Cambridge Day reports, is not amused.
Cambridge Planners who favor high density results in high property costs and ever higher rents that most businesses can't afford. Hence, we end up with ever increasing numbers of big retailers, banks, Starbucks, cell phone stores, and expensive condos. Hooray for "smart growth". We'll probably also see Indian restaurants driven out as they were in Central Square.
Mark, are you advocating the solution is to keep things low density? Which low density tends to signify a lifestyle system where the only way to get around between any location is by car?
Not to mention that it is arguable that you are citing the wrong cause here. High density by nature means it is high supply by more efficient use of space whereas low density is low supply for the same around of ground. My understanding that this means high density design issue is not density in and of itself (unless you are arguing making building multi-story buildings raises construction and maintenance that much, but the fact lots of businesses want have a spot (aka high demand).
The solution is then having more high-density to increase supply to meet demand (or something that lower demand in a high density area).
Your argument implies low density design. Which means your solution is you keep rent low by having the low density make it not desirable (so even lower demand against a low supply). That is self-defeating. You solve the problem of high rent by making it undesirable.
Show me where expensive, high rise buildings have made commercial space cheaper? Do owners offer dirt cheap leases despite having huge debt and taxes to pay? Did Boston or Cambridge become more affordable when vacancy rates increased?
Taxpayers picked up the tab for extending the red line to Porter and Davis Squares, making the real estate much more desirable and valuable. Where is the payoff for our investment? Will we get a profit back from real estate boosts from the Green Line Extension?
I think you have the causality backward here. Places that have high density are that way because they are are expensive. Keeping expensive places at lower density will drive costs higher. See what's happening in Silicon Valley. Low density zoning there abounds, but because there is such high demand for housing, prices are absurd.
Boston/Cambridge is expensive because it's desirable. Preventing denser building will not bring down housing costs.
I don't think a skyscraper built in rural Indiana, for example, would command premium rents.
It is possible to have high density and affordable pricing. Look at prices in Chicago. Chicago allows much taller buildings than Boston, but the prices are a lot lower.
It is a problem when fancy buildings replace old buildings which held low-rent storefronts. But that has nothing to do with Walgreens replacing Pier One in an existing building.
Mark, I cosign with JCK as my response and example. But I want to add my own little piece too. By asking this question: What good is low density to keep store rent cheap through undesirability? Again, I have to mention your point is self-defeating. It is paradoxial, yes. But the Japanese shops and all the restaurants would not be there if it were low density.
Also the profit of Porter and Davis Squares is the liveliness and energy of the area (also the property, meal, and sale taxes). Don't you enjoy going there with all the good food and people? (If you respond, I do expect you want to make an argument of public vs private to generate these centers. Let me say now I do sympathize the idea of letting private forces be the creators, but I also want to mention I care about results and this is pretty nice. Also that people tend to criticize public money going to public transit but not to roads. A public vs private argument need to not get that confused too.)
Land Value Tax. Or Georgism if you will.
so, yeah, now I can get "sushi" at Walgreens instead. Great. Whatever. Nothing matters to me anymore. I have to check my pulse to make sure I'm still alive.
Miso Market, a block north of Porter Square in the old Bob Slate building. Its future is unclear, as it is the only remaning open store in its building. (McIntyre & Moore closed, Bob Slate closed, and Stellabella Toys moved to Elm Street on the edge of Davis Square.)
I used to live in Porter Square not to long ago (2006ish) (within 2 minutes of the shopping center).
As much as I hate the chain-nification of America, this might be a good thing for Porter Square. The Super Walgreens will have an expanded food section. And between the overpriced Shaw's and what little offerings that crowded CVS offers, Walgreens might be welcome as it might give the two existing stores a reason to lower their prices.
IMHO that whole strip mall is just gouge-city because of its location.
Dunno, seems unlikely to me. Seeing as all three (walgreens, cvs, shaws) are chains I'd expect the prices to be set by some central management and that prices would remain the same until the store became unprofitable and then it would just close.
I don't think I've been in a Super Walgreens, but the regular Walgreens near me started replacing some of the food selection with Walgreens branded food.