Saturday, January 30, 2010

Fort Hill --lookout for issues

Over at Universal Hub, there has been a discussion about Daryl Settles from Bob the Chef's and the Beehive fame trying to put in an establishment on Centre Street. Some people, including my friend John Keith, think the people there are behind the times in not wanting to get hip. I disagree. I have lived there and own property there, and I feel so much more at peace up there than I do here in the South End where life seems to be constant battle between jealous neighbors, devious developers, and keeping up with the Joneses. My comments:

John Keith-

My good friend. I think you seem to have become very angry (okay, many of us who
run for office to do good things are angry at the status quo) but this anger at
the Fort Hill residents is misplaced. I have lived and worked in Fort Hill for years,
most recently living on Highland Street in Summer 2008. It is a great area, with nice
friendly neighbors who look out for each other. It actually reminds me of the way
the South End was 15 or so years ago, back when people cared more about architectural detail
than how much square footage everything had.

There are some points to the NIMBY attitude on the hill, but isn't that their prerogative? I proposed putting a restaurant and community
gathering place into the old plantation building at the top of the hill owned by Mel King's brother.
I met with the neighbors, we talked about different ideas, they indicated they didn't want
a restaurant and we dropped the idea. The building still stands abandoned, dangerous and an eyesore,
but the 'democratic process' worked. The people I know (including tenants) love living on the Hill,
and I think it is a great area, otherwise I wouldn't own property there.

Just because not everyone wants what the South End has, doesn't make them bad or stupid, just wanting
something different in life. You (of all people!) should appreciate that. Not everything in life
needs to be real estate values (My South End properties have gone up in value, my Fort Hill ones down), but I will agree with you that if amenities like a local bar, restaurant and grocery store went in, that
the values would go up. But then, maybe the people that make the neighborhood great might not be able to afford it anymore and have to move out, sort of like the South End......

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