Fuller Watch

drinkycrow
Joined: 10 May 2007, 13:48

11 Oct 2017, 20:19 #681

DM3194 wrote: I wish we could get some more input from Dianna Ploss on the Fuller issue.
LOL!! Yeah, Why not!
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drinkycrow
Joined: 10 May 2007, 13:48

11 Oct 2017, 20:20 #682

Cathy (Admin) wrote:
drinkycrow wrote: Bottom line. This a move by the developer and the city to keep those people out. Anyone who cant see this is willfully blind or complicit.
I don't think that. 

From the ordinance:

"Preference for City Residents and Persons Employed within the City : Unless otherwise prohibited by a federal or state agency under a financing or other subsidy program, not less than seventy percent (70%) of the affordable dwelling units within the development shall be offered to eligible households who are current residents of the City of Gloucester or who are currently employed in Gloucester."

As I understand it, if there is no state or federal money involved in a development, 70% of the affordable units must be offered to eligible households who currently live or work in Gloucester.  So if the developer provides affordable on-site (or maybe even off-site), that would apply.  If a contribution is made to the housing trust and used to leverage federal and state money to provide other affordable housing, the City has no, or little, control over the occupancy.

Someone please correct me if I'm wrong about that.
How much are the rents again??
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Cathy (Admin)
Joined: 13 Aug 2005, 09:30

11 Oct 2017, 22:59 #683

Estimated rent for the affordable units:  $1289/mo for a 1 BR and $1485/mo for a 2 BR.

The developer, indeed, does not want to include the affordable units, on-site, in a "luxury" rental development and has made that clear from day one.  However, Dolben, a seasoned and successful developer, has met affordable requirements (including 40B) at other very similar developments and makes it work, so I don't know why they are so adamant about it at this location.  While I do not think that the City is out to keep anyone out of the development, I don't have an answer for why the administration, and some of the decision makers, have just rolled over on this issue from the very beginning - from accepting a response to the RFP that included the statement, "in an effort to maximize the purchase price to the City, we have elected to include only market-rate housing in our proposal" (if that's not grounds to toss the response right then and try again...) to agreeing to take the in-lieu "contribution" out of the purchase price.  Even more than allowing the in-lieu, the contribution deal is such a big wtf.
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drinkycrow
Joined: 10 May 2007, 13:48

11 Oct 2017, 23:25 #684

DM3194 wrote: I wish we could get some more input from Dianna Ploss on the Fuller issue.

Wealthy communities don't get refugees. Working class communities do. Towns that build low-income housing, become refugee magnets.  Dianna Ploss
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drinkycrow
Joined: 10 May 2007, 13:48

11 Oct 2017, 23:33 #685

Cathy (Admin) wrote: Estimated rent for the affordable units:  $1289/mo for a 1 BR and $1485/mo for a 2 BR.

The developer, indeed, does not want to include the affordable units, on-site, in a "luxury" rental development and has made that clear from day one.  However, Dolben, a seasoned and successful developer, has met affordable requirements (including 40B) at other very similar developments and makes it work, so I don't know why they are so adamant about it at this location.  While I do not think that the City is out to keep anyone out of the development, I don't have an answer for why the administration, and some of the decision makers, have just rolled over on this issue from the very beginning - from accepting a response to the RFP that included the statement, "in an effort to maximize the purchase price to the City, we have elected to include only market-rate housing in our proposal" (if that's not grounds to toss the response right then and try again...) to agreeing to take the in-lieu "contribution" out of the purchase price.  Even more than allowing the in-lieu, the contribution deal is such a big wtf.
And how much *affordable* housing will be created with that? Answer.0.
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Karly
Joined: 20 Feb 2010, 02:12

11 Oct 2017, 23:36 #686

So far the response from councilors on having a third party opinion of the hardship request has been good...and I have a lot more to hear back from.

BTW...why is there not contact info for Planning Board members on the city website?  Three have phone numbers, no emails and nothing at all for three of them.  They do kind of make important decisions!
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Karly
Joined: 20 Feb 2010, 02:12

12 Oct 2017, 00:56 #687

So is this decided before it even gets presented to City Council?  A peer review which does not include hardship?  Shouldn't the Council have something to say about this?  Or will they be able then to commission a further review?  Seems like it should be coordinated.

http://www.gloucestertimes.com/news/loc ... edda8.html
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flounda
Joined: 05 Jan 2008, 05:22

14 Oct 2017, 15:42 #688

I still don't understand why we didn't tear down the Fuller school and build a new one on the same site. We did it at West Parish. We also could have moved the school admin and pre school there, thus , not having to rent space for them.
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tyu12
Joined: 10 Jan 2008, 01:26

16 Oct 2017, 14:39 #689

There is nothing wrong with the schools we have now. We don't need to spend millions on another school (don't know if any can verify that there are leaks and cracks in the new multi-million dollar school just built)

Do we need or want 200 units at fuller and 40 at the Y and another 30 on main st the Y should be made to give up their old building so the city can get some tax money out of it. The addition of all these units is going to put a burden on all city services.

Someone above mentioned the sewer for the fuller site aren't we already having problems with the sewer plant not being big enough? Also if this goes through I hope the city charges a sewer connection fee for every unit and not give sweetheart deal that the pond view got only paying for one connection. (costing the city hundreds of thousands of dollars) when the people of Riverdale and Lanesville had to pay a fee for each unit in the home or lot that the sewer went by/
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Karly
Joined: 20 Feb 2010, 02:12

09 Nov 2017, 02:20 #690

Tonight the developer was in front of the City Council's Planning and Development subcommittee (Paul Lundberg, Chair;  Melissa Cox; Val Gilman).   Very interesting meeting.  I had to leave for a little bit but came back in time to see Paul Lundberg suggest that a peer review of the methodology and assumptions of the financial hardship request be done.  Val Gilman and Melissa Cox agreed...I think it will be on the Council consent agenda next meeting.

Also interesting is that Paul raised the question of whether the developers had considered the other option in the ordinance that is there if hardship is proven...building the units offsite instead of making the in lieu of payment.  He is the first one I've heard raise that issue.  

Also interesting was that the developer said they are not opposed to building affordable housing on the Fuller site but would need a couple million reduction in the sale price.

The presentation of the project's components was very interesting and it would be nice if it can be done including affordable housing.
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Cathy (Admin)
Joined: 13 Aug 2005, 09:30

09 Nov 2017, 02:33 #691

I believe the off-site option idea has been floated but not seriously because, yeah, the cost issue - the cost of 30 units off-site.  Joe Ciolino mentioned at one of the debates about pushing for the hardship peer review.

This has become so contentious, time-consuming and costly all-round.  I just keep going back two years:  the developers knew darn well the terms of the ordinance; they submitted an RFP stating that they elected not to include the affordable; the administration dickered on the price and accepted the RFP instead of saying, "No, that's not how it works.  Try again."
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Karly
Joined: 20 Feb 2010, 02:12

09 Nov 2017, 02:44 #692

The council members have all been getting numerous requests for the review and most have been supportive of it.  Regarding the offsite...the main reason the developer gave was that it would take too much time.  Paul also suggested the possibility of officially linking the Harborlight/YMCA proposal to this. That is not the first smart person who I have heard suggest that this could happen, though it would take work.
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Leland33
Joined: 02 Apr 2011, 03:07

09 Nov 2017, 06:35 #693

I've inquired this thread a zillion times regarding what the conceptual buildings of the Fuller 200 luxury apartments look like.

So instead I'll answer my own question.  The complex WILL BE "66 1/3" copies of the building below. It was humbly designed by Councillor-elect Holmgren's great grand pappy Halfdan M. Hanson - Gloucester's finest architect.  it will be humbly named Lelandville, Gloucester's newest village. 200 luxury rentals.  As we say now ... Jen Cares.
image.jpg
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Damon
Joined: 25 Jun 2007, 22:00

09 Nov 2017, 10:37 #694

I guess we agree that this Fuller proposal is dead. Surely the city is not going to donate a million or so from the agreed sale price for the developer's affordable housing contribution and we know from the experience with the Gloucester Crossing  assisted living and hotel promises that the developers can not be trusted anyway. Forget it and either use the property for Gloucester schools and other city facilities or sell it for much more money. This has been more of a waste of time than the Gloucester Landing shopping mall.
Don't you see that the whole aim of Newspeak is to narrow the range of thought?...   ..........
 George Orwell , 1984
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Karly
Joined: 20 Feb 2010, 02:12

09 Nov 2017, 12:10 #695

Damon...it seems to be very much alive...the question is whether and where the affordable units will be built or whether it will be an in lieu of payment.   The councilors mentioned that they have been hearing from a lot of their constituents regarding the importance of the affordable housing component.

Leland...they do show drawings of the buildings and landscape at some of these meetings but no handouts except for councilors...might be on the city website but not sure.  They look pretty nice.
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battlingignorance
Joined: 01 Sep 2012, 12:06

09 Nov 2017, 13:30 #696

Cathy (Admin) wrote: This has become so contentious, time-consuming and costly all-round.  I just keep going back two years:  the developers knew darn well the terms of the ordinance; they submitted an RFP stating that they elected not to include the affordable; the administration dickered on the price and accepted the RFP instead of saying, "No, that's not how it works.  Try again."
Yes. Yes, yes, yes, yes, yes.

With any luck, Ken Hecht will bring some real understanding to our (the city's) side of this whole thing...and represent us better. Maybe some hardball from him. I do hope so.  I think I am with Damon, as posted just above, on this.
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Karly
Joined: 20 Feb 2010, 02:12

09 Nov 2017, 13:36 #697

In the planning board meeting I attended some weeks back, Ken seemed to be agreeing with the developers that they have hardship.  At the housing forum at Lanesville Community Center he spoke from the audience to advocate for the Harborlight/YMCA development...which is great but thus far unconnected in any real way to the Fuller development.  It will be interesting to see if the final vote on this is done by the current council or in 2018.  The developer said last night they hope to break ground in January 2018 I think.
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Leland33
Joined: 02 Apr 2011, 03:07

09 Nov 2017, 18:33 #698

I viewed dozens and dozens of Dolben developments and liked about 10% of them - the others meh.

I am surprised that a "preliminary" "conceptual level" drawing or photo is not available for a building that is on public land sold to the Fuller consortium.

The public flying blindly I guess "nice" as you mentioned Karly is okay but "very nice" would be better.

After all these years the public should have an idea of the conceptual/preliminary design. Both interior and exterior.
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jasongrow
Joined: 16 Jan 2007, 10:15

09 Nov 2017, 21:54 #699

Karly wrote:  The developer said last night they hope to break ground in January 2018 I think.
HA! Seriously, they have trouble reading both our GZO AND calendars??? There's only 3 (maybe 4 if they meet on the day after Christmas) Council meetings until the new council is sworn in on the 1st... I don't expect a lot more movement on this project until the financial analysis is finished and submitted to the council... The sewer issue still hasn't been resolved to my knowledge... I kinda don't think they're breaking ground in January. 
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jasongrow
Joined: 16 Jan 2007, 10:15

09 Nov 2017, 21:57 #700

Leland33 wrote: I viewed dozens and dozens of Dolben developments and liked about 10% of them - the others meh.

I am surprised that a "preliminary" "conceptual level" drawing or photo is not available for a building that is on public land sold to the Fuller consortium.

The public flying blindly I guess "nice" as you mentioned Karly is okay but "very nice" would be better.

After all these years the public should have an idea of the conceptual/preliminary design. Both interior and exterior.
I haven't looked, but most of the Council packets are online and if they've submitted a full application to the Council, it should be included in one of those packets. Check the City Clerk website.  http://gloucester-ma.gov/Archive.aspx
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