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February 19, 2007

Comments

Ron Newman

A hotel might be an nice addition to Davis Square, but I'm curious where you would put it without displacing existing businesses. The only large pieces of vacant land I can think of are the municipal parking lot at Day and Herbert streets, or Rocco Antonelli's "private parking" lot on the other side of Day.

Somerspeak

I'm sitting here on the can reading this propaganda. Is this man delusional? Is he on drugs? Did he slip and fall on the ice and bang his head? Does he think all of us are stupid? Did he just take a swipe at Bill White? Is he still letting ManBoobs Champion write this shit? Did the Somerville Journal axe his "Mayor's Blog" for lack of readership? Is this the Somerville News team's response to the parody of "Cambriville News"? That's it!

Now I get it. This is a parody of a parody of a parody. Joe Curtatone posing as Mayor of Cambriville telling his subjects that everything is fine and dandy.

Whew! For a minute there I thought this was a serious piece.

Tricky

I'm with the first poster as far as a hotel in Davis. 125 rooms? That's huge for a "boutique" hotel. Better to concentrate on areas than can handle the future development, rather than displacing a fair chunk of established businesses.

I've got a better idea. Buy out KMart's lease, and watch how quickly you can shift the development over in Assembly to something a little more appropriate for someplace close to Logan, convention centers, downtown Boston.

PersonDavis

I'm with Tricky on this one. 125 rooms in the Square? The Woodbridge only had 35 and the traffic coming out of there and the Blarney was ridiculous and that was before all these hippies and college kids "found" the square. Now College Ave. is heavy with traffic coming through from Medford and so is Highland. Just ask Jack C. who looks out at it every single day, and you want to add more cars and limos and taxis? This latest monstrosity their putting up at One Davis is bad enough. It's going to cast a long shadow across the middle of Davis. Maybe the hotel can go up over the parking garage in back of Harvard Health. The square needs a place where you can go to pay your gas or electric bill more than a room service bill.

cabbie

"you want to add more cars and limos and taxis?"
- Well, I do. But you're correct. Davis isn't exactly the best spot in the city to site a 100 room hotel.

"One Davis is bad enough. It's going to cast a long shadow across the middle of Davis."
- Are you joking? Now that the building is framed you can tell it's going to be exactly the same size as the old building. At least that's my impression.

"The square needs a place where you can go to pay your gas or electric bill more than a room service bill."
- That already exists. It's called the Post Office.

Regarding the Mayor's comments about how we're on such a roll. I guess he hasn't noticed the "For Rent" signs up around the city. I've lived here 20 years and I don't recall even seeing "For Rent" signs in the past --- much less ones that stayed up for months. Yep, everything is just rosy Mr. Mayor.


Ron Newman

One Davis will be the same height as its next-door neighbor, the Somerville Theatre (Hobbs Building). It is not out of scale in any way. I just wish the first floor was going to have something more useful than a CVS. Davis Square already have Brooks Pharmacy, and it's just a 10-minute walk to CVS in Porter Square.

Real Estate_ Facts

Mr. Mayor,

As a property owner and life long resident I did some research on your assertions.

First, in looking at Cambridge vs. Somerville

In 2005 there were 891 residential transactions with an average price of $471,833 in Somerville. In 2006 these numbers became 757 transactions with an average price of $418,128 or a drop of 12%. In the same time frame the average commercial transactions went from $1,113,611 t0 951,541 or a drop of 15%.

In Cambridge the average price of residential property increased from 580,068 (1,308 transactions) in 2005 to $585,835 (1,122 transactions) in 2006 or a modest increase of 1%.
The commercial market in Cambridge actually increased by 15%.

Next, I have to question- why you dont own property in Somerville?

To the best of my knowledge, you owned and sold at the peak of the market. And, at this point I believe you rent. If my facts are correct- then two questions for you:

1.) What message have you sent to people who want to own property in Somerville?

2.) Are you the first Mayor in modern history to not own their own home in Somerville?

Thank you,

Linda

Billy Bob T

There is always a cvs across from a brooks pharmacy! This is the USA> What is it with you socialists pinko's who think they can stop the forces of gentrification? Soon we are going to put in some even less useful banks and financial firms becuase the economy is booming and imigration is great for driving down the cost of labor (and driving townies out of town)! George W Bush is the great leader of the free world! And don't you bleeding hearts forget it!

Now if we can only completely kill Air America.

PersonDavis

Newman, the theater building is a lot taller than the Welfare office building was. The new CVS building might look a little better in esthetical appearances than Welfare did, but it is definitely taller. The sun still shines through it now because its in its skeleton phase but when the solid walls are up its going to darken the square a lot. As far as whether it's a CVS or a BSC or CBS or ABC I couldn't care less. Like the guy before said, let the business owners figure out whether their going to make money or not. All we have to do is shop there or not shop there. I miss having the drug store on the corner where the crepe place is now. The hotel is going to be over the top though. Too much for the square to handle, you already have to take your life into your own hands when you try to cross the streets now, especially coming out from the bakery to go over to the PO when peope come flying down across from College. Stick with Assembly for that sort of thing.

Tricky

"I miss having the drug store on the corner where the crepe place is now."

Well, you'll have one right across the street now. Maybe Mayor Joe is looking at the Brooks site for the hotel...

Dr. Mrs. McCarthy

My Dearest Trickster,

Now that I have you here, WHERE THE HELL HAVE YOU BEEN???????????

I can't tell you how I have suffered these past few months not reading your insightful, intelligent, common sense and best of all, wickedly funny posts.

And why are you and the Trickettes not at your Killington chalet for vacation week? Don't tell me the booming economy of Somerville has passed you by? According to the Mayor, we should all be driving Cadillac Escalades to our summer homes on the Cape these days. Oh, wait a minute, that only applys to DPW workers, I forgot. Stupid me.

Listen, I know you have other things to do these days, but could you possibly have mercy on an old lady and give me a helping hand with the Cambriville News?

I've got my Mayoral campaign to run this year so I'm gonna need all the contributors I can get.(Jesus that sounds like something the Tickets Curtatone would say)

Maybe you could do a piece this Sunday?????????? PLEASE.??????

Miss You,

Dr. Mrs. McCarthy

The Mole

Linda, you have some very good questions regarding what the Mayor is trying to portray with owning homes in Somerville since he had recently sold his.

The reasons being, one, he couldn't afford owning the house that his sister Maria first owned. Just like he couldn't afford the leased vehicle back in 2005 that he leased from Sentry Ford from Medford. He got out of that deal with a plea to the Fleet manager without paying any penalty, unlike you or me if we failed on our agreement.

The Mayor sold his house to his sister Maria for a total of $600,000. This is all recorded with the Registry of deeds and can be accessed on their web site. What one knows and hears isn't on that web site. The mayor, at the time of the sale, owed $510,000 on that property which he sold to Maria for $600,000. The remaining $90,000 is what is suspect since they Mayor, Alderman at Large at the time, was in desperate need of funds for his Mayoral campaign back in 2003. Words around town were that a loan was given to Curtatone by Sister Maria of $90,000, hence the sale price of his home.

The funny thing is, in pulling the campaign contribution lists of the Mayors back in 2003, there was no indication of such loan. Makes you wonder huh? Makes other wonder that have the ability of checking into transactions like this also. Double HMMM!!!

The Mole

Mole Fan

hey Mole, maybe a Trump Casino in Union Square or Cobble Hill. Those areas have seen alot of attention lately. Putting the citys future on the MBTA is risky at best. The only sure thing is it will bring more homeless and street people quickly to other parts of the city. I'm sure the Davis Sq. community will be handing out free tokens to get rid of them. Tripping over drunks is an olympic event at the Davis T...

MoleDontKnow

He didn't sell the house to his sister. Another bit of WRONG INFO.He sold it, but wrong Maria idiot.
He didn't get out of his lease early either. Nobody can do that without at least buying another car from the dealership. Which he didn't. He paid CASH for the new red van. Research it. It's actually true, unlike your usual slanderous and false statements here.
All the tanks at all the buildings that you posted the other night..... All false. The Brown School, and Library in fact DON'T need to be removed.The Cummings does and is almost done. Your monetary values are way off. You, as usual, are twisting some of the facts into retardation.
Remember one thing Mole. These tanks have been here for 40 plus years, leaking for 20 or so, and on the radar of the last 4 administrations at least. NOBODY addressed them at all until now. And you are criticizing JOE for doing the right thing and taking care of them? Oh my...If Tony won the election the tanks wouldn't have been leaking. They would have magically sealed themselves up because he's the MAN. Seriously now... Break balls about stuff he did wrong, or didn't do at all. NOT what he stepped up to the plate and did the right thing for.
This administration has been the first to not sweep these well-known facts under the rug. Man Joe sucks. I think you should run for Mayor in November since you are so friggen smart.

The Mole

Documents for the sale of the house which the Mayor owned was sold to Maria because I did do my homework. As for the broken lease from Sentry, yes that did happen and I brought the proper papers to the Fleet Manager to show him how he got duped. Just how did the Mayor may have paid for the red van of which you speak? Two months after the mayor broke, yes broke the lease, he was paid back over $59,000 from his Mayoral campaign of which were listed as loan paybacks.

As far as criticizing the Mayor for doing the right thing, yeah I am because he was going to let it all slide under the rugs until 2010 per the D.E.P. The State was first notified in January of 2006 about some environmental issues the City had failed to take care of. The Mayors’ team gave a lame excuse in their response of lack of funding and was working on a plan under the new Fiscal Year budget, 2007, which never materialized. Then in July of 2006 the State took action after seeing what the city was not doing and trying to hide. So when you get caught with your hands in the cookie jars, you get what is going on up until this point. Luck have it, the Recreation building was a bonus and the start of the State pressure to address the issues. There is more you know so be careful of the words you choice to respond with. Paper trails are wonderful, especially when you have access to them.

Spin the threads in all the directions you wish. They all lead to the same spider. If you would like a copy of the actual documents, just head to the Registry of Deeds web site and get them just as I did. Maria Curtatone first owned the house then sold to a second party. The Mayor was the third owner of the property according to the files of record. Maria appears forth on the list buying the property back from little brother.

The Mole

Ron Newman

Why does any of this matter? I don't see how it relates to where or whether hotels should be built in various parts of the city.

Real Estate_ Facts

Ron,

I think a lot of this matters.

First, Mayor Joe is the only Mayor that I am aware of in the City's history who does not own a house in the city.

Second, he is suggesting people invest here- when he sold out.

Third, if he is repaying himself from his campaign funds (per note above)- then contributors are essentially putting money in his pocket. I dont like that because at a minimum it creates a perception of things not being appropriate.

All these things are very dangerous and scary.

Linda


The Mole

Linda, please let it be known that the loan repayments were made back to the Mayor because he had loaned himself the money from prior months, as indicated on his financial statements.

Of course, it is beyond me how he could have leant himself over $125,000 during his Mayoral campaign in 2003 working as an Alderman-at-Large and an attorney that couldn’t pay the rent at his place of business.

The Mole

DickyBird

Down here in the sun it seems that it is easy to understand it is just an investment in his futere no?

Whose future?

More like an investment in Federal Realty's and Palmer & Dodge's future.

DickyBird

I thought I said that but then maybe I am wrong he seemed like a nice person once upon a time? But is this not a FAIRY tale?

Johnny Protester

did someone say that there is a another person running for Mayor. Thats great news, I'm sure there is a HUGE ground swell of support out there with MANY volunteers ready to hit the streets. Hey MOLE, whats with the blue tarp at the Police station ? They trying to keep the mold in ?

Truth Fan

It's easier to talk about new hotels than to understand how city finances work. Yes, it's fair to say that we've seen an increase in the commercial tax base. But as those pesky Mystic Viewers taught us, the new commercial property is the kind that brings even higher long-term costs to the city budget than new tax revenues.

With the armistice signed between Mystic View and the developers, the could lead and organize a group of experts to recruit large office tenants to Assembly Square. That the sector’s growing the fastest and costs the city the least. It’s the only hope for providing homeowners’ tax relief.

Mystic View participants in a team to bring offices here would be a lot more effective than participants from the Chamber of Commerce. But wouldn't it be great to see them working together, and both of them working with city government?

Wouldn’t parking for the Davis and Union Square hotels have to be underground? I believe that underground spaces cost $50,000-$70,000 each. Let's say a hotel would only need 75 spaces. That’s $3.75-5.25 million. It seems like it would be hard to get the economics to work.

Tricky, as a local architect with some understanding of city finances, you add value when you post. Please keep it up.

Somerspeak, did it all come out all right?

Mrs. McCarthy, how can we support your campaign?

Truth Fan

I meant to say that the mayor could lead an organize a group of experts.

Johnny Protester

Face it, Somerville missed the boom when it comes to commercial occupancy. Check the realtors and see how much the vacancy rates have soared the last 3-5 years. Alot of smoke and mirrors at Assy Sq, not much has changed in the last 2 years there. "Attention K-Mart shoppers", now there is a campain slogan for the next mayors race !!

Truth Fan

It’s easy to think that because regional residential real estate is tanking, office space is too. It's not.

At year’s end, the vacancy rate for directly-leased space was down to 8.8% and for subleased space, down to 2.2%. 2006 was the 4th consecutive year of increased office space absorption.

So the average annual rent for office space went up to $34 per foot. Class A office tower space was up from $35 and $45 in 2005 to $40 to $60 per square foot last year.

One segment that really took off was Class A space in low-rise buildings (less than 20 stories). There’s no reason why such buildings could not be built in Assembly Square, and many reasons why they should be. Vacancy in them dropped from 13% at the end of 2004 to 4.5% at the end of 2006.

Commercial real estate forecasters are expecting the market to keep tightening over the next two years. Most importantly, no significant increase in available space is scheduled to until 2010.

The “smoke and mirrors” about Assembly Square was the propaganda that new housing units and regional-scale stores that Federal wants to build would do anything to help the city’s financial situation. From what they told the Planning Board, Federal Reality isn’t planning to take advantage of this opportunity in the office market.

But the fact that Assembly Sq. is probably the best big site left for this kind of development is not well understood by major tenants. Now that peace has broken out, the mayor could build a team to reach out to tenants and their agents, while insisting that Federal build to meet their needs.

thenoseknows

mole, every time you open your mouth i realize more and more what a moron you are. are you friends with tony lf. because if you are i'd like to share some of my knowledge about his business and what goes on in there, his palacial mansion on sycamore st and how it got built and some of the insane accusation he has use to help his career as a wannabe politico at the expence of innocent citizens and hard working local people while having no remorse for what havoc come into their lives.so bring it on big mouth this race will be over before it begins.......it will sound like this,after giving much thought to running for mayor i have decided that at this time in my life it is more important that i spend time first with my family and running my business and second working with the portugese community while trying to make somerville a greater city than it already is..........and thanks for paying so much attenion to me I LOVE IT.

Questions for the Mayor Joey

I could care less whether the average resident rents or owns. But I do expect the Mayor to own his or her own home. Last time I checked he was pulling a hefty salary of about $125,000 + $25,000 in expenses from the taxpayers- which tells me he earns much more than the average Somerville resident (probably by a factor of 2-3 times).

And, I have to question why he sold at the peak of the market, and whether that was not a contributing factor to the fall in Somerville housing prices.

It’s hard to imagine that one can say things are great- invest here- when the Mayor basically sold out. And it cant be because he cannot afford it- my thinking is he saw the boat sinking and got out.

Next, I want to ask did he repay himself $57,000 from your campaign funds? And, if so did he tell people that was his intention when he had his hand out asking for the money?
And, if so what did he do with the money?

thank you,

Linda

Fool on the Hill

The nose smells.

Nose, you have promised to reveal damning things about a variety of people in the past, and NONE of them has ever proven out to be true.

On the other hand, I only know of one time when the Mole's information didn't check out, and he acknowledged his error and apologized.

If you could get beyond hateful ridicule and name calling, you might have something to say that's worth listening to.

Ron Newman

The full hotel study is on the city's website here:Analysis of Lodging Supply and Demand And Strategic Planning Recommendation

It suggests four locations for a 100-125 room hotel in Davis Square: the Day-Herbert city parking lot, the private parking lot behind One Davis Square, the Buena Vista Garage, and the Powder House School site. It considers the first three much better locations than the fourth.

It assumes one-half parking space per hotel room, but does not indicate how tall the hotel needs to be to fit on any of these sites. Current zoning in Davis Square limits all buildings to four stories or 50 feet -- and even less on lots that immediately adjoin residentially-zoned property.

Dr. Mrs. McCarthy

Truth Fan,

Sorry it took me so long to get back to you. I've been preparing for Governor Delux Patrick's visit for a few days. We had a great time today, tooling around the City in the Caddy, noshing on some great apps at Amelia's, banging back a few at PJ Ryans(which by the way is where we ditched that pain in the ass Trane), then onto Davis where Rebba and Carla Sciortino sat on the hood of the limo waving to their adoring fans. The only mishap of the day was when Butters dropped the takeout container with the leftovers he scoffed from Amelia's, applied the brakes of his bike too hard and wound up in the excavation hole of the new CVS. Hope he's ok.

All in all,it was a great day. But I do hope Tickets Curtatone gets over his bad habit of yelling "Yo Mama" out the window at the Tufts students every time he gets into a big black Caddy.

And now that I've done my bit for diversity, I'm off to find the Haldol and then to bed.

ZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ,

Dr. Mrs. McCarthy

PS, All cash contributions(no checks please)to the McCarthy for Mayor campaign should be in a plain white envelope and left in the mailbox for pick - up by DPW personnel on regularly scheduled trash day.

DickyBird

Now that Joey Cakes will be able to add 1% to hotel room bills,2% to the meals tax, him and clean Genie will be in their element. The first one born under C.G. a complete flop, now a strip mall under J.C. What the hell next. Ikea are looking for land to the north what does that tell you Somerville? Just how long has the H.K. Porter land been empty? Wake up and smell the ****?
You just got F***** over again.

thenoseknows

hey fool on the hill...i have never said anything remotely close to my last post. i have never at any time made reference to having info that i would let out. my statements are true and it will be known either before or during the next campaign. timing is everything in life. you have me mixed up with someone else.

I have 1/2 of a car, where's my space?

May I ask why the city would assume 1/2 space per hotel room? That's less than for residential use. Do they plan to propose a hotel without anything remotely close to adequate parking? Do they plan to propose further that people will come to this hotel in droves on the T? If this is the case, then insanity has certainly taken hold at 93 Highland Avenue! I can just see the Tufts parents hopping the T at Logan Airport to get to Davis Square (have you ever tried to take the T from Logan Airport - next to impossible). This suggestion of a hotel is so absurd on so many levels, and this is just one of them!

Yorktown Street

Politicians routinely lend money to their campaigns and get repaid afterwards. Sorry, Linda, no news there!

Ron Newman

With the Silver Line connection at South Station, getting from Logan to Davis by T is actually fairly convenient now.

But if the visitors don't take the T, they'll most likely arrive by taxi or limo, and still won't need parking here.

Hotel Use 101

That's absolutely untrue. I don't think it's any easier to get on the silver line at Logan than it was to get to the Blue Line. And most hotel visitors don't arrive by taxi or limo (?!?!), they arrive by car. Perhaps you don't stay at hotels very often, but most people who arrive in Boston by air or rail would rent a car to get around. Many will drive here from locations in the Northeast. Either way, MOST hotel guests require parking.

Ron Newman

The Silver Line connection to the airport is much better for Davis than the Blue Line because it requires only one transfer (at South Station) instead of three (at Airport Station, Government Center, and Park Street).

By "limo" I meant any kind of non-taxi livery service.

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