Tuesday, May 12, 2009

BRA handing out tax breaks to rich developers who exceed the zoning code...

I attended the meeting tonight at the Marriott Long Wharf hosted by the BRA to discuss the proposed 700 foot tower where the current parking garage is next to the aquarium. According to an attorney there the zoning is 155 feet. The developer says he has complete financing for the project already in place.

But when did the rules ever apply in Boston? Not with the BRA as a potential equity partner to deal with a rich white guy who wants to build an enormous building.

The neighbors, especially in Harbor Towers, were opposed to the height and density of the project which has a FAR of 26. It is zoned for less than 10. I wonder if I should ask the BRA if I can build an additional 12 stories on top of the house I'm living in now?

The unions were there to speak in support of the project and they spoke of their membership having 30+ percent unemployment.

I asked the last question of the night and asked the developer and the BRA if they were going to take any City or State funds to help fund the project or if the BRA was going to grant any tax breaks to the project. Both the BRA and the developer said that it was still under consideration. In other words: "Yes". The developer of the government center garage said point blank that he wasn't going to take public money.

We have the school department laying off teachers, no new police hires, and yet the government is entertaining giving tax breaks to multi millionaires or just outright grants of money to them? Sounds like the rich getting richer and the poor getting poorer.

Of course, the BRA would never think about giving some black developers in Roxbury at Parcel 3 some money or tax breaks would they??? Maybe if we raise some awareness of this issue some things will change.

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