Chris Faraone surveys the latest skirmishes in what threatens to become an all out war between Northeastern and the neighborhood it's engulfing.
1. Neighbors complain that students take over neighborhood.
2. Universities propose large housing.
3. Neighbors shoot down new large housing for fear of shadows, among other things.
4. Universities dorms rejected
excuse the added meme.
such as Harvard or BU.....
1) University buys up apartment buildings, houses, and commercial property, to vastly expand their campus
2) Non-student residents forced out of the neighborhood
3) University avoids paying taxes due to exempt status
4) City sees revenue shortfall
5) Minor protests, but generally nobody seems to give a shit.
Northeastern at least pays property taxes on many of its properties which aren't considered the core part of campus and has been trying to build on campus dorms on parking lots or on top of the orange line for years. if it weren't for the neighborhood blocking construction over fears of shadows there wouldn't be many NU students living off campus at this point.
Now if other universities, *cough* BU & Harvard, would do the same and if land banking without development for decades wasn't blatantly allowed......
1) city becomes well known as a difficult place to do anything
2) developers stay away
3) thriving businesses move out for lack of suitable space, and new business won't move in
3) neighborhoods become old people ghettos as post-graduate young people leave town for jobs and the second generation heads for suburbs
4) universities expand and consolidate their control as the only thriving industry in town
5) older people sell out their properties to absentee landlords who rent to students
6) complaints by older people who haven't sold yet are easily dismissed
7) neighborhood turnover to renters continues without younger people who will stay long-term
8) sinking ship
Uhm.. I can understand the point being made -- the city is a pain in the ass to work with and money gets you far. Exactly how that translates into Boston ending up a sinking ship is a little bit vague. The Universities around here have a LOT of clout and use it with little regard to the neighboring communities (but some regard to to the extent that feel-good pieces for their Alumni magazines are needed).
Actually, Boston is a very desirable place to live which is why despite the economic downturn, many people's property value has remained stead or increased.
Also, what do you have against old people? ...never heard anyone use the phrase 'old people ghettos.' Where are these so-called old people ghettos? Besides, you don't live in Boston, as I believe you've said so yourself, so what do you care if Boston neighborhoods have more 'old people' than young post-grads?
"Actually, Boston is a very desirable place to live which is why despite the economic downturn, many people's property value has remained stead or increased."
Which, in turn, can be attributed to the Universities across the city, which are recession proof.
If Boston lacked its Uni's, and the accompanying life sciences industry, it would be nothing more than Cleveland east.
It's not an all or nothing situation. Northeastern reneged on an agreement with the neighborhood. Should they be allowed to say and do whatever they wish in the community without consequence? Of course not. Compromise is key. Northeastern agreed to a compromise and then went back on the deal. Let's see some accountability. That doesn't mean universities are going to 'poof!' disappear just because residents expect a little integrity.
So an entire city dependent on retirement income, social security, and other forms of federal entitlement assistance is a good thing?
Nothing wrong with older people per se ... but a neighborhood full of elderly people is not a healthy neighborhood any more than a neighborhood that has nothing but 18-21 year olds is a healthy neighborhood. Without potential buyers in the age 25-55 range, one will certainly turn into the other.
And a city that fails to attract investment and jobs, and then becomes overrun by non-taxible entities as its major employers and landowners also is in a fix.
As for why people care, well, go study up on the entire concept called "regional economics". You clearly have the local disease if you can't possibly understand why someone living SIX MILES from Boston City Hall has something to say about all this. Something to do with the regional economy for jobs? With spending most of my waking hours in Boston? You sound like the anti-green line wackos who honestly believe everybody always lives where they work, so all this green line extension stuff is just mysterious evile!
Are you intimately acquainted with the demographics of Mission Hill or you just bloviating for effect ("old people ghettos")? Am I to assume that all of Medford is populated by nosey parker Pacific Northwest transplants with MIT degrees?
In Mission Hill, potential buyers in the 22-55 range compete with investors (absentee landlords if you will) who are snapping up houses to charge inflated rents to university and college students who can afford to pay high rents by packing in 5 and 6 people into small apartments. In addition the 22-55 range is also a range that might be starting families--and partying and random acts of vandalism caused by drunken revelry don't lend themselves to the quality of life that many families seek.
I can't speak to private employers, but there is a huge amount of professionals who work in the Longwood Medical area that commute in from outside the neighborhood. Perhaps if the quality of life was more conducive to quiet enjoyment, more of them might live in Mission Hill.
Three different locations, stretching from a condo office in an old school on the Roxbury Crossing side to just across the street from where that horrible firetruck accident happened. One of the deals with the universities is that they take commercial space, condos, and store fronts instead of building buildings.
At the time I worked there (1999 - 2004), Mission Hill itself was fairly heavily populated with older people, many owner-occupants with tenants. That may be one reason it it is now fairly heavily student occupied if those folks or their estates sold to the absentee landowners - which was the point that I was trying to make, above.
And, again, one need not be "intimately acquainted" with a particular locality to understand that a fundamental lack of planning and coordination at a regional level has a role to play in the way the Universities behave and how neighborhoods become vulnerable to being bought out by rent speculators/student slumlords.
look it up!
look it up
Does anyone think this is a new problem? There have been universities in this city/metro since the begining - i.e. hundreds of years. Town/gown has always been an issue and it hasn't "sunk the ship" yet. I'm pretty sure its not going to either. The City is hardly in danger of going under because of university expansion as opposed to, say, the absurdly rising cost employee healthcare.
As a recent graduate of Northeastern and a current resident of Mission Hill, the continuous articles concerning NU's responsibility for the demise of surrounding neighborhoods is always tough to hear. It's frustrating that NU has completely failed at maintaining respectful relationships with local residents and elected officials. It's also frustrating that "students" on Mission Hill are continually pegged as destructive, disrespectful, spoiled, alcohol-obsessed children. It's unfortunate that a few bad kids who host loud parties are "ruining" the neighborhood. When obviously not all (maybe even a majority) of Hill residents who are students get delivery beer balls from stores that have relaxed id policies and blast crappy music until the early morning hours. I've lived on the Hill since '07 and unfortunately cannot wait to move out. Landlords are absent, rent is unreasonable, car windows are punched in daily, trash in scattered, construction mess is everywhere (recently St. Alphonsus/Calumet), and physical violence is prevalent (re J.Martin). Northeastern is part of the equation as to why Mission Hill is the way it is, but it's not the only responsibility party. Does Northeastern run City Hall, the BRA, and the BPD?
It's my thought that there are students from at least half a dozen schools living in Mission Hill. Is it only the Huskies who bark all night? Also, I'd heard in the past that Northeastern had its cops riding around breaking up parties at night - did they stop that?
You are correct about students from other universities residing on the Hill. Apparently Wentworth, Simmons, MassArt, SMFA, and MCPHS students aren't causing as much trouble as the Huskies. NUPD does roam the area, although I'm not a large, Mission Hill party-goer so I haven't had a ton of opportunity to view NUPD in action. The Housing Police have surprisingly been parked on my street a few nights this week though.
As a young alumn, I can clarify. While there are students from about half a dozen schools living in Mission Hill, Northeastern is the largest. And based on its size, would presumably have the highest percentage of students living in Missions Hill. So while NU students and not 100% guilty of all the problems that occur in Mission Hill, they get the majority of the blame (and by no means and I suggesting they are all innocent nor all guilty). And I believe NUPD still patrols within a one mile radius of the campus, where most students would live.
"Multi-generational Bostonians are actually being displaced in alarming numbers, as their neighborhoods increasingly become extensions of the institutions that surround them, and as those colleges and universities continue to rapidly expand their campus footprints and inadvertently drive up real-estate prices."
So, my property is now worth a lot more money and that is now a bad thing? Something that forces me to leave? I mean, I guess I could see the increase in value causing property taxes to increase, but is it such a large amount that it all of the sudden becomes too expensive to pay? Worst case situation then is - sell at the inflated value and smile at having a boatload of money?
Or is it just that rent in the area has gone up, so people can't afford to pay the rent in the area. If you're renting, that doesn't really speak to me of "multi-generational" resident of the neighborhood.
then you can charge more rent and possibly push long terms residents out in favor of multiple college students that can afford it (or whose parents can).
And there are a lot of long term residents that have rented for 30+ years. A lot more than you think.
Renting for 30+ years doesn't mean you can dictate what an owner charges for rent, if they want to sell the building to a school, etc. The area's economy and demographic is changing. This isn't some new phenomenon nor is it something unique to neighborhoods near colleges.
Perils of renting. Nothing to see here :p