Fuller Watch

Joined: 13 Aug 2005, 09:30

30 Jan 2018, 01:57 #841

Thanks.  I had to leave at 7:00 and was hoping someone would post the outcome.

When Paul Lundberg asked about working with the developer re:  Middle St., the developer affirmed that they would be willing to do that.  The developer then (correctly) stated that the off-site option also required proof of hardship and asked that P&D make their decision on the hardship aspect at this meeting.  I thought that was a reasonable request.  Paul Lundberg hesitated and stated something to the effect that the Middle St. issue would be a consideration in their decision.  Kind of sketchy grounds there.

Aside:  The Affordable Housing Tax Credit, which gives private developers who invest in low-income/affordable housing a hefty tax credit, is how Harborlight and the Y might be able to leverage the in-lieu funds to support the Middle St. project.  IMHO, it is not something that can be depended on these days:

http://www.wbur.org/bostonomix/2017/12/ ... p-tax-plan

The developers also stated that they are amenable to providing on-site, but that would require serious negotiations on the purchase price.

The most interesting thing, to me, was when the developer put up the slide highlighting the part of their response to the RFP that stated that they elected to provide market rate only units.  He elaborated on that and said that they had planned to request a change to the Inclusionary Housing Ordinance in their application for the MUOD zoning.  He said that the Administration suggested the Payment in-lieu option - the developers agreed to that and signed the P&S.  I remember being at a P&D meeting re: the MUOD where the developers' lawyer went through the zoning changes and noted specifically that they were asking for no change in the Inclusionary Housing Ordinance.

Jim Destino started with Kirk, went to the number of entities that had pulled RFP docs (which magically went to 40), and emphasized that the developers knew that they would have to go before the Council and knew that the Council would be the final decider.
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Joined: 20 Feb 2010, 02:12

30 Jan 2018, 02:28 #842

I didn't think it was sketchy for them to not vote on hardship tonight. I think Paul was doing them a favor in suggesting they might want to look at the other option for hardship.  There seems to be no hard and fast standard that matches this situation.  What I got out of tonight is that everyone...Council, City, Y and Developer...all want this to work (Sam Parks wasn't there but had someone representing him).

I don't think some of the Councilors are comfortable with $1.5 million and run.  They seem to want to know the Middle Street units will get built.  I think Paul (and Jim Destino) were on target.
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Joined: 13 Aug 2005, 09:30

30 Jan 2018, 02:45 #843

Karly wrote: I didn't think it was sketchy for them to not vote on hardship tonight. I think Paul was doing them a favor in suggesting they might want to look at the other option for hardship.  There seems to be no hard and fast standard that matches this situation.  What I got out of tonight is that everyone...Council, City, Y and Developer...all want this to work (Sam Parks wasn't there but had someone representing him).

I don't think some of the Councilors are comfortable with $1.5 million and run.  They seem to want to know the Middle Street units will get built.  I think Paul (and Jim Destino) were on target.
Respectfully disagree.  From a legal standpoint (and speaking as a pretty much dispassionate kind of person when it comes to the rule of law, though pretty much over-passionate in my personal views - no wonder I'm often a conflicted mess, lol), the hardship issue is the hardship issue, no matter what option.
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Joined: 20 Feb 2010, 02:12

30 Jan 2018, 02:59 #844

I know what you are saying and I wrestled with that (meaning what I would do if I were the council) for a minute during the meeting.  But then I thought that while it would be good if the hardship was clear...it so far isn't...even after the third party review.  So that means people have to vote anyway.  So I can see them wanting to explore the best possible options before voting.  And since everyone was amenable to that it seemed to be good.  One thing though...I think they only could have voted to advance the hardship issue to the full council, not settle it tonight.  So again...might be better to go to full council with best possible outcome.
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Joined: 05 Jan 2008, 05:22

30 Jan 2018, 19:35 #845

Why does the GDT keep saying that the developer is contributing  1.5 million to the housing fund when the city is using 1 million of the profit to come to that figure?
Last edited by flounda on 31 Jan 2018, 11:42, edited 1 time in total.
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Joined: 07 Jun 2008, 11:56

30 Jan 2018, 20:19 #846

flounda wrote: Why does the GDT keep saying that the developer is contribution 1.5 million to the housing fund when the city is using 1 million of the profit to come to that figure?
fake news
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Joined: 25 Jun 2007, 22:00

30 Jan 2018, 22:58 #847

I have to agree about the fake news.
I personally do not think the Y moving up there is so wonderful.
If you are already on 128, continue to the Sterling Center.
If you live downtown, unless in Green or Trask neighborhoods the
Y becomes hard to reach. It is the downtown population and the
business community that I used to see at the Y. I left the Y and
joined the MAC at the depot because it is easily accessible by bus
if the Y moves up to Fuller. I looked around at the various gyms
before deciding. It turns out to work better for me anyway. I hardly
ever used the pool or basketball court and the MAC is just fine.
Don't you see that the whole aim of Newspeak is to narrow the range of thought?...   ..........
 George Orwell , 1984
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Joined: 13 Aug 2005, 09:30

30 Jan 2018, 23:23 #848

Destino also mentioned the PILOT agreement that was a requirement of the RFP, saying that the Y doesn't do PILOT agreements and the PILOT agreement requirement for the Y was waived in the P&S.
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Joined: 25 Jun 2007, 22:00

31 Jan 2018, 00:12 #849

I doubt if the community would ask the Y to make payments in lieu of taxes.
However that is anther reason they should not be moving up there. The for
profit gyms like Fitness Zone pay taxes but do not have the many after school ,
team sports, and other programs that the Y offers particularly for lower income
people downtown. I just do not think this is very well thought out.
Don't you see that the whole aim of Newspeak is to narrow the range of thought?...   ..........
 George Orwell , 1984
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Joined: 10 Jan 2008, 01:26

31 Jan 2018, 13:22 #850

Damon wrote: I doubt if the community would ask the Y to make payments in lieu of taxes.
However that is anther reason they should not be moving up there. The for
profit gyms like Fitness Zone pay taxes but do not have the many after school ,
team sports, and other programs that the Y offers particularly for lower income
people downtown. I just do not think this is very well thought out.
Damon are you saying that that the city will get no tax money for the new Y building and will not get any tax money for the current building? Are we going to take a double screwing and if that is the case is there any to make them pay taxes on at least one of their money making buildings?
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Joined: 15 Apr 2006, 05:02

31 Jan 2018, 16:07 #851

yes, we won't get any from the new building and we already aren't getting any from the old building, so we have already lost.    it's a wash.
You think you know it, but you haven't got a clue!!
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Joined: 10 Jan 2008, 01:26

31 Jan 2018, 19:34 #852

NightStalker wrote: yes, we won't get any from the new building and we already aren't getting any from the old building, so we have already lost.    it's a wash.
Even if they shove the forty units that they want at the old Y we will still not get any tax money? can't they put in some type of provision that the why must give up it unfair tax-free status on the middle st property. forty more units on top of the 200 units this is going to put a strain on current city services and they will get a free ride and will be making a profit.
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Joined: 20 Feb 2010, 02:12

31 Jan 2018, 19:43 #853

tyu...The YMCA (a non-profit)  fills a lot of community needs at a low cost ...daycare, camp, fitness, youth programs that provide community service.  They also provide a lot of affordable housing which has been identified as a top need in our city. I don't consider helping to meet this community need to be a free ride.  
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Joined: 13 Aug 2005, 09:30

31 Jan 2018, 20:09 #854

tyu12 wrote:
NightStalker wrote: yes, we won't get any from the new building and we already aren't getting any from the old building, so we have already lost.    it's a wash.
Even if they shove the forty units that they want at the old Y we will still not get any tax money? can't they put in some type of provision that the why must give up it unfair tax-free status on the middle st property. forty more units on top of the 200 units this is going to put a strain on current city services and they will get a free ride and will be making a profit.
Just to be clear, the Y piece at the Fuller project is the only piece that will be property tax-exempt; the retail and housing pieces will not be tax-exempt.

I don't begrudge the Y a property tax-exempt status - their value to the community is worth it.

If the Middle St. project goes forward with Harborlight Community Partners, if could be a for-profit ownership with Harborlight as a managing partner.  As an owner, Harborlight voluntarily pays property taxes on all its sites as a matter of policy.
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Joined: 10 Jan 2008, 01:26

31 Jan 2018, 23:36 #855

Karly wrote: tyu...The YMCA (a non-profit)  fills a lot of community needs at a low cost ...daycare, camp, fitness, youth programs that provide community service.  They also provide a lot of affordable housing which has been identified as a top need in our city. I don't consider helping to meet this community need to be a free ride.  
with their rates, I don't think that they are nonprofit anymore. I believe there was an article about the wages the managers were getting paid hundreds of thousands I think? they are getting a good deal at the Fuller site they should be made as part of the deal to turn over the middle st building to the city and not for more apartments.
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Joined: 21 Jun 2007, 03:54

01 Feb 2018, 11:22 #856

Bottom line.....200 market rate units won't be filled. Those who can afford them already can afford a mortgage. Pond View (LePages) for instance has trouble filling their units and had to resort to opening up more affordable units than originally planned. I like the "Y" located at Fuller but not without an athletic field and that's what's missing at the current "Y". And as I noted before there will be problems locating housing close to the wind turbines as a 3rd party study noted during the permitting process for the wind turbines.
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Joined: 15 Apr 2006, 05:02

01 Feb 2018, 13:08 #857

Let's face it.  the best deal for the city is a new Y at Fuller, a new school at Fuller, a city owned city hall annex (to stop paying rent everyplace) and a civic center/auditorium that we can be proud of.   we're not getting any tax money from it now, so we would lose nothing.   but that'll never happen here.
You think you know it, but you haven't got a clue!!
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Joined: 01 Sep 2012, 12:06

01 Feb 2018, 13:30 #858

Night is right.
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Joined: 07 Jun 2008, 11:56

01 Feb 2018, 14:11 #859

To sell city assets is short sighted.  This will not serve the citizens well.
this project as planned reminds me of the Lynnfield Market Street project. cookie cutter with no imagination other than sugar plum dreams of profit.  if there was no profit margin expected, these experienced developers would have gone away long ago.

the warehousing of people is not the housing solution I envision for Gloucester.
A school complex, city offices and safety/enforcement facilities are far more important to the community.  
The YMCA should cut a deal with Demoulas for the former drive-in location on Concord St.  Demoulas is no longer in need of it.  
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Joined: 01 Sep 2012, 12:06

01 Feb 2018, 18:31 #860

Putting the Y on Concord street?!  Surely, you jest...
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