Chinatown gentrification: Longtime bakery loses lease; shuts down

Now closed Chinatown bakery

Earlier this summer.

The Fort Pointer reports:

The wonderful Chinatown bakery at corner of Harrison and Beach St has closed. "Loss of Lease. Closed after 33 Years."

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GREED

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If we had a real media in this city they would do a story on the unrealistic rise in Commercial rents in that area. A store that was 25 to 50 per sq ft a few years ago is now between 100 and 250 per sq ft. No one but a corporate giant could afford that. It's insane.

The market doesn't even remotely dictate those kind of prices. They prefer to leave a space empty and wait. I hope that market tanks. The only other option is lots more Gap outlets, Banana Republics and Forever 21's. So long interesting destination shopping. Might as well stay in the burbs and hit the mall. They have free parking at least. It's a disgrace.

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It's a mini bubble. The fact

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It's a mini bubble. The fact that stores like Radio Shack are going under and Macy's is closing 5% of it's stores proves that the public isn't supporting these chains. If the people aren't spending then obviously the market doesn't dictate these huge increases. It's literally based on hope and fantasy.

Merely because there is a lot of construction (Millenium Tower) and there is some activity in the area doesn't remotely mean that there is a strong enough local economy to support this development. Many more stores are struggling than are thriving. These giant rents are unsupportable and will just breed more empty storefronts and less mom and pop stores.

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So what can be done?

I don't disagree with you that there might be a bubble. And the loss of small stores sucks. But rent control does not work and any efforts to control the market tend to backfire.

It's not like this trend is new. The city is in constant flux. What's considered overpriced luxury housing/commercial property today might be the dirt-cheap in 20 years. (And it was cheap 20 years ago.) A lot of people will go bankrupt and lose money in the meantime and some will guess right and score big.

The smart move might be to move to Detroit and buy up all you can while it's still cheap. I hear in 2045 it's going to be completely unaffordable.

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What can be done by anyone is

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What can be done by anyone is spending money at good independent stores and restaurants instead of chain ones. Go to one of the many excellent and affordable Chinatown restaurants instead of McDonalds. If we ignore the crappy chains they will go away.

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Easier said then done

Did the coffee shop in question go under due to lack of sales? Unlikely. A small business can only raise prices so much before few will shop there. The fact is these landlords are raising prices to be so high as to make it impossible for any business which doesn't have huge purchasing power (Starbucks, etc) to survive.

As for shopping local, it's a catch 22. To afford to live in the city you need to be thrifty if you don't have a huge paycheck. But to be thrifty you need to shop online and not go out to eat often, etc. But if you buy online and don't go out to eat often than the small businesses close.

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Exactly

And these places can't pay the rent no matter how many $4 sandwiches they sell hence the reason so many places are closing.

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no effort to keep the city affordable for middle class or poor

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Wall Street firms bought a ton of East Boston apartment buildings. The rents went up right away and many of the people living there can't afford the new rent.

Chinatown has a new luxury condo tower. Folks in Chinatown are organizing a land trust to keep some of the rents affordable.

Southie is notoriously gentrified.

In the early 80s it was the South End that was being bought, renovated and flipped.

Folks who live near Egelston are getting priced out.

Boston real estate is in play and as far as I can tell, there is no effort to keep the city affordable for middle class or poor.

We have the 3rd highest income inequality in the US and third highest wealth inequality in the US.

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The middle class?

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Income inequality is a result of a combination of white flight (middle class moving away) and rent control (keeping the middle class from moving back). That, and the bitter bitter complaining that happens whenever people who can just barely afford a nicer place in a rough neighborhood come in and get blamed for raising prices because let's hope white middle class people don't actually want to own a place actually IN Boston. It sucks when you realize, as a household with two working parents, that you could definitely live somewhere nicer if one of you stopped working. Several nicer places really, though I suppose we would have to ditch the dog for most of them.

Speaking as one of those people who was "priced out of Egelston" (or priced from one side of it to the other at least).

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Rent control?

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It's not 1985 anymore and Boston doesn't have rent control, but it does have a lot of income inequality.

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Seattle's looking at reviving rent control to keep it affordable

According to a recent article in The New York Times, Boston ranked third highest on the list of cities with growing income inequality. The article notes that the top 1% of households captured 90% of the income gained since the recent recession. Some families are falling out of the middle class.

According to the The Boston Globe, Boston's is losing middle-income families. Some lost income. Some are are moving away.

Real estate market is tight.

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HELLO?

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I don't think the people commenting have any idea about the difference between commercial real estate and residential but whatever.

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Eastie

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That is what I am counting on in Eastie. Crime, trash, and very poor performing local schools has been the norm for decades that are only now starting to turn around in the past 7 years or so with more interest from outside of Eastie. Starbucks Yes Please!!

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If Eastie got a Starbucks

I'd probably leave. I moved here because it was cheap and I scored an amazing apartment, I stayed because I love the neighborhood and consider it home more than I do Boston as a city. Between developers and what I read on various Facebook groups, it seems like a lot of people are embracing the idea of being the next South Boston. Yes, a lot has changed over the years and there is still more work to do to clean up the neighborhood, but adding more big brand chain garbage, especially one that goes out of its way to damage communities, isn't the answer.

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eastie

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Why wouldnt many of us embrace the changes. Do not lie and say you like the retail options. Bennington and meridian are an absolute disgrace. No real variety and the sidewalks are always filthy. I would rather chains than the lackluster retail we have now.

I want a wrap around harborwalk, more bike paths. Safer streets with less gangs likely their involvement being related to two recent tragic killings.

I want school to continue the trend of increased performance. I want blighted houses restored, abandoned lots revitalized and develop.

What do you think the result of these things that I am.sure many wanrt?

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We can have those things

Without inviting Starbucks and the like in. We have plenty of great local "chains" like Boston Common Coffee Co., Thinking Cup, etc.

I want the same things you want, but look when you start looking to big national brands and chains and the like, you don't get restored houses-you get houses knocked down for luxury condos.The more money pumped in from big time brands, the more return they want. I love and frequent a lot of restaurants and take out joints around the neighborhood and those are some of the things that make it so great to live here.

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Eastie

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I would prefer more luxury condos but with a push for retail or restaurant on the first floor. Condor Street could definitely use a lot of revitalization. Border is on an upswing with the 2 brand new townhomes each selling for $650k.

Many of the homes are in need of severe renovations so I personally wouldn't mind more knocked down. I would love something done with the several auto body shops that line all of Condor basically and the part of Bremen right across from the park. But alas, I might own but I don't have that much to do anything of that scale.

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Luxury is killing this city.

Revitalization and retail are great things, but the luxury part is whats killing the city.

Border is on an upswing with the 2 brand new townhomes each selling for $650k.

Many of us can't afford to buy for anywhere near that, or the rents that would be charged on a place like that. And even those of you who already own would see your home valuation and property taxes skyrocket.

There are a ton of great old buildings in Eastie, I'd love to see those restored over anything else.

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Rent control as used in

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Rent control as used in Boston had many problems. That does not mean that a new program, differently structured and written, wouldn't work.

However, I'm not sure how much rent control effected commercial spaces her-- I was renting mostly in DC, NYC, & Va. during the rent-control era-- maybe it had an impact in Boston.

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Radio Shack?

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I'm thinking they didn't go under because of some real-estate bubble but because of 30 years of becoming increasingly irrelevant - just like Sears is doing.

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Perhaps

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Perhaps that's a bad example but if you take a look at the lease terms of new leases in the area and what is happening when long established businesses have their leases come up for renewal you will see a disturbing trend of landlords pricing them out of the market.

If you need proof just call the real estate co renting out the old Radio Shack space on Winter Street. Just don't have a full mouth of coffee when they tell you the rent they hope to collect.

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$$$$

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13K/month for 1100 sq feet.

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Radio Shack

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Pretty much. After being strong early leaders in the home-computer market with the TRS-80, they missed the boat when the world switched to IBM compatibles. In particular their IBM-compatibles weren't 100% compatible. There was some question at the time as to whether a 100% compatible BIOS could be manufactured without infringing IBM's patents. Radio Shack took the cautious route and guessed "no"--an understandable decision at the time--but they guessed wrong. Compaq had a clean-room BIOS that used no infringing code and prevailed in court, paving the way for the "PC clone" market that RS had missed.

Meanwhile RS abandoned their traditional market--electronics hobbyists--in favor of concentrating on mediocre consumer electronics and radio-controlled cars and other toys. They could have done really well bringing the "maker" thing to Middle America, serving robotics hobbyists, selling low-cost 3D printers, and so on...but they took a wrong turn somewhere. Online sales killed the market for all but the highest-end consumer electronics, and RC toys sold okay at winter holiday time but left them starving the other 10-11 months of the year.

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Same with Xinh Xinh just a

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Same with Xinh Xinh just a block down. It will be a true shame if we lose our Chinatown.

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while I agree

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But the asian community will move elsewhere. It's sad, I agree.

Just look at Malden and Quincy centers these days..

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XINH XINH CLOSED?!

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XINH XINH CLOSED?! I didn't have a dog in the fight until just now, but you can take my nuclear-spicy phở đặc biệt when you pry it from my cold dead hands. Which property management company do I need to firebomb to make this right?

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I remember that place so well

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I remember that place so well from my childhood. My dad loved taking me down that winding staircase to see the old man selling books. I literally grew up with Chinatown and losing Chinatown would literally be losing a part of my childhood.

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An unrelated but interesting

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An unrelated but interesting fact about that building: It's only one story tall because the Atlantic Avenue elevated branch of (what's now) the Orange Line swung over it to make the turn from Harrison to Beach. It closed in 1938, and was torn down in 1942.

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What a bummer!

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The fact that a really great bakery that was familiar and wonderful for the neighborhood lost its lease is horrible.

Another example of developers going overboard. It's terrible.

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Interesting to see the

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Interesting to see the Michelle Wu and Bill Linehan signs next to each other. That alone gives me more insight into her absurd vote for him for CC president. Her explanation of bridging the progressive and conservative sides of the CC was complete nonsense. Her lack of convincing explanation tells me she hasn't even sold that story to herself. It's all about her kowtowing to Chinatown power players who are supportive of Linehan. Every CC debacle these past two years is a direct result of his presidency and her vote in support of it.

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It is surprising to see his sign up on the building.

All of the Chinatown residents I've talked with are not Linehan supporters. They mostly voted for Suzanne Lee last election.

I also don't think Wu made a mistake voting for Linehan. Because of what he's done, she now has a good example of what a train wreck looks like.

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For those not familiar with the neighborhood

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For those not familiar with the neighborhood (but still eager to derail a discussion about it nevertheless), those signs have been there for a long time and may not even date from the same election.

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Gentrification is an often

Gentrification is an often misused term, but when it comes to the erosion of something that is a key element of the city’s identity it’s a shame. Chinatown and the North End are part of what makes Boston great. Hopefully something interesting will take this business’s place, but given the nearby real estate values it seems that decline is inevitable for that neighborhood.

I’m a little more concerned about the new Ink Block pushing out Ming’s (now New York Mart). The Chinese population north of the city is steadily growing in Acton, Lexington, Arlington, Winchester, and Malden but there aren’t any decent Chinese grocery stores in the area. H-Mart in Burlington and a lesser extent the one in Cambridge help fill that void, but it’s not the same. Malden has a half empty Super 88 that isn’t really worth the drive and it’s pretty impractical to drive down to Kam Man in Quincy when you want groceries. Hopefully a few years down the line we’ll see some of the giant, clean, Chinese chains like they have in California.

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I agree and yet...

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The Italian population of the North End has been dwindling for years as waves of immigrants (and their kids and grandkids) move out of the city to either new ethnic enclaves or more assimilated ones--mostly North shore. Ditto Chinatown--still plenty of Chinese immigrants obv but also Vietnamese since the late 1970s and now many folks are moving to Quincy, Malden, etc. The power of corporate and market forces are distressing but you also can't preserve a community against its natural movement outwards and onwards. Just part of city life.

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I agree, it seems inevitable.

I agree, it seems inevitable. Looking at Manhattan, there’s not much left of Little Italy and if you want top quality Chinese food you’re going to go to Flushing, not Chinatown (although there are still some good spots.) The thing is, the North End comparison doesn’t quite fit what’s going on with Chinese immigration since it’s just now gathering steam whereas I think of waves of Western European immigrants as a thing of generations past. We’ll see when new census data hits, but most educated mainlanders seem to be moving directly to the suburbs and spots like Lexington are seeing a lot of growth because of the focus on getting kids into top educational systems. More authentic Chinese food is coming North of the city and H-Mart is a three ring circus every weekend, but I’m curious to see what market forces will yield in terms of businesses that cater to this demographic.

I kind of got off point though – I live North of the city and driving by the construction at the Ink Block I just feel like I’m going to lose the grocery stores across the street from there that I go to most weekends! It might seem kind of trivial, but it’s one of the things that keeps my family tied to the city. Maybe the closure of this bakery is a one off event, but it does seem like further evidence that the writing is on the wall.

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Little Italy is one street,

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Little Italy is one street, and it was swallowed by Chinatown, not gentrified. Taken over might be another good word for it, too. The new wave of Chinese immigrants are generally Mandarin speaking mainlanders (as you pointed out) who are generally high skilled engineers on H1B1 visas and are very different than the existing Cantonese/Toisanese focused immigrants that populated Chinatown usually fleeing political persecution - simply the two groups are very different and historically don't get along.

As for whats happening, the Vietnamese long ago moved to Fields Corner and there are a few very good restaurants there. The Korean population seems to be strong and growing in Allston, and Chinese/mix of misc has taken hold in Quincy. Good to know there is growth in the north of the city, too.

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Worth noting though, the kind of Chinese immigrant is different

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Chinatown has traditionally been a hub of Cantonese immigrants mainly from Hong Kong, and generally of those less wealthy.

The immigrants who are now and have been in recent years moving to Lexington and Acton are primarily nouveau riche Mainlanders. The Malden group seems to be dominated by another population, the Chinese grad students and young Mainland families.

I suppose the South Shore (Quincy, Braintree) is where all the Canto immigrants have been heading now that they can't afford Chinatown, and the community there seems to be doing pretty well. But the Chinatown in Boston proper is what I knew when my family first came here, a bit of our old home in our new home, and it's sad to see it slowly erode away. And even if new, similar spots pop up in Lexington and Malden, it's not the same - partly because it's just not steeped in the same history and tradition that Chinatown is, but also because the people there...don't really feel like home.

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I always find it funny

That developers and real estate owners think destroying the types of things and places that make people want to live here in the first place is a brilliant idea.

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Here is the thing though

All those buildings being built are filling up fast. Rents are going up. Retail space is tough to come by. Whatever the developers are doing, is working for them. It may not be working for you, but they are making money. At the end of the day, they don't care if it changes the neighborhood.

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It won't last

and will eventually have a lot of negative effects. Take a look at what's happening in San Francisco, where the murder rate is up 71% YoY, and even touristy areas that were always havens for petty crimes are now seeing shootings and armed robberies. Just a few weeks ago, a tourist was shot a block from the famous crooked section of Lombard. As people get pushed out, they're getting more desperate, and with more big money coming in, those who are left are all easy targets. Things are "working out" for developers there as well, but lifelong residents of the city are being forced out, there's a significant shortage of teachers because none of them can afford to live in the city, and businesses in every category are failing or being forced to close at an alarming rate-even their duckboat operation just shut down, because it couldn't make money despite doing huge business at one of the most popular tourist traps in one of the most visited cities in the country, if not the world.

Yes, we're a different city, but you'd be surprised at how similar things are between the two. I'd say Boston is probably where SF was 3-4 years ago with regard to affordability, overdevelopment, and "losing its soul," and if things keep trending this way, it's going to be ugly in a few years.

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I don't think SF is an apt

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I don't think SF is an apt comparison - we are very different cities culturally and historically. SF has insane rents and is building luxury in the Tenderloin, Mission, etc, which are historically not good areas and were never cleaned up (like Boston's Combat Zone). Of course that is whats going to happen when you start building in areas like that - it would be the same thing if we started putting up luxury hotels and high rises off Blue Hill Avenue. Life long residents are getting pushed out of where? The neighborhoods? Cause the ones that were working class still are and the ones that weren't are still the same with expensive housing stock (and many own already).

Lastly, teachers being pushed out? Really? We take care of our teachers very well, as we should:

http://btu.org/contract-highlights/2010-2016-contract-highlights-for-tea...

Bare minimum entry level is 50k+ a year, maxing out at over 100k, and you progress pretty quickly from that baseline.

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I didn't say we were there yet

And I think it's actually a very good comparison. For starters, the Tenderloin as we know it is not going anywhere. Sure, a few small changes here and there, but it's one of the few well protected areas of the city regarding overdevelopment. And I'd say the development of South Boston, East Boston, and Downtown Crossing are all pretty good examples of "historically not good" areas getting the luxury touch. Just because it hasn't hit everywhere yet doesn't mean it won't.

Speaking of the first two, have you walked down the street in either neighborhood lately? Because Southie sure doesn't look like a working class neighborhood anymore, and East Boston has changed drastically in the 4 years I've lived there. I just moved (within the neighborhood) after being in the same place since 2011, and the rents even "regular" landlords were asking for blew my mind.

Then there are the stories about working middle class families being priced out of Boston. Like this one from the Globe 3 days ago.

As far as the teacher thing goes, it's just an example of what's happening there, I'm not saying the same exact profession will be the one that goes into crisis mode here. Yes, we are different cities, but the core idea of what is happening is the same.

Edit: Also, for what it's worth, this, and this which features the quote

giving schools greater latitude to hire teachers from the outside, which in turn leaves veteran teachers without job assignments.
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Eastie's waterfront is

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Eastie's waterfront is gentrifying, maybe, and has maybe been gentrifying for decades. Southie has gentrified due to its location downtown and it was pretty quick and complete (for being the crack capital of the city) with majority of 'undesirables' removed (think renters and then owners cashing out). Downtown Crossing was bad in the 80s/90s and decayed, but historically was a nice place. I guess one could argue the same of Eastie when more gangs like MS13 moved in. I will admit Southie was a shithole (at least Bulger era till the present). And yeah, I can remember Eastie from a lot longer ago when hanging out with my friends who grew up there (and all their family still lives their, imagine that - they were all immigrants, too). Bit nicer now, I guess, and less crime, which is nice. Rents seem to still be sub 2k and a 1 stop ride to downtown which is also nice.

Southie is also very different now (all though Shanon's still stands) from when I went over as a kid to visit my family that lived there. Admittedly more yuppies, but still a decent amount of working class. My family did leave - but they all cashed out and moved to the 'burbs.

I have ready that article and there was a lively discussion about it on /r/boston. General consensus was it was kind of BS.

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Eastie is much more than the waterfront

Eagle Hill is quickly gentrifying as well (I was admittedly part of this early on) and it's gotten more noticeable every fall. Much of Jeffries Point is over $2k now as well, and it's getting crazier every year.

As far as the article goes, I don't have any kids so can only speak from what I see in the news, so if I'm wrong there, than so be it. As I stated before, I used teachers as an example from another city and did note that it could be other professions here.

And regardless, at the core of everything, I'm arguing that Boston is getting pricier and pricier, and when places like this close, the city loses some of its soul and the things that make it great, especially if they're just replaced by chains or luxury whatevers. This will have a major impact on the future of the city, because it WILL lose its appeal, and big developers and chains are more than willing to cut and run at the first sign of trouble.

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I'm already there

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Boston is already experiencing "brain drain" as people who come here for education or training are more and more deciding they can't afford to stay (or can't wait to leave). Add that a lot of academics take lower paying jobs at world class institutions because of the prestige, and I can already point to several people I know who have left the city or even the state simply because they couldn't afford to stay.

That said, it's not for lack of regulation of the housing market here. In fact, I would say that it's the opposite. The city and BRA hold hundreds of empty lots that they won't sell except under special conditions, they make any kind of housing development go through a truly tortured process that then results in "the idea we started with" despite resident input or complaints, but they then don't follow through to make sure things were done right or penalize known bad players. The result is that we have housing for the truly poor, but the middle class and anyone who wants to start a business get priced out because they can't afford to wait 5-10 years to start a project they can afford.

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Teachers?

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Most of the BPS teachers my kid had lived outside of the city and I think that's largely true across the BTU. Not an overwhelming majority but certainly it's not like 80% of BTU members live in the city and are now being priced out. Anecdotally, the nicest house on our street is owned and lived in by a teacher, which is fine with me. I suspect the folks like the garbage men and DPW crews are being priced out, not the teachers.

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Even still

My original comment about teachers in SF was an example of what's happening there, and I did state that it may be other professions that see it here.

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BTW, I forgot to add this in

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BTW, I forgot to add this in my last post:

The Tenderloin, last I was there (maybe 2 months ago), had a ton of hipster bars, and has had for awhile brand new luxury hotels. The problem is it was never cleaned out/up like the Combat Zone was systematically dismantled here so you get this really, really odd mix of street level hustle and ultra wealth. Also, SF is very different as the residents there (of all standings) are heavily against doing anything to remove these elements from the city at all - which is way different than the mentality here (although our NIMBYism do meet on a quite a few other issues).

Lastly, in regards to that article - it has said middle class families have been steadily (but slowly) leaving since the 90s and is a 20 year study. I don't see how correlation == causation here ("The studies did not include data on what exactly is happening to these families...") Most people I know who moved out did it because the schools here suck and are terrible. Maybe they stick it out with a parochial school, but if the kids don't make it into BLS/BLA they are definitely gone to a suburb city with better schools. Why would they stay in the city and give their children a shit education if they are middle class and can afford much better and not be that much further outside the city?

Lets take some examples/anecdotes from the article:

Sanchez-Lopez: South End? Really? This has been crazy expensive for 20 years now and is almost Back Bay level given its proximity. West Roxbury has been an middle/upper-middle class (expansive) neighborhood for longer than 20 years - its basically Boston's mini Brookline. Chelsea - not even part of Boston, but Zillow shows me 3-4 bedroom condos and single family homes between 200k and 290k. Rents seem to be reasonable, too. They make a combined 90k - that would mean those houses in Chelsea are priced at 2x their yearly income....

They could have went to Hyde Park or other neighborhoods in the city that are as cheap, if not cheaper than Chelsea and Randolph.

Marie Bain - I mean this sucks, but they don't really get into detail. From what I can tell she stopped working (to take her of her terminally ill son) and lost her house. Assuming she owned she probably defaulted on it, making getting anything else a nightmare. Seems like mitigating circumstances. There rentals in Hyde Park, btw, in the 1500-1600$ range (2 bedrooms). Even more in Mattapan, and Dorchester, too.

Espinal: Last one, makes 70k. Getting evicted from his apartment in Roslindale - sorry, but you can't get evicted just because the landlord sold the property, there has to be other issues. Give the 1/3 rule, he can afford up to about 2,100$ a month in rent. You can get a 2b/2b in Westie for that (new construction, too), and probably cheaper in Rozzie if you look around.

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East Boston

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I have lived and owned in East Boston for 7 years. I like the changes as do many of the real old timers and many others that moved in about the same time as me or a little earlier. Grit, crime, machete attacks, and litter everywhere you go in Eagle Hill is nothing to be proud of. You might be willing to accept if you rent just to save a buck but for those that own and have settled down in this neighborhood we are not willing to compromise in the same way. We want clean sidewalks, a better variety of local retail stores, and while I love Oliveiras and Santarpios I would like to see an even greater selection of various cuisines.

You were here 4 years ago, well guess what you should have bought when condos could be picked up for $75-$150k.

Look at our school system, they only started to turn around within the last 5-10 years hmm that sort of ties in with when the changes started to occur.

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Why would they?

At the end of the day, they don't care if it changes the neighborhood.

Make no mistake: The developers are out of state publicly traded companies. You damn right they don't care about the neighborhood. Often the developers plan to flip the properties in a few years anyway.

For them a high paying stable tenant (CVS, Five Guys, etc) is going to make it a lot easier to sell and more palatable for their investors. Local shop = unknown = risk. And they really hate long term leases to local companies as it makes it that much harder to sell the property to the next investor. The fear of only getting $160/ft when they could potentially be getting $220/ft makes them that much more likely to let the space sit vacant.

I've now seen this first hand. These developers/investors are scum. But they are cautious scum and have a deathly fear of any store that isn't a household name to their international shareholders.

Expect more CityTargets.

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We're on the same page here

regarding developers. But it's going to come back and bite everyone in the ass.

Because you know what will happen when the city reaches the tipping point? Many of the smaller investors will lose everything when the bubble pops, and the bigger ones that care about the money first and the city third will start looking at the next round of cities like Pittsburgh, Seattle, and Charlotte that are becoming the new "it" cities for people to flock to, just like Boston was a decade ago, and leave Boston in the dust with a whole bunch of empty retail space and condos that nobody wants, at least nobody who can afford them. Again, locals who managed to stay and those of us from elsewhere who have made it, and will continue to attempt to make it, home will be left to pick up the pieces.

Edit: And neither here nor there, but for what it's worth, Target is already rebranding CityTarget and Target Express stores to just be "Target"

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Depends on where.

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My area in Cambridge has a glut of commercial rentals from hare brained rent raising schemes.

The Cambridge Lyndells building has been dead for two years, the Futon dump on Prospect has been dead as long.

It's like there was a wave of estate transfers and purchases that expected to get rates comparable to residential and they got skunked.

There has been a watershed change in the value of brick and mortar locations in the years since Amazon and E Bay began.

If you were to pay attention and really think about it, what works with these mom and pop shop models?

Mainly vanity businesses, (nail decoration and hair helmet shops, spas and yoga spots, vintage clothing, restaurant's, maybe, and a mini mart or two.)

And there is a glut of these. Chinatown does have other bakeries around the corner. That one looked to have old school Kuomintang values, a common thing there.

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the futon dump

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is becoming a day care. the lyndells could have been a tasty burger except for a disagreement about the liquor license.

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You also have Prospect Liquor's ghost.

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And then there is the old shabby market that was next to Ace Hardware. Central Square has a dead Citi Bank and a long running mystery space next to the Work Bar.

There's an overload of day care too. There are just too few viable store front business models being chased by too many realtors. The first floor of my building has a spa in its 1k square feet but we 'only' charge around 2400 a month and it's a less grubby location than old stomped downtown Boston charging $13,000.

And as for woulda coulda Lyndells, the idiot owners shoulda factored in what a handful Cambridge is to get anything permitted. So once again, greedy and dumb.

Any idea what is up with the brand new retail space in the luxury dump at the corner of Prospect and Hampshire where K Fry was?

And how can I forget the wretched little building on Prospect that once housed Cultural Survival?

That thing tried to be an Arabic grocer assuming proximity to the Mosque would be a sure thing.But it had no parking to speak of. The proprietors choked and skipped town sticking the owner with huge costs for the renovation.

The adjoining Lost Sock Laundry died after stinking winos camped out there last winter. They'd scrounge cans and convene to drink gallon jugs of crap wine.

Realty shills are not reliable with claims about the hot market when it comes to this sector of office/retail.

There's a lot of inventory and more on the way.

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prospect liquor

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is coming back with a different (presumably, less stupid) owner.

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I beg to differ

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First of all Millennium Tower isn't remotely finished and those multi million dollar dwellings aren't even close to being sold. The Godfrey hotel isn't done and many other projects are in the building phase so to say that they are all a success is a bit premature.

What the point is evidenced in the article below is that there is a collective push from the property owners to raise the value of their properties. They think that by throwing out the small local businesses and leaving their spots vacant that eventually they will hook a big fish.

This is short sighted and disingenuous as well as risky. It hurts the whole community because then the goods and services they are used to getting are either gone or twice as expensive because in order to pay exorbitant rents, they have to be. No one really wins. In the end many new businesses go under and many properties remain a blight because no one rents them.

Check out what happened in NY:

http://www.newyorker.com/business/currency/why-are-there-so-many-shutter...

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Combat Zone

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I don't think anyone is in favor of bringing back the Zone. That's isn't the point at all. There should be a before and after picture of the Maxim Coffee house full of customers and empty.

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combat zone

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I'm in favor of the combat zone all the residents thought it make it better but all the developer came in and build luxury apt the arch stone which they sold off then the Kensington what low income immigrant chinatown can afford 2500 for a one bedroom now everywhere there will disappear

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Combat Zone, con't.

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that there are a lot of people around here, and many who live in the immediate vicinity, who have no idea what the Combat Zone was, tells me a lot about this "debate" (i.e., that the outcome was settled a long time ago).

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Just my opinion

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But I feel as if gentrifications legit ruining Boston....I mean at this rate in 30 years our cities going to have no more distinct identity, but rather just Starbucks', Paneras', and Luxury condos.

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Agreed.

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One small step you can take though is NOT to go to places that you don't want taking over your neighborhood. I'm getting pretty tired of people complaining, say, about how their local bookstore is going out of business while they rush home to uncrate their latest Amazon order. If you want the local coffee shop to survive, you have to go there and encourage your friends and neighbors to as well--it's that simple.

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Correction, Destroyed

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Boring, bleached, outrageously expensive, no character - it's a giant college campus/office park. This has been happening for 20+ years and anyone with half a brain could see it coming a mile away. Boston is for college kids, tourists, and out-of-towners. Not much special or regional about the city anymore. It's just 'blah'. I'll be living in Lowell or Worcester or some Massachusetts hinterland where middle/working class people, immigrants, and musicians/artists can eek out an existence together, while Boston continues to vie for most uninspired city on the East Coast.

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Owned by Billy Chin

Isn't this property owned by Billy Chin, brother of "Uncle Frank" Chin? He's owned it for 30 years now.

Just another investor looking to make a quick buck, lol.

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I saw what you did there

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Just another investor looking to make a quick buck, lol.

I saw what you did there.

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Agreed

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Are all the Chinese owners who sell these buildings at top dollar also "scum" (to use a previous commenter's term)? Or just the buyers? It takes two to tango, no one's forcing anyone to sell.

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Who is the Landlord (or owner

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Who is the Landlord (or owner)? Are they selling the property or are just getting a new Tenant?

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