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South Boston doggie daycare suddenly shuts down

Fenway Bark on W. 1 Street shut down tonight.

In an e-mail to customers, owner Jane Fulton said she'd been planning to close by month's end, in any case, as she tries to find a new location, but:

The current building has failed. The roof is letting in significant amounts of water and can not be heated adequately where leaks and roof holes are prevalent.

Fulton, who originally tried to open on E. 1 Street, writes she's despairing of finding a new location, due to the South Boston condo craze:

We tried what locations remain after so many industrial zoned areas have become sprawling condominium and apartment developments. What remains of industrial property, which is the only zoning allowing for dog care, has become outrageously expensive, three times what I pay at this location and the prior location. In the end, the math simply doesn't work because no matter how much someone earns, paying $100 a day for dog care simply isn't palatable for anyone. ...

The Department of Business Development for Boston has tried to help us find property but they ran into the same issues we did with our independent efforts and with those of realtors in the area.

We would love to carry on but simply don't see a path to allow that to happen short of buying a building and the asking price in the market well exceeds $500 psf now. The asking prices are untenable for a small business like us. We have a potential property in our sights in a less expensive part of Boston and if that comes to bear, we will be announcing it to you first. However, the commute would be 20 minutes away.

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Comments

I was saddened to hear this. The owners (Jane and Jim) as well as the staff at Fenway Bark are hard working, caring people that added a much needed service to the community. But they are being forced out of the community by the greed that has taken over South Boston.
Small business owners cannot compete with the developers when trying to purchase property. If they rent, they are at the mercy of greedy landlords. Just ask Billy from Murphy's Jewelry that made news a few weeks ago when he received notice to vacate a storefront that he has occupied for over 40 years.
The loss of small business = the further demise of South Boston...sad.

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Southie's "demise" started 15 years ago.

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1995...20 years ago during the dot com boom and yuppies were looking for a cheap place to live. my friends older brother was one of the original SoBo Yuppies in the late 90s.

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Are you seriously trying to get "So-Bo" trending.....

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It's pathetic. Don't feed the troll.

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Please please please do not start calling it So-Bo. That is the absolute worst.

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How many of these new condo buildings lack street level retail space due to the community demands that new buildings provide 1+ spaces per unit of off-street parking?

Just look at the horrid 49 L Street as an example of this kind of waste. An ugly, unfriendly wall hiding a street-level parking garage.

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Waves of new buildings that could have had small retail spaces, but neighborhood opposition and the demand for parking wouldn't allow it.

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the ground floor of that building is hideous. When they were building it I wondered when they would finish the ground floor, but nope, just cinder block.

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Neighborhood opposition? Who do you expect to have a say on what goes on in the neighborhood? Somebody from Cambridge who drives through Boston to visit mommy and daddy on the South Shore?
A few years ago when this doggy day care wanted to move into a residential area of Southie, all the Socialist were calling the neighbors NIMBYs. The owners touted how they were going to be good neighbors, vehicle traffic would be minimal and the noise would be nonexistent.
The City found space for them at Marine Industrial Park where they got booted after a short time. Traffic and parking was horrible and the constant dog barking pushed the other tenants to complain. Imagine too much noise in an industrial park.
Now they moved to a commercial area where new condo developments are popping up all around them. What do you think is going to happen?

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Considering how inconsiderate dog owners are the neighborhood will be better off without this business.

...and this is coming from a yuppie who loves and owns dogs.

- The Original SoBo Yuppie

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But they are being forced out of the community by the greed that has taken over South Boston.

Greed?

So, when someone sells a piece of property for what it's worth, that's greed?

Look, I'm an animal lover and volunteer at our local shelter. Calling this situation greed is getting a bit dramatic. It looks like real estate in this area has simply gotten too expensive to run something like a doggie day care. Or, to make the numbers work, they would have to double/triple/etc. their prices, which people may not want to pay.

I'd love to see what you would do if you were sitting on a house worth $800k and wanted to sell it. Would you sell it for $400k to "save the neighborhood", or would you be "greedy" and sell it for $800k?

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I guess you didn't read the part in her letter where she describes the building's dilapidated condition. Yes, rent is much cheaper in a dilapidated building. If you walk by this windowless building/shed in the evening during any season of the year after closing hours, you can hear dogs crying inside all night long in what she professes is an inadequately heated structure.

Basically, the business model of this small business is not sustainable if they factor in the cost of an adequate structure.

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Let's see where they pop up. I wish them all the luck in the world.

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Gentrification's great and all, however I feel as if it's (in some sense) ruining Southie. **This is coming from a South Boston "yuppie"**

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It's because we're not building fast enough, and the stuff we are building gives over way too much space to the storage of cars.

It's not like this is a decades-old business. Doggie daycare is hardly blue collar! The constraints on this business are NIMBY-driven bad zoning. What is industrial about dog-sitting?

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"Yuppies" are ruining the doggy day care business?? The "yuppies" CREATED the doggy day care business!

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This is Boston not NYC (pop. 650,000 NOT 10,000,000).....we only have so much room for gentrification!!! Lets PLEASE preserve at least a couple of the neighborhoods and their historical culture/ ethnic identity. For christ sake it's going to cost $2000 for a 1 bed/1 bath in Hyde Park in 10 years at this rate.

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Irish in Southie, Dominicans in Jackson Sq part of JP, Chinese in Chinatown, Brahmins in Beacon Hill and the rest of us can just go back to wherever we're from?

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Already 2000/month for a 1br in chelsea now at that new complex they just built

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How much do you THINK a 1 bedroom apartment should cost? $1,000? $500? Do you realize that the lack of land to build new housing is why costs are going up? If areas were "gentrified", and people wanted to live there vs. the current desirable locations, prices wouldn't have risen so quickly/dramatically.

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most of the customers sound like bitches anyway

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Ohhhhh I see what you did there

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Not only sad, but angered and disgusted. We've been brainwashed to shop local and support both new indie busineses and generations-old Mom-and-Pop stores, so why doesn't the Zoning Code and the 1% who make those laws which prevent such support practice what they preach?

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....because they know you'll re-elect them, no matter what the hell they do.

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What you would need is some form of rent control for businesses or selectively tax or incentivize based on the longevity of the businesses tenants. (Remember, the landlords are the ones who pay the city.) I'm not sure if such a policy is legal should it be enacted.

Problems like this aren't directly the city's fault and are not easy to solve. Anything which helps one group hurts another.

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What 1%ers in Boston created laws which caused this business to close?

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good bye and good riddance. those damn dogs bark all the time and the building is an eye sore. southie needs to get with the times.

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