Is Mission Hill overcaffeinated?

A group of Mission Hill residents traveled to City Hall this morning to support a Dunkin' Donuts proposed for a long-vacant storefront across from the Roxbury Crossing T stop. But a neighborhood association and city officials oppose the shop because, they say, there are already enough places along Tremont Street to grab a cup of coffee.

The Boston Licensing Board decides tomorrow whether to let Joel and Janel Silveira open a new Dunkin' Donuts at 1447 Tremont St., in a space that has been vacant for ten years. The couple already own a Dunkin' Donuts franchise at the other end of the hill, at 1631 Tremont St. in Brigham Circle.

The six residents who attended the board's hearing today to support the Silveiras said the couple run a clean and friendly shop at Brigham Circle and that a second outlet by Roxbury Crossing would only be an asset to the neighborhood. "It's a wonderful place to go into," Mary Kemp, who has lived on Mission Hill for 74 years, told the board. Other residents noted the Silveiras said the new shop would mean 12 new jobs.

But representatives of both the mayor's office and City Councilor Mike Ross (who lives on Mission Hill) opposed the donut shop, based on a formal vote against the proposal by the Community Alliance of Mission Hill. "There's already an abundance of coffee-type establishments," Ross's rep told the board.

When board member Milton Wright asked for specific examples, however, opponents could name only three: The existing Dunkin' Donuts, Mike's Donuts and Butterfly Coffee, inside the Roxbury Crossing T stop.

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Comments

Let's be honest...

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people aren't going to Dunkins to grab a quick cup of coffee, they're going to get buy a Big Gulp sized Oreo cookie coffee blended iced Mocha-cutesie beverage topped with Cool Whip and rainbow sprinkles. And, more power to 'em if that's what their core customer base wants!

Honest!

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Large Dark Roast Iced, skim milk, 1 small sugar, light on the ice.

Take the "ice" out of it in winter.

hazelnut coffee is nasty, sorry!

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Dark roast you say? That would be available at Sbux the very place Dunkin fans claim the coffee is burnt.

Stale

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Stale is usually misunderstood as burnt. SBux coffe is horrible, and the look their bartistas give you when ordering it is rather priceless.

Dunks can make some pretty bad swill too, but you just got to figure out which stores know what they're doing and which don't.

That elusive boogeyman of conservatives, "over-regulation"

It doesn't really show its face too often, but I think this might be it. It's a commercial strip, right? It's not a brothel, casino, or glue factory being proposed- what's the big deal? Why should the mayor, or some semi-representative "residents association", even get a say? (I realize I may come to regret the preceding statement, but right now it seems like a bunch of bored people saying no just to say no)
Also, how often does the licensing board go against the mayor, and how often does the mayor go against the neighborhood association? When and why does this occur? Just curious.

It doesn't really show its

It doesn't really show its face too often,

Bwahahaha! You're a very funny man!

But seriously, folks, every business wanting to open up goes throug the exact same regulatory process. Tell me why anyone should have any say in what legal business goes into a space that's been empty for ten years.

If you don't like the proposed tenant, buy the building. Otherwise, mind your own business. Personally, I see nothing 'conservative' about this, unless you think liberals are inherently busybodies.

Not

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conservative or liberal.

Pick a city or neighborhood that's going through gentrification anywhere and it's an issue. Out in some very red towns past 495 you can't even build a single family house on less than 3-4 acres of land without years of delays to put in denser housing.

Mayor rarely goes against civic associations

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Typically, if they vote X, his office will recommend X to the licensing board.

I'm pretty sure the licensing board has gone against what the mayor's office has recommended - these usually aren't decisions that the mayor himself gets involved with and gets all imperial over and angrily denounces the applicants via the media (e.g., Chick-fil-a, which hasn't actually filed a license application yet). I know the licensing board does approve things over the objections of the neighborhood groups (especially in Allston, where the local civic association would just as soon have every sidewalk in the neighborhood rolled up promptly at 10:55 p.m.).

As for why they discuss this sort of thing, one of the criteria is "quality of life." What's wrong with a neighborhood considering what would make the neighborhood better - or worse? Granted, seems kind of extreme in this case, but would we rather have a system where somebody can do whatever the hell they want without any regard for the impact on the surrounding residents?

Give me a break!

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Too many coffee shops? Hard to believe you'd ever find an elected official in favor of a vacant storefront but nothing surprises me about Boston anymore!

And why does the mayor's office even care? I feel like I'm missing something.

Too much coffee in Roxbury Crossing?

On a bike ride earlier this month, I stopped at Butterfly, only to find it closed for vacation. I did not see any other place to get coffee in the immediate neighborhood, so I rode on and eventually stopped at some coffee place in Hyde Square.

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You're CAPS LOCK infused

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You're CAPS LOCK infused message begs to differ

(the humor was not lost on me though)

I don't get it

I guess a vacant storefront is better than a Dunks?

Or perhaps the Silveira's didn't "pay to play"

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A few things...

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First, the opponents forgot to mention JP Licks as a coffee place, right across from the existing Dunkin Donuts.

As a resident of Mission Hill, I lean toward finally getting that building occupied. It has been empty for as long as I've lived on the hill, 12 years (though the first year or two, it may have been in renovation stage). To my mind, a Dunkins is not ideal, but it will do the trick, and will probably be successful there, so I don't mind. New jobs are great, too.

I think the opponents are mostly concerned with the new Dunkins muscling out the much-loved independent Mike's Donuts. But I think Starbucks' expansion in the past 15 years has shown us that people choose their favorites and remain loyal to them; I think Mike's can handle the competition.

And for the nonresidents, the Community Alliance is a city-recognized group that gives a usually non-binding yea or nay vote to all sorts of community, housing and business projects. It lets the city officials get the temperature of the residents when making decisions. So in this case, everything happened as it should. (CAMH is also free to join, and voting is free too. If you don't like the way they voted here, get involved yourself and make some changes.)

Mike's Donuts

Is a new Dunk's across from the Roxbury Crossing T station really likely to harm Mike's business if the existing Dunk's at Brigham Circle hasn't? It wouldn't be any closer to Mike's.

The Coffee Saturation Principle

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If you are asked to name all of the coffee places in your neighborhood and one of them isn't Starbucks, you don't have too many coffee places in your neighborhood yet.

Dunks are better than drunks

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A vacant store front is not bringing value to our community. This family owns and operates a very busy DD in brigham circle and they do an amazing job. With plans to build more housing and businesses down near Roxbury Crossing, I think another DD would be a welcome addition to that block. It's better than keeping yet another vacant store front in the area, which attracts all the wrong kind of attention to our community.

Mike Ross

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Can someone please flatout ask Mike Ross why he supports vacant storefronts in our city?

Dunks might not be ideal, but if a place hasn't had commerce in 10 flipping years and Silveira is going to take the chance to try to bring some foot traffic to that section of street... well...

Seems like a no brainier to me. Unless Ross actually has a better plan! We're all ears buddy!

Maybe

he heard college kids run on Dunkin'?

I don't live in Mission Hill but I've had many donuts from Mike's - many, many, many donuts - and they approach true excellence. I wouldn't buy a donut from DD unless I were starving to death and couldn't find an unlocked dumpster or a cat corpse. I can't see DD stealing much business from Mike's, but YMMV, as the interwebs say.

Maybe the coffee place in the T station is run by constituents and the DD franchisees don't live in Ross' district? Maybe the T is afraid its tenant will be driven out of business and it won't have those extra bucks for all the daily improvements to the Orange Line?

Whoops, noticed the DD'ers do live in MH. So now I have no idea.Other than T/Orange Line.

Impacts

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I'm sorry, it should not be up to neighbors to decide which businesses should and should not be able to locate in their neighborhood (assuming the zoning already allows it). If Dunkins thinks they will do well there then they should be able to open there. I do think it's reasonable for the neighborhood to work with them on planning of deliveries, disposal of trash, cleanliness of sidewalks, etc. to ensure that it's all handled in a way that allows people to sleep at night, avoids large double parked trucks, and keeps the street clean.

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Any Update on This?

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I was wondering if anyone had heard an update on how this turned out?

I live in the neighborhood and would be THRILLED to have a Dunks there.