Sign of the times
Landscape of Southie
The Southie that we grew up with is long gone. What was once vacant lots and cobblestone streets with overgrown weeds is now the booming Waterfront District. The lower end of town has million dollar condos, a yoga studio, and the Franklin Southie. On East and West Broadway, old businesses are quickly being replaced with new and improved ones. M Street Beach is now a social summertime mecca for people in their twenties and thirties. This is not our father's South Boston.
Is that a bad thing? We now live in a gentrified part of the city with better restaurants, valuable property, and clean beaches. But when it comes to the "overcondo-ization" of our town, how much is too much? According to a Boston Sunday Globe article by Billy Baker, two iconic landmarks in South Boston are for sale. The large white house at the corner of P and East Broadway that was built in 1867 and the single family red house surrounded by a large lawn (yes, a lawn in Southie) at 945 East Broadway. With listing prices in the millions, these houses are doomed to development into condos which could include demolition. We say, "What a shame!"
Earlier this year, Congressman Stephen Lynch was adamantly opposed to a single family home on East Eighth Street being developed into an eight unit condo complex. At a community meeting he said, "When we start knocking down one-family homes around here and start putting up eight unit buildings we can kiss this neighborhood goodbye." But you can't stop a train dead in its tracks. This real estate movement has been picking up steam to a fast and furious pace for the past ten years - so what's a town to do? We'd like to see the city offer some sort of incentive to keep single family homes single family and to encourage developers to build more single family homes for young families. After all, the heart and soul of South Boston is its families and if families can't afford to stay or find an affordable home large enough for a family, then they have no choice but to leave. And then what's left?