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UMass Boston suddenly has big plans for long vacant expo-center site

The Dorchester Reporter gets a look at UMass Boston's latest ideas for the Bayside Expo Center it owns - which call for building "a modern-day Harvard Square."

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Comments

Lots of banks and chain stores?

You should first have a few beloved local places, so you can take them away, with skyrocketing rents.

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Great idea build a giant pit for runaways, truants, homeless and addicts to hang around in just like Harvard square.

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In a past life I would gaze at the punks in the Pit before hanging out at the Bow and Arrow, then I would get a late night sandwich at Buzzy's.

http://www.universalhub.com/files/images/buzzys.jpg

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Will they take the ancient and (dis)honorable Harvard Square Defense brigade with them?

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So they are replacing an indoor mall with an outdoor mall.

You can call it whatever you want...but in the end, it's still an outdoor mall.

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Will it have a depressed pit in the middle of the development full of angst filled anarchists, Marxists, Maoists, other fans of genocide loving-isms, nihilists, skate punks, would be rockers, urban campers, and other riff-raff hellbent on "sticking it to the man"?

Oh and a retro-news stand where people can go out of their way to be seen pretending to buy things as the proprietors slowly go bankrupt from no one actually buying any merchandise?

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Dude, 1974 called, it misses you too.

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That sounds awesome. I'll walk by and sigh nostalgically and in my heart stick it to the man for old times sake.

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My first question is why is struggling UMass in the retail development business? UMass Building Authority? Really? Isn't the lifeblood of Harvard Square the fact that Red Line trains arrive right underneath and numerous buses stop on their way through, plus a top rated, historic university literally in the Square? JFK/UMass station may be a few blocks from the Bayside but it's a world away for pedestrians who would have to be hoofing it a much further distance and crossing busy streets. UMass is even further away than JFK. The mom and pop retail and newstands of Harvard Square are dead or dying. Are the planners simply proposing a waterfront strip mall? If UMass can't find an educational use, they should sell the property to the highest bidder, shore up their budget and get back to their mission of education not retail.

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Somehow I lack any morsel of confidence in a governmental agency attempting to run a commercial enterprise.

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UMass should not sell the land outright, but offer a long term ground lease (20 years?). That way the university can obtain additional funds over time at appreciating rates rather than a one time cash infusion.

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Harvard owns vast amounts of real estate in Cambridge and Boston which they rent out commercially.

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DTX. As DJT would tweet: #Sad

And developers will get federal $ for developing in a 'blighted' area.

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Am I the only one in the uhubaverse who remembers when there was a shopping center there?

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The store I remember the most was the Almy's there - convenient for running out to buy panti-hose for school the next day. Too young to drive so had to wait for Dad to give us a ride and wait in the car while we ran in.

What other stores were there?

I recall not feeling safe - being told to run in and out quickly. This was pre-renovation of the then Columbia Point housing project.

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But the lack of safety is something that has stuck in my head.

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Which is why I said "they are turning a indoor mall into an outdoor mall"

I may have not lived here when it was the Bayside Mall, but I certainly was told it was a Mall eons ago before it became a conference space.

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Dumbest plan anyone could have come up with.

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It will obviously look like this and the first floor will be occupied by Citzens, Santander and a yoga studio.

https://www.google.com/maps/@42.3191334,-71.0502439,3a,60y,302.04h,92.14t/data=!3m6!1e1!3m4!1s0-mde8n_cuVBK0uhNIS3rw!2e0!7i13312!8i6656

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http://www.gettyimages.com/detail/news-photo/father-james-lane-gives-com...

Here is a picture of Boston Police receiving Communion in the Bayside Mall parking lot during bussing.

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Boston cops were kissing? When was this?

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That I could enthusiastically support.

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