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Letter: Don't Give Up on Development Proposals

A group of small business owners would like to see two recently scrapped development proposals back on the table.

Dear Neighbors:

With great disappointment we read about the opposition to two proposed South End projects.

The first, on the corner of Washington and Worcester Square, and the second was the opposition to on the corner of West Newton Street.

Both proposals were presented by current South End small business owners in an effort to revitalize an area outside of the eight-streets neighborhoods. We, as fellow small business owners, hope that Mr. Robertson/Mr. Hajj and Mr. Deluty will reconsider their proposals.

The empty commercial spaces in our neighborhood impact all businesses regardless of size or specialty. They threaten our businesses and our neighborhood with dark, unkept storefronts, less foot traffic, and crime. Keeping these businesses out will give us one less neighbor to call on to contribute to our community, keep our streets messy and will keep lights off on a precarious part of Washington Street.

When neighborhoods say "no" to a new business or put too many regulations in place, it hurts all of the small businesses around them. Washington Street is a busy area, certainly not what one would consider quaint; the "noise" and foot traffic that these businesses would bring would help us all.

The South End is a vibrant, exciting, creative community, and we want to keep it that way. Let's leave the close-mindedness and opposition to other areas of Boston.

Mr. Robertson/Mr. Hajj and Mr. Deluty, you have our full support, and we hope you will move forward to expand your businesses. Let us know what you need from us.

Sincerely,

, , Hudson, , , , , ,

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Be sure to check out this  from the Board of Directors of Washington Gateway Main Street.

Erica October 21, 2011 at 01:24 PM
Thank you all for writing this, as a resident of Worcester Square, I too am keeping my fingers crossed in hopes that these proposals will come back on the table. Thank you to Mr. Robertson/Mr. Hajj and Mr. Deluty for running amazing businesses in the neighborhood, I hope you have the opportunity to do more.
Curt October 21, 2011 at 02:54 PM
We couldn't agree more with the aforementioned letter. We just wanted to draw attention to one additional point that the few voices of opposition may have overlooked. Even if a homeowner doesn’t feel they have a stake in the local business community none would argue they don’t have a vested interest in their real-estate value. The economics are simple. A vibrant and successful business sector creates demand and increased value to the homeowner’s real-estate market. In other words, forcing business to look elsewhere ultimately forces home buyers to look elsewhere too. Just ten years ago Washington Street was devoid of any commerce continuity, one was at risk walking the streets alone after dark and real-estate values were less than half of what they are today. Perhaps unlike Washington DC, Washington Street needs to reach across the aisle find common ground, work on means of resolving conflict and ultimately support those who want to invest in its future. Otherwise we face a stalemate of stagnation that benefits none.
michael October 21, 2011 at 07:42 PM
i live right in the neighborhood... although a relative new comer (6 yrs)... but i know there was literally nothing 'here' not too long ago... ...and mind you these proposals are from successful neighborhood owned businesses - people with "skin in the game"... not some outsiders with mixed agendas... that said, it seems, the south end mafia / powers that be, have appearently decided they have what they want... so it's time to stop progressing the neighborhood... and that, to me, just seems so against the spirit of progression that brought our 'hood out of the ashes and into the great place it is today... well on the bright side, at least these people weren't here 10 yrs ago... because nothing would be here.
mike October 23, 2011 at 06:59 PM
seems like every comment and article here on patch and over at south end news is begging for reconsideration of the two failed proposals at Hite and just down the block.. now the latest news is that Hite will become a condo building?.. at the same proposed height!! who so adamantly shoots down the first proposal and then says.. "ohh, same thing minus the opportunity for yet another headline-grabbing eatery.. sounds great; lets go with that" who?
02118 October 24, 2011 at 04:21 PM
As a South End resident, I completely concur and thank these business owners -- each vital members of our community whom we need to support -- for sharing these important points. The concerns of neighbors of Hite and the proposed new restaurant from Stella's owners were reasonable, but the developers appeared 100% committed to being equally reasonable in working out fair accommodations. It's vital to remember -- for the entire community, especially immediate neighbors -- that nothing increases safety more than vitality, commerce and pedestrian activity. I realize that implies trade-offs with peace and quiet, but there's nothing more peaceful than an empty -- and scarily dangerous -- block. I hope that Hite and Stella's neighbors might reconsider their perspectives in light of Washington Gateway's comments, to bring the developers back to the table to work out resolutions that will be good for the neighborhood and the entire South End.

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