Business

Estate goes to court to reclaim Fowler-Clark farm from city

A worker hired by the city of Boston cleared overgrowth on the Clark-Fowler farm property on Norfolk Street in August 2013. Photo by Bill Forry

The owner of a historic but run-down Mattapan property that was seized by city officials in August went to court this week seeking an injunction allowing them to reclaim the land. Suffolk Superior Court Judge Judith Fabricant heard from both sides in the case on Tuesday afternoon and is expected to make a ruling in coming days.  Read more

Mt. Washington’s top navigator is taking his leave

Jack ForbushJack Forbush

Jack Forbush has a knack for making himself essential without ever being the center of attention.

For the last 26 years, he has been Mt. Washington Bank’s quiet, amiable ambassador of goodwill as it has made good on an impressive expansion across the city’s neighborhoods from its original base in South Boston. Wherever Mt. Washington does business in this town, you are bound to hear stories about Jack Forbush and his uncanny talent for helping people and institutions connect with the bank and its staff.

Next month, the 66-year-old banker will take his leave, embarking on a well-earned retirement journey that he and Sue, his wife of 40 years, will kick off with a trip to the Cayman Islands. Jack won’t permit a big party in his honor – and it’ll be tough to pull off a surprise on one of the city’s most wired individuals. But, before he departs, Jack is going to get a victory tour that will be the community banking equivalent of Mariano Rivera’s last loop through the American League.  Read more

Mayor hopefuls: Tell us your plan for this case

Eyesore remains a hold-out on Dudley Street
Uphams Corner holdout: The seven-story Leon Electric building at the corner of Humphreys and Dudley streets — and right next to the Upham’s Corner T station— is a top target for redevelopment under the next city administration. Photo by Bill ForryUphams Corner holdout: The seven-story Leon Electric building at the corner of Humphreys and Dudley streets — and right next to the Upham’s Corner T station— is a top target for redevelopment under the next city administration. Photo by Bill Forry

There are many high-profile eyesores and abandoned lots across Boston that merit the attention, imagination and hustle of the next mayor. But few loom as large as the Leon Electric building in Uphams Corner.

The hulking warehouse complex sits right next to the MBTA commuter rail station at the corner of Dudley and Humphreys streets. The empty, fenced-off, weather-worn behemoth rises up seven stories and casts a foreboding shadow over the neighborhood business district below.  Read more

State House News Q&A: Mayoral candidates on liquor licensing

By 
Mike Deehan, State House News Service
Aug. 30, 2013

In response to a News Service questionnaire, ten of the 12 candidates for mayor of Boston offered their positions on how state law could be altered to allow for more liquor licenses for the city. Currently, the Legislature selectively grants additional licenses for communities, but Boston has for years operated at the maximum number of licenses, creating high demand and steep prices for existing licenses. Mayor Thomas Menino supports a home rule petition from City Councilor Ayanna Pressley that would allow the city to do away with the cap and regulate its own licensing.  Read more

Will next mayor make or break the Strand Theatre?

Strand Theatre: Columbia Rd. landmark goes unused most days.

What will the next mayor of Boston do with the Strand Theatre, the Uphams Corner landmark that debuted as a movie palace in the waning days of World War I? Like a Charlie Chaplin character flickering across its earliest screen, the Uphams Corner landmark stumbled and lurched across the 20th century and, on more than one occasion, damn-near plunged hat-first into an abyss of debt and decrepitness. And, like the ‘Little Tramp’ himself, the Strand has proven to be an enduring and endearing figure – with the promise of new audiences and a heroic revival that has been years in the making.  Read more

Mayors behind push for greater local control of alcohol licenses

By 
Colleen Quinn, State House News Service
Aug. 19, 2013

A Boston city councilor and three mayors are pushing to overturn the state's "antiquated" liquor license law by lifting caps and wrestling control away from the state to give it to local communities.  Read more

Baker steps away from landmark debate on Savin Hill house

By 
Gintautas Dumcius, News Editor
Aug. 19, 2013

City Councillor Frank Baker: In disclosure, asks that his previous testimony before city commission be "struck from the record."City Councillor Frank Baker: In disclosure, asks that his previous testimony before city commission be "struck from the record."(Updated on Wed., Aug. 21)— District 3 Councillor Frank Baker this week said he would recuse himself from an ongoing debate about whether a dilapidated home on Savin Hill should receive landmark status from a city commission. In an unusual step, Baker also asked that testimony he made before the Boston Landmarks Commission — in which he argued against a landmark designation for the property on Grampian Way— last week be “struck from the record.”

The move, along with a disclosure form filed with the city clerk’s office noting that his brother had previously made an attempt to purchase the property, came after a neighborhood activist raised questions about his comments to the commission at a City Hall hearing.  Read more

Letter: Let’s all try to find a middle ground on the parking lot at Adams Village

Parking lot in Adams CornerParking lot in Adams CornerTo the Editor:
I think I can speak for the majority of the many attendees at the Cedar Grove Civic Association meeting on Tuesday evening when I say that we appreciate Mr. Tom Cifrino and his development team, including representatives from Boston Sports Clubs, for engaging the community in the conversation regarding what will be done with the former Rite-Aid space as well as the adjacent parking lot. We are impressed that BSC plans to make much needed aesthetic improvements to the building façade. We appreciate their stated desire to actively participate in our neighborhood. Moreover, we are excited for this chance to finally “get it right” with regards to the parking lot that is such an important piece of Adams Village.

We understand that the parking lot is private property, but the reality of the situation is that over decades, as we have all parked in the lot while we have lunch at Gerard’s, coffee at Greenhills, or attend a wake at O’Connor’s, the precedent has been set that it is a de facto public lot.  Read more

Meeting focuses on parking lot fix in Adams Corner

By 
Mike Deehan, Special to the Reporter
Aug. 7, 2013

Parking lot re-design: An architect’s drawing shows proposed changes to the parking lot owned by Supreme Realty Company in Adams Corner. At top left, the north-west corner of the present-day lot would be closed to Minot Street under this plan.  Image courtesy Supreme Realty ComParking lot re-design: An architect’s drawing shows proposed changes to the parking lot owned by Supreme Realty Company in Adams Corner. At top left, the north-west corner of the present-day lot would be closed to Minot Street under this plan. Image courtesy Supreme Realty Com

The Cedar Grove Civic Association held a special meeting on Tuesday evening to review plans for a proposed Boston Sports Club at 540 Gallivan Boulevard— one of the village’s most prominent properties that also includes an adjacent, privately-owned parking lot that has long been heavily used by neighborhood residents and other businesses. Neighbors see the proposal for a new fitness center as a chance to upgrade and improve safety in the heart of the busy business district.

Boston Sports Club (BSC) intends to open its 31st location in the first floor of the building most recently occupied by a Rite Aid pharmacy. Attorney Larry DiCara, a former Boston City Councillor who is representing Supreme Realty Trust — the business entity that owns the building that will lease space to BSC— presented the plans for the renovations and re-use of the site.  Read more

District Attorney Conley questions legality of East Boston-only casino vote

By 
Gintautas Dumcius, News Editor
Aug. 5, 2013

Suffolk District Attorney Daniel Conley, a candidate for mayor, on Sunday raised questions about the legality of an East Boston-only vote on a Suffolk Downs casino. Conley added that the 13-member City Council should “come to their senses” and move to endorse a city-wide vote.  Read more