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September 21, 2006



Hey look, it's

Assembly Square II
The Reign of Inaction Continues!

Seriously I'd like to know the whys and wherefores. How 'bout some actual story here Jimmy Olson? WWWW&H

I've got some real issues with the proposed Max Pak development - not enough parking, the idea of direct access onto the Lowell St. Bridge (seems dangerous to me)
Something has to go in that spot and it IS in my back yard. It's a blight on Somerville, and this coming from a guy who likes abandoned buildings.

The Mole

For an Attorney/Alderman that stated he would vote for Assembly zoning when he didn’t know what the hell was going on, to the same Alderman/Attorney that fought for zoning amendments @ MaxPak, to now withdrawing those amendments, makes me think the upcoming wedding plans are really taking a toll on the mind of this person. (Saw you on the cable the other day representing Ball Square and found that the TV tube added a few pounds to the body and was wondering when the final fitting was for the tuxedos?)

S’OD, are you not going to get what was promised back at the Mexican Resturant when speaking with Joe and Boss Hog? Are you not invited to the gala Geata event in a few weeks? Are you no longer ReMax friendly? Has someone finally put the lid on one of the two legged Rat Barrels on the Hill? Was it the meeting last evening that altered your thoughts?

The events of the meeting will be published I am sure at some point in the near future, like today. Someone will be making a bundle when KSS flips this property. The only losers again will be the residents of this City. We never make out well do we Sean boy?

question fred

Is there a website with the max pak plans and the issues? Do the developers have a site up that outlines their plans and explains how their project is going to help the community?

If not, then I don't really care if they don't get their zoning. It is up to them to make a case and convince the community to back them. And they need to do it in the most Trasnparent matter possible. The days of the backroom deals are ending my friends.

Ron Newman

Click on "project photos"

How about a Flipping Fee?

Too bad they couldn't put a city "flipping fee" or tax on deals which go above a certain percentage above what the land was gotten for when it sold in the first place. In other words, if Developer A comes in and gets a piece of property for, say, $1million, then gets favorable zoning variances put in place for it, and turns around and sells it for $2million to Developer B in less than a certain period of time (say 5 years), then the difference is subject to a fee levied by the city. Is there something which allows a home rule petition for such a local levy? The teeth in the law would be installed by making the zoning change otherwise developer-specific, if that's possible. It is yet to be seen whether KSS is flipping the property or just backing out of a bad deal, but something like this could possibly prevent some of the abuses that the Mole and others have mentioned in the past.

Max Warwick

The buildings on this land should replace the old mill on the city's flag. They are destined to become the symbol of this Administration.

Decay, deception and derelict.

Nice goin guys.

question fred

I looked at the site and it looks like crap to me. First off, the city services in that area are going to be strained, water and electric are going to need improvements and the sewage will spill over into the storm drainage systems. If you think Davis Square smells like Sao Paulo now, wait to you add a bunch of condos with additional high flow sewage requirments. Why isn't the building using some sort of green power? There should be a mix of solar and even wind along with a green energy saving and efficiency design. There is no mention of public space associated with the development at all. Bike Parking, benches and trees?

These types of developments have one goal in mind from the start. Making the most amount of money possible, as fast as possible with no real long term benefits.

This building is going to cost us too much money!

Click this sentence to see what we should see next to a bike path. There is plenty of condo buyers that are willing to vote green with their green!

Ron Newman

To be fair, KSS does propose a public park -- it's the large green space near the right of the 'Illustrative Site Plan'. They will need to comply with the city's new bicycle parking requirements, but I'd like them to go farther than that.

Solh Zendeh

I'm not really sure what I think about this. I live near that site, and I agree that I'd like to see something other than a giant rat/roach/stupid punk hangout there. However I just didn't see a ton of forward thinking on the part of the community.

We had the developer *over a barrel* here. He really needs to develop this parcel, let's get something out of him.


- He could build the community path all the way to lechmere
- He could provide a free parking spot to all abutters, and severely limit the number of spots for tenants. (this would solve the parking "problem" and limit traffic since people with cars might be less likely to move in with no parking).
- He could subsidize rent for a market on the property. Not a big one with parking, but a local place with some fresh food etc. So you don't have to drive to get food for dinner.

You may hate all of these ideas, but one thing is for sure: this land is definitely going to get developed by *somebody*, and this guy seems like he's willing to work with us - but we need to tell him what we want, not just what we don't want.

question fred

What are the city's new bicycle requirements?

We need to see a lot more of this kind of stuff:

There is different levels of green certifications that our developments should be qualifying for and I know there are more buyers out there right now that want to buy green. I just hope they don't get taken advantage and pay more than they should when this happens. They are doing it with those hybrid cars now. On the other hand, I would rather see green developrs getting money instead of these kludge bankers with their no interests ARM loans getting it. Think about it, all the extra money that went into over-inflating the housing bubble could of been spent on real improvements and benefits instead of making real estate brokers, bankers, and home depot owners tons of money.

Ron Newman

When a KSS rep came to the Bicycle Committee meeting on Tuesday, I asked him about putting some sort of commercial use next to the Community Path. (If you ride down the East Bay Bike Path in Rhode Island, you'll see several such businesses.)

He said they had considered and rejected this idea. I find that unfortunate.

I'd settle for him extending the Community Path to Central Street. Anything beyond that gets very tangled up with the MBTA and Green Line extension. It will happen, but not quickly.

Ron Newman

The bicycle parking amendment to the Zoning Ordinance, effective January 12, 2006, states:

For residential uses with seven (7) dwelling units, one (1) unit of bicycle parking shall be provided. For residential uses with more than seven (7) dwelling units, bicycle parking will then be
provided at a ratio of one (1) bicycle parking space for every three (3) additional residential units. Any fraction of one half or greater shall require one (1) additional parking space.


Solh Zendeh

Ron, did he explain *why* he rejected that plan? I think that is a big mistake on his part. Basically this guys problem is that he's got a few people who hate the idea of developing that spot at all, and a ton of people that don't really see what's in it for them so they don't care.

If he could get the bike path going, he would have at least one group of people ready to work hard *for* him.

Ron Newman

No, he really didn't explain why he rejected the idea of a cafe or other commercial use.

They definitely consider the proposed bike path extension a marketing asset to their development. The plan assumes that it will be built. They would like to build a spiral bike ramp in the triangle east of Lowell Street, but the MBTA owns the land and doesn't like this idea.

Ron Newman

Joe Lynch, if you're reading this, I'd love to see what you have to say. (We talked last night, but I don't want to risk misquoting you.)


There is one simple explanation: KSS clearly didn't grease O'Donovan nearly as well as the other Alderman.


I'm trying to piece this puzzle together. If I'm remembering correctly, this is the second time the proposed zoning for this land has been withdrawn.

Why wouldn't the Alderman who sponsored the zoning make sure he had neighbors support before he sent it to the Planning people?

Can someone fill in the blanks for me?

Ron Newman

This is why I'm hoping Joe Lynch will post here. My understanding is that many neighbors supported the proposed zoning but others opposed it.

Vikki Vale

Amen, Fever...You more than likely hit that nail on the head...poor O'D.

Joe Lynch

Ron Newman

Neither the ward Alderman nor the Mayor's Office of Strategic Planning has provided to the public their reason for the action taken at Thursday's joint public hearing.

To my knowledge, only one of the four surrounding neighborhood representatives was contacted prior to the Alderman's action.

Ron Newman

I notice that the latest entry in the Journal's blog is "Where are you, Mr. O’Donovan?"

O'Donovan is in FLORIDA

O'Donavan is big plans to kick back and relax in the orange state this upcoming winter. Can you blame him? I'm sure Sully will keep tabs on him.

Curt and Tony

Since Lynchie ain't talkin, let's hear from the neighborhood guys on the Clyde Street side. What happened, not enough greasin o the skids? Not enough lobster dinners? What gives guys?

Cambriville News

Sunday September 24, 2006

Cambriville Real Estate
"Fake News about your Real Estate"

Clyde Street, Cambriville - In a surprise move, KSS, the developer of the Maximum Packing condo project, announced today the sale of the land to the Commonpoor of Massachusetts. The spokesperson for the state, Max Kennedy, spoke to reporters moments ago and answered questions regarding the sale.

"The City of Cambriville has told us that they do not want the development to go through. We had no option but to sell the land to the highest bidder. Our understanding is that the Mayor, who assisted us with the sale, has guaranteed Sheriff DiPaola his cooperation to get a new Middleoftheroadsex jail built on the site. We see it as a win win win for everyone."

Contacted for comment on the sale, representatives of the neighborhoods near the site, issued this one word press release, "Shit!"

Next week in Cambriville Celebrity News......

"Jamie Norton on Warhol, Shelton and Bill O'Reilly"

"Dr. Mrs. McCarthy Speaks(Portugese) on the Lt.Gov. Loss"

"Wedding Planner Sean O'Donovan on the Latest for Fall Weddings"

"Divorce: Gay Style" Sen. Jarrett Barrios


In further news:


Due to a paperwork mix-up at the offices of dual Ward 5 Alderman/Florida State Rep. Sean O'Donovan, the locations of two important real estate developments were flip-flopped.

In a move that shocked local officals, Red Sox GM Theo Epstein was spotted at grondbreaking ceremonies off Clyde Street for a new $400 million spring training complex for the ballclub and its minor league affiliates. "The club will realize major energy savings from the shorter commute," Epstein said. "Plus, it always took Manny two weeks to find the place anyway."

KSS will now be building 2,000 beachfront condominiums just south of downtown Fort Myers, Florida.

O'Donovan was stuck in an airport somewhere on the East Coast and was unavailable for comment.

Cambriville News

Sunday September 24, 2006

First Interview With McCarthy After Defeat...................

Barney Noble, our newest addition to the staff here at the Cambriville News, has landed the first, although abbreviated, interview with former Lt. Gov. candidate Dr. Mrs. McCarthy.

From the Imperial suite at the Westin Hotel in Boston's Copley Square, where McCarthy has been holed up since the loss on Tuesday, Noble had the following exchange with her through a closed bathroom door.

"Dr. Mrs. McCarthy, do you have any words of consolation for your many campaign volunteers that share your disappointment with Tuesday's results?" asked Noble.

"Those assholes are a disgrace to the world's oldest profession." replied McCarthy.

Noble cut short the interview when McCarthy flung open the door and lunged at the reporter weilding a port-o-potty and a rather large meat cleaver.

In Monday's Sports Section..........

"Cambriville's Newest Blood Sport: Progressives and the Good Old Boys 2007 Face Off." by Ticky, SnowFlake, Brickbottom, Fever, AuH2O and yes, Butters Newman.

and in the Cambriville Literary Review......."I Am A Camera 2: Verbal Pyrotechnics" by Jamie Norton.

Tim B

Alderman O'Donovan responded to an email of mine about the zoning withdrawal. Apparently, some of the neighbors had expressed dissatisfaction to KSS for not providing them with information they had requested from KSS prior to the meeting. This expression prompted KSS to request the postponement.

Curt and Tony

Ah poor Tim.

Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me. Fool me three times.........

Tim B

Curt and Tony,
Thus the qualifier "Apparently" in my previous post. I was merely relaying the statement I received.

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