by slumlords) as a dorm for their spoiled brat undergrads. Beyond the trash, noise, overcrowding, etc. there are other problems like undergrads speeding in their luxury SUVs on streets where there are children.

    If Tufts respected West Somerville, they would build dormitories for undergrads like most of their peer group schools have done. BU, BC, & Northeastern have been incrementally adding dorms and bringing their undergrads onto campus b/c the BRA forced them to. Somerville should do the same to Tufts.

    I really supported Tufts getting the PHCS property in the hopes that it could help them free up space on their main campus to build more dorm beds. If Tufts thinks that giving away free hot dogs on Tufts Community day is going to make W. Somerville residents like them, they are mistaken. Their actions speak for themselves.

  13. whofightsforus says:

    I continue to be saddened by the fact that the city never stands up for the residents. When Tufts’ proposal would create too much traffic/parking problems, or the neighbors wanted better, why does the city never take a stand and say that’s not what we are looking for. And it isn’t just Tufts, it’s all development across the city.

  14. Pixie Pocahontas says:

    Yes, Jim

    Tufts can keep their wieners.
    Our city needs something more substantial.
    How about a diet of U.S. Prime Grade $ for starters.

    I agree they should contain the rug rats on their campus instead of disrupting our quiet neighborhoods.

  15. Pixie Pocahontas says:

    Market man,

    3 bedroom for families in Davis Square, geared for families- working class affordable condos or for wealthy families?

    Not according to our city planner who shared that developers are only looking to maximize space and profit by making units smaller, 1-2 bedrooms only.

    We don’t need anymore wealthy professional buying up all our property. We need to make housing affordable to single working class people, who are trying to remain in our city. Why shouldn’t local youths who want to rent or own have much chance as newcomers? There should be balance. Who wants to turn Somerville onto an urban Nantucket of only working poor who live in shacks and catering to the self-serving elite. Have you ever checked out rich lily white suburbs and high end costal communities?

    That’s exactly their aim- developers and their wealthy clients who look for fast buck investments. If we deplete all our affordable housing for middle class families, it will be a death sentence for affordability.

    And you talk about immigration, who do you think festers that pool of slave labor? Recalling that presidential candidate on Snob Hill who had a crew of undocumented workers. Gone will be the white tradesman swapped out for someone willing to accept pennies on the dollar. Hypocrites- what is good for me but not for you, barracudas you don’t know until they get caught.

  16. MarketMan says:

    Pixie: I did say they were expensive. So no, they are not geared for working class. But in my opinion, the price is driven by demand. It’s not driven by the developers or by the city. They city and developers can do what they want, but if people don’t want to pay $1M for a property, they won’t. So property in Davis Sq is expensive because there are willing to pay that much.

    What can the city do to protect lower income folks? I have yet to hear a proposal that makes sense and is fair. But I’m all ears.

  17. Sleezy Robbie says:

    Tufts doesn’t have the money… Righto, because all the money goes to pay the fat cats in adinistration.

  18. Pixie Pocahontas says:

    MarketMan,

    I just explained it on another post-

    This is my suggestion based on how Cambridge runs their city:

    We need to stop hiring politically connected families, many who are unqualified for the jobs and paying them $80-100k annual salaries.

    Next, implement a hiring freeze, no more raises, especially the mayor.
    Merit raises should be provided for those with stellar work performance for which he remains unqualified.

    Weed out the hacks, political backers and freeloaders who make sure the mayor gets re-elected each term.

    We don’t need 50-100 planners, energy auditors, arts council lay abouts, telling the mayor every day how wonderful he is–and that he’s doing a marvelous job.

    What we need is for people to start behaving like adults and use their jobs in ways that will benefit the entire community, no child, no elder be left behind.

    This community that once thrived in ways that were beneficial to the people, not special interests and those only seeking to make profits.

    Greed is the culprit, but a good mayor would know that learning how to care for a diverse community ensures not only his own future but ours as well.

  19. Pixie Pocahontas says:

    Ps Market Man,

    As far as I know, everyone who pulls a permit to build/rebuild must have approval by the city- which includes developers.

    This is why we have due process – residents, especially abutters and neighbors have the right to their opinions which is then conveyed to aldermen who vote. I believe same is for zoning commission however previous entanglements between one developer’s relationship with former alderman has cast a shadow on that entity.

    There needs to be more work in cleaning house at ISD since I have personal experience from dealing with those cronies. But I challenged their decisions and won based on some due diligence as homeowner rights are concerned. I also contacted a state rep who looked up the law. Guess what? The ISD had no leg to stand on and treated me with disrespect throughout the 6 month process. They were also upset that I contacted my state rep. But the law is the law and if the book said I couldn’t pull an occupancy permit, although disappointed, I would accept that decision.

    What’s going on nowadays is clearly unethical in some cases, and it proves the system is broken. Someone is obviously not doing their job of protecting local homeowners who are lacking education of how the system really works.

    Strange bedfellows are not strangers, you catch my drift, MarketMan?

  20. matt c says:

    Marketman… what you fail to grasp is that the increase in housing prices is part of a grand conspiracy led by Mayor Joe, Bernie Madoff and at last check Vladimir Putin who have all taken personal interest in promoting tufts while seeking to destroy everything held dear by those who have lived in somerville greater than some arbitrary number of years that lets them be more us than them.

    Most recently the Koch brothers have teamed up with George Soros to stop the development of the powder house school because it didn’t go far enough in making locals upset. The new proposal is for a mini-tower of 300 8x12x16 ‘cubical lofts’ each with 3.14159 parking spots. To make heighten the stakes in the class war they are restricting the each unit, prices at 600k, to infertile, gluten intolerant non-whites with a FICO score over 775 and a STEM degree.

    If you couldn’t guess SCC was initially flummoxed by how to handle this so they are preparing to submit a plan to move the Cota funeral home to the location and redevelop it as a mansion for a family of 6 with a household income under 65k and rent it at $1100. SCC has committed that the development will be done by at least 40% white tradesmen from little Nahant we expect the remainder will be non-white who will work for pennies on the dollar or whatever the market values their work at.

    So when does April fools end again because its beginning to feel a lot like groundhog’s day again, again, again…

  21. Pixie Pocahontas says:

    Jim,

    Tufts VP stated that they just built a data center at TAB which would disrupt their services and too costly to relocate.

    But that’s how their overall presentation was directed to the abutters, neighbors and city officials.

    If they actually participated fairly during the negotiation process, maybe there could have been mutually agreed upon agreement made between all parties involved. Instead, we got nothing but deliberate dishonesty by Tufts administrators who continually side-stepped and switched gears, citing, “we don’t know what we will put there”. Reminded of me when the guilty witness on the stand pleas the fifth-

    Audience: “What will be housed there?”, Tufts reply, “We don’t know”.
    “How many people will occupy the new PHCS site”?, “We don’t know”.
    “How many Tufts employees currently occupy TAB”?
    “How many Tufts employees have access to alternative modes of transportation such as MBTA requiring less parking at TAB and underground parking?”. You guessed it, another, “We don’t know”. Too many “We don’t knows to make the residents and town officials rest comfortably.

    If I was ask to supply information during the permit process and I continually replied, “I don’t know”, what would be the conclusion of that discussion. Exactly.

    Reliable sources revealed they would not be using the space for more administrative offices after all because none of their better than though bosses and colleagues wished to bunk down with the likes of us neighbors 9-5, well, the felling is mutual and that goes for your late night SUV traffic violators, toilet paper designers and beer bottle litterers. Keep them on The Green, where they belong. Their parents and donors pay enough to afford on campus housing. Maybe there is a lot of top heavy salaries that could also use a trimming. It’s about time we said NoMore to Tufts. They should start acting like the unwelcomed guest they have always been. Not the neighbor they claim to be. Real neighbors support each other. Our city has given them far too much charity. Why don’t they start tapping Medford for some handouts. My guess, they already have tried.

  22. Pixie Pocahontas says:

    Jim,

    To further clarify, it was the answer to your question-
    “Why not combine TAB and new building at PHCS”.
    The VP said it was too costly.

    I’m guessing now that their true motives are out- they didn’t want to be connected to the students they so adore. You wouldn’t want them unguarded and roaming the halls of TAB- would you?

    Maybe if they should us their master plan, we would all know their true intentions for TAB and PHCS. Could their be a back door by the next proposed developer which will further prove to aid Tufts in its mission to acquire more property in Ward 7.

    I know this isn’t over with Tufts. They just decided to pick up their blocks and leave the school yard, for now. I anticipated more shenanigans to come.
    That is why we asked for a show of hands by architects who also live in Ward 7. “You can fool some of the people some of the time……”.

  23. Jim says:

    Thanks Pixie,

    This whole thing is infuriating. Land is scarce in Ward 7 and you’d think Tufts would be smart enough to capitalize on the opportunity to acquire PHCS since the opportunity will be gone forever if they lose it.

    All Tufts had to do was tell the truth and be respectful of the people who live in the neighborhood. Mind-bogglingly, that was too much for them. Even if they needed to slow down their construction schedule, it wouldn’t have blown up the deal presuming they were open and forthright.

    Regarding traffic, it probably would have been manageable, especially if they funded a traffic light at Holland & Cameron Ave. Presuming exiting traffic left via Broadway it probably wouldn’t add so many cars as to be disruptive.

  24. Pixie Pocahontas says:

    You’re right, Jim

    I’ve worked at Tufts in the past and I understand their culture. I was asked to give one of my apartments to one of their graduate students, for no cost. What nerve. Let me tell you, working there was no stroll in the park. They have no respect for our local residents and refer to us as “working class”, as though it were a scourge on the planet, when it is some of the products of higher ed who work to destroy our planet and its people.

    Their better-than-though degradation towards our hardworking neighbors is appauling. It’s why I left to find another job where I’m making twice as much. Many employees are from Somerville too, but you never hear the administration toss it in our face.

    Some among their student population harbor same contempt, seen it in their late night antics and destruction of property. Not all, but many from wealthy families who think this is a local daycare center for their hopeful next world leaders.

    I’ve met many students from areas around the globe, but most who behave with a sense of superiority are generally American born. Those who showed courtesy and respect earned their right to enter college and usually surpass their spoiled peers with high GPA scores which reward them at graduation and landing them the job of their dreams. The others usually get hired by one of dad’s friends.

    The arrogance and relentless antagonism by Tufts reps is tiresome. I will do everything in my power as a tax paying resident to safeguard our neighborhoods in Ward 7 from their obvious attempts at land banking and campus expansionism. Our former Mayor Capuano understood their motives but there are still a few political supporters who have ties, one alderman at large who I wish would retire. His double talk to concerned residents is what created this mess. As well as the state rep who just happens to be an alum another who works at city hall. Conflicts of interests is why we struggle with Tufts demands. I hope we find a plan that will benefit working families and our elderly. We desperately need more tax revenue. What about mixed use retail and housing with parking only to residents? We could use a pharmacy for those who can’t walk to Davis Sq. We use to have two in Teele Square; Furbish and Shute as well as Stone Drug.

  25. Ron Newman says:

    A 15-year delay would have been unacceptable no matter how open Tufts had been about it.

  26. ritepride says:

    Some interesting material Note * 574 Boston Ave [across from St Clements High] “Classroom space”

    http://finance.tufts.edu/budgetacc/capital-expenditure-authorization-cea-process/#
    A Capital Asset is a long-term asset that is not purchased or sold in the normal course of business. Generally, it includes fixed assets, e.g., land, buildings, furniture, equipment, fixtures and furniture. The university accounts for these expenses as assets rather than operating expenses, because they are resources which have extended, useful lives. For example, a classroom will be utilized for many years, whereas office supplies will not. *

    http://evp.tufts.edu/administrative-initiatives/capital-plan/
    What they presently have in the works

    Lawrence S. and Adele Fleet Bacow Sailing Pavilion Is this for inclusion with mayor’s flood prone Union Square project?

  27. TOB says:

    Regarding the discussion about shenanigans within zoning, ISD, and planning. What about the lawyer who represents most of the developers in the city, who is also the private attorney to the head of the ZBA? When it was brought up at a meeting that there was a conflict of interest he told us that he could make a fair decision and did not need to recuse himself. Guess which way the vote went?
    Another problem with all of this development is that it creates a transient population. That is why not only is the look of the city changing, but also the feel of the city. The neighborhoods are disappearing, as new neighbors come and go so quickly you don’t have time to learn their name.
    Tufts has always looked down on Somerville. I can recall many times when my kids were in school when Tufts would run a speical program for students and open it to Medford students and not Somerville students.

  28. MarketMan says:

    Pixie: You (and others here) seem to put Capuano on a pedestal. I have yet to understand what made him so special as a mayor or now as a a congressman. I have asked explicitly before, and the only response I have heard is that “he is a nice guy”. Really?? Is it possible that Capuano is simply better at the politics of pandering to certain groups of people? From what I have seen, that is what he seems to focus on and even at that, he is too obvious to be successful. For example, consider his actions and positions (yes, plural) on the Union square development controversy.

  29. MarketMan,

    I haven’t been keeping up with Union Square, I live in Ward 7. Why don’t you enlighten me? Is this what you are referring to? (refer to excerpts below)

    If I have to make a quick decision based on what is written and what I have learned about our congressman: He is fair. He does not have an inflated ego. He cares about all residents, not just the wealthy yuppies. He cares about the elderly and working families. His record as congressman proves he has been working extremely hard on issues such as affordable healthcare, job creation and housing issues for the working class and elderly. I worked on his campaign as a volunteer during the senate race and he’s a man of integrity, lives a modest lifestyle. He’s still the same man and does not forget where he came from. I’ve met his family too and they are all good, hardworking people who care about this city and its people. I wish he would run for mayor again, I bet he would win. He’s rational, tells the truth, (green line controversy as one example) spoke out against the people who destroyed our economy in 2009, when few dared. You should check out his video on youtube, congressional hearings–no doubt he is still Mike Capuano from Somerville. He’s not a phony and tells it like it is. I miss that around here.

    From a previous article on this site:
    Planning Board pushes back on Union Square project
    On July 17, 2013, in Latest News, by The News Staff

    Board member James Kirylo said he wouldn’t vote for the plan because “it would do nothing for this neighborhood.” He echoed comments by Capuano about the project’s size, lack of green space and traffic impact. “We’re never going to be able to get a car through Union Square at rush hour,” said Kirylo, who also said the two sunken patios meant to serve as open space for the development would likely become “nothing more than outdoor smoking pits.”

    Said Capuano, “I want to support this project. But it’s very, very hard for me to get to ‘yes’ unless you make some dramatic changes to what is I think a flawed project.”

    Board member Michael Capuano said he supports development that creates more affordable housing. But he had visited the site and wouldn’t vote for the current plan because of the impact its size will have on abutters, even though it meets zoning guidelines, “Our job is to assess the project and how it sits on that location and impacts that neighborhood,” said Capuano. “Nothing ever says you have to look at it in a bubble.”

    http://www.thesomervilletimes.com/archives/40409

    “Planning Board pushes back”, if only it could be this way with most projects. The developers should not get to decide whatever they want. It’s the people of this city who have a right to object to certain aspects of the project if it will be detrimental to quality of life, such as “too much traffic”, etc.

    He’s not afraid to speak his mind–

    “Congressman Michael Capuano nails WallStreet Crooks”

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d6Im9W4gwNc

    He also has a website, you should check it out.

  30. j. connelly says:

    “MarketMan” I can say that Congressman Caputo has worked cautiously for the people. When they had the mayor’s dog & pony show down by Prospect St in Union Sq announcing the GLX, etc., in the Congressman’s speech he stated that the federal budget was problematic in this tight economy and though Washington D.C. may say one thing, when it comes time for actual funding, the $$$ might not be there.

    One example is a similar trolley project in Colorado. There businesses and the college had to provide money towards he project. With the tight economy the project has been downsized considerably. The hope to have the project completed by 2015 has now moved to 2018/2020 depending on the then economy.

    When the Congressman served in local office he walked the neighborhoods and listened to the people and if you asked him for a commitment, you got his full support. Unfortunately he has found like us that Washington D.C. malfunctions more than functions due to a lack of leadership, be it both in the Whitehouse and on Capital Hill. He will still work diligently for the people of the Commonwealth.

  31. ilikemike says:

    Capuano was a different Mayor than he was a Congressman. He used common sense, and you always knew where he stood, agree or disagree. He didn’t talk double-talk, vote for something then against, it, etc. He told you what he believed whether it was a popular opinion or not. He also knew how to manage, specifically financially. Were there problems? Of course there were, but nothing close to what we are experiencing now. I am not aware of his positions regarding Union Square. Could you be referring to his son who sits on the Planning Board?

  32. babyfishz says:

    All the hating on Tufts for not paying taxes- sure, that’s legit but why wasn’t there an uproar over the city shutting down the transfer station on Wash? 1 million a year lost in taxes! They could have taken that tax revenue and built a smell free and noise free facility that would have had a short pay back. Oh and guess what, now we pay more to have our trash hauled away farther. The city likes it when people in-fight, meanwhile the real money scandals go quietly. Tufts does support a lot of local people’s jobs. No one can say it is all bad. There are tons of awesome Tufts kids around.

  33. Pixie Pocahontas says:

    babyfishz-

    If you bothered to come to the meeting tonight you would have heard that Tufts actually wasted everyone’s time on the bidding process. In the end, their true intentions revealed they wanted nothing more than to land bank PHCS for 15 years when it has already been vacant for 11 years.

    Thus, blocking any viable process which could potentially benefit the city with a larger tax surplus than Tufts was willing to provide.

    There will be more meetings to discuss other options such as family housing for which a great number of residents are in favor. We must be careful not to build too many luxury condos since it would only serve to further perpetuate the stranglehold of gentrification which will drive out more working class residents.

    It’s important to remain engaged in the process. You get more information from attending meetings than reading articles.

    What’s important to remember is the city gave Tufts the opportunity and they were not transparent about their proposal. But it’s not over yet. Tufts remains engaged as abutters and owners of basketball court and parking areas, which should concern residents.

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