Vote Yes on Question 3: Stop the Casino ‘Mess’

The advertisements for casinos are so glamorous. Sexy young people gathered around a roulette wheel dressed in ravishing clothing and oozing wealth. And the picture painted by the casino industry that wants to be in our commonwealth is of a gambling glitterati, flying in from Paris and Dubai, spending their cash to support our state’s revenue needs, rather than spending it in Connecticut and providing lots of jobs in the process. No pain, lots of gain.  Read more

Globe’s on the move: Why not stay in Dot?

Boston Globe's property: Based in Dorchester since 1958.Boston Globe's property: Based in Dorchester since 1958.

Some day soon, the Boston Globe property on Morrissey Boulevard will be sold and its hulking, three-story Pulitzer Prize-making plant will be pulverized. That’s a given and we’re good with it.

What we don’t know – yet – is the identity of the new steward of the 16-acre preserve on the banks of Patten’s Cove. But whoever takes the deed will no doubt bring us condos and baked goods and free wi-fi. Maybe we’ll even get a nice chain restaurant, the first of its kind outside of South Bay.  Read more

All eyes on pending sale of Boston Globe property

The 16 acre Boston Globe site on Morrissey Boulevard is for sale. The Globe's new ownership under John Henry is staying mum on who the finalists are to buy the property. A city master plan for Columbia Point has identified the Globe as a prime parcel for mixed-use redevelopment— a plan endorsed by Mayor Marty Walsh. Photo courtesy Colliers International

Future of Morrissey Blvd. site is very much on Mayor Walsh’s mind

Mayor Martin Walsh hopes that the sale of the massive Boston Globe property on Morrissey Boulevard will result in a new mixed-use development that will follow guidelines laid out by a city-led task force four years ago.  Read more

Historic Boston Inc. ready to save landmark Mattapan farm

The Fowler-Clark farm has been boarded up in recent years to prevent further damage from squatters. The farmhouse dates to the 18th century. Reporter file photo

A historic but endangered Mattapan landmark could soon have a new owner that would ensure that it remains viable for decades to come. Historic Boston Inc. has entered into an agreement to purchase the Fowler-Clark farmhouse on Norfolk Street. The transaction will not be executed until next March, giving the non-profit preservation group time to raise funds and create a definitive plan for re-using the property’s old structures for housing.

The farmhouse, which was built at the turn of the 18th century, is one of the city’s last tangible links to a now-distant agrarian past. Designated as historic landmarks in 2006, the house and an adjacent barn have since been boarded up by city inspectors worried that squatters would destroy the buildings through vandalism or fire.  Read more

Former Neponset funeral home director charged with flurry of crimes

Oct. 8, 2014

Joseph V. O'Donnell. Photo courtesy Suffolk County DA's Office

A former Neponset funeral home director has been named in a "sweeping, 278-count indictment" charging him with illegally storing dead bodies for years in a storage facility while bilking customers out of tens of thousands of dollars in pre-payments for burials that never happened. Joseph V. O'Donnell, 56, is also alleged to have operated his family-owned funeral home without a license in over 200 funerals and cremations.  Read more

Walsh administration sets stage for housing growth in new report

City Housing Report 2014-2030: A graphic from the city report characterizes "access to the Homeownership Market" by neighborhood. Image courtesy City of BostonCity Housing Report 2014-2030: A graphic from the city report characterizes "access to the Homeownership Market" by neighborhood. Image courtesy City of BostonThe Walsh administration released its first housing plan this week. The 140-page document is titled “Housing a Changing City: Boston 2030” and lays out the major challenges and goals for meeting the demand for new housing for a population that is on the rise. The plan anticipates that the city’s population will surge past the 709,000 mark by 2030 — a growth from today of some 91,000 people.

The report notes that the last time Boston was home to 700,000-plus people was in the 1950s. Back then, large families often lived in a single unit — like the classic Dorchester three-decker experience. In today’s Boston, this report notes, “fewer people inhabit each unit of housing, making our current housing stock insufficient to accommodate this growth.”

Insufficient is putting it mildly. Even in Dorchester, which is categorized in this report as one of the city neighborhoods with “good access” to middle income housing, it is becoming increasingly difficult for people to find affordable homes or rental units.

The report is candid in saying that “given the constraints of space, the high cost of land, declining federal funding, and a finite amount of City dollars available, we must acknowledge that the City cannot build its way out of this problem.” But, build we must. The Walsh plan pledges to produce 53,000 new units of housing between now and 2030 – a growth of 20 percent in terms of the number of households.  Read more

Parking stand-off leaves Savin Hill condo plan in limbo

Savin Hill Ave. project: Architect’s rendering showed proposed condos over Savin Bar + Kitchen. Drawing courtesy RODE Architects.Savin Hill Ave. project: Architect’s rendering showed proposed condos over Savin Bar + Kitchen. Drawing courtesy RODE Architects.

The future of a vacant lot across from Savin Hill T station, previously the site of a proposed 14-unit residential and commercial development, hangs in the balance after the project’s private developer, David Higgins, said late Tuesday evening that he was walking away from the development.  Read more

For sale: 1912 comfort station; bids start at $100

Build in 1912 as a "comfort station" for commuters, this building on Columbia Road is now for sale through the city of Boston.

It sits idle, a relic of Dorchester’s days as a bustling streetcar suburb. Tucked between a weathered supply store and the olde town’s first cemetery, the Uphams Corner Comfort Station— as it was called in its days of utility— is far from comforting to the modern eyes. Boarded up since 1977, its dual entrances are sealed off from the Columbia Road sidewalk by chain-links. Just over the fence is the historic Dorchester North Burial Ground, where some of the original settlement’s founding mothers and fathers have found three-and-a-half centuries of rest.

Despite its crumbling condition, there’s still a certain charm to the tiny building with the red, terracotta roof— or what’s left of it. It was essentially a rest stop for commuters who found shelter and a “powder room” here on their way into the city.

For a limited time, it can all be yours for just $100.  Read more

What next for the Globe property?

Columbia Point Master Plan: Task force created clear guidelines for development along Morrissey Blvd. including the Globe property.Columbia Point Master Plan: Task force created clear guidelines for development along Morrissey Blvd. including the Globe property.After years of “maybe it is, maybe it isn’t” for sale, it appears that the Boston Globe property on Morrissey Boulevard is really on the market as a number of developers have prepared bids to purchase the site. The big question for its neighbors, of course, is what will replace the Globe?

Several years ago the city was faced with several major properties on the boulevard being actively considered for new development. These included the air rights above the MBTA property outside JFK-UMass station, a parcel between the station and the Shaw’s supermarket parking lot, the market itself, the adjacent building that houses radio stations, the old Ch. 56 property, and the Globe. Additionally, there were plans being made for the other side of the boulevard – significant and substantial new buildings at UMass Boston and a redevelopment of the Bayside Mall site.

The Boston Redevelopment Authority (BRA) rightly called a “time out” on individual project proposals to prepare a master plan that would coordinate and integrate all the new uses for the several sites across the Morrissey Boulevard/Columbia Point peninsula.  Read more

New tool allows Bostonians to explore solar potential

Michael Norton, State House News Service
Sep. 17, 2014

Boston residents and businesses may now go online and learn about the solar power potential of their homes and buildings, including installation cost estimates. Mayor Martin Walsh on Tuesday announced Solar System Boston, a mapping system the city has launched in partnership with Greenovate Boston and Mapdwell, an MIT spinoff, that the mayor says will allow users to explore their own potential to take advantage of solar prices that the Dorchester Democrat says are "plummeting."  Read more