Friday, October 31, 2008

Durfee Textile School - A lesson in short term thinking

The Herald News recently reported that the Redevelopment Authority is ready to accept proposals for the Bradford Durfee Textile School. The building which sits prominently on the corner of Durfee Street and Central was last used by Bristol Community College about a decade ago.

When the city acquired the building from the state there was much talk about how this would be a part in developing the arts community in Fall River. There was talk that the building could feature artists lofts and galleries and that this would be economically viable, in part, by renovating the top floor or floors as luxury condominiums.

Since taking ownership the City Council has approved an Arts Overlay District, exactly the sort of tool that would allow the idea above to become reality. It would seem that here is the opportunity for the city to spearhead its arts initiatives, so why does it feel that we're about to ignore our long term objectives for short term gains?

I could be wrong on this, who knows what proposals will be received and if done right the city will have the ability to reject any proposal that doesn't develop the property in a way that meets our goals. But, the Mayor is quoted in the article as saying:

“My position is this,” Correia said Thursday: “I have no personal interest in who gets it as long as they meet the requirements and we get the property back on the tax rolls.”

Mayor Correia has also expressed an interest in seeing Peabody Properties Inc. do something with the property noting: "They’re prominent developers."

Peabody Properties Inc. manages the Borden East and Borden West complexes, both are subsidized housing for the elderly. Is this what they are proposing for the Durfee Textile location? Is this the sort of development we need downtown?

Converting the former textile school to senior housing does nothing to revitalize downtown. Seniors are not going to reinvigorate the Main Street's nightlife. Seniors are not going to bring in new businesses or visitors to our city.

What we need to do with that building is to redevelop it for a purpose that will bring people into our city. That's the sort of development that will spur new businesses and further revitalization. If the former school were converted to artists galleries, lofts, and luxury condos there would be a benefit to nearby restaurants and shops. Perhaps the building could be used as a campus for an school of arts and design. That would bring students into the city and require a support network of stores, shops, cafes and the like.

The point is, when are we actually going to commit ourselves to the long term plans we keep talking about? The Bradford Durfee Textile School building is ideally situated to be the cornerstone of the Arts Overlay District that would passed with such fanfare. Let's not sacrifice our long term goals and the future of our community for short term gains.

24 comments:

Anonymous said...

Lefty, I agree 100%. The downtown would be better with fewer, not more seniors. Seniors have a fixed income and are not the force for revitalization needed in the downtown.

Also, the Durfee Textile School is very close to the Bank St. Armory so that opens up a lot of avenues for combined venues and coordination with CD Rec.

The Durfee Tech building HAS to become a pillar of the arts overlay district.

FAR RIGHT said...

"we get the property back on the tax rolls"

The above statement is the KEY to this issue. You need convert this property into the highest tax revenue possible.

Forget the ARTS - Forget the SENIORS.

Lefty said...

FAR RIGHT,

I respectfully disagree. The best potential for that building is not in the amount of taxes it can generate but in the role it can serve in revitalizing Downtown.

We have the opportunity to move forward to try to realize the potential we always talk about. If we want to move forward we actually have to take a step in that direction.

JohnnyTheGoodGuy said...

Remember the Old Police Station? It was supposed to have the same artist-based redevelopment plan, according to our former mayor. Boy did that get bungled up. Why not more elderly housing? We're tearing down Watuppa heights, to under utilize the land, and build 26 houses. Why not build an elderly complex there, sell it off, then with the proceeds take Borden Place East and West and turn them into something more downtown friendly, like a hotel and condominiums? Just an idea. No one thinks about how to best build up the city. Morons leading morons. Oh wait, why don't we just sell all the city land to the Karams, and let them build mini-mall after mini-mall. That's what we need. More 7-11s and Targets, chain restaurants, etc.!

Lefty said...

Interesting thought but I still don't think elderly housing is a good use for the site.

Anonymous said...

Why do assume elderly housing? Check their website, that isn't all they do!

Anonymous said...

How long before karam gets the highland school he wants so bad? Word is there is a watchdog group forming to follow the school buildings that have been turned over to the city.

Anonymous said...

Yes Peabody does more than elderly proeprties, but don't read their press releases look elsewhere:

http://boston.bizjournals.com/boston/stories/2007/12/17/story5.html

Since 1976, Fish has developed real estate projects whose value totals more than $1.8 billion, and he currently owns and manages 10,000 units of housing in the Northeast and Florida. Now 73, Fish isn't planning to slow down. He still runs three of the four companies he founded -- Edward A. Fish Associates LLC, Peabody Properties Inc. and Dellbrook Construction LLC -- and spends time mentoring his youngest son, Michael, 24, who is entering the construction business, joining six of his other siblings. Another of Fish's sons, John Fish, runs
Suffolk Construction Co. Inc., a company originally started by Edward Fish's grandfather Manus J. Fish in late 1800s.

``````````````````````````````````````````````
Fish's passion and need for control can get in the way, say those who've worked with him. Fish is currently involved in a legal dispute with South Boston developer John Drew over cost escalations for the $690 million Waterside Place project, which plaintiffs claim are in excess of $100 million. Fish agreed to be a financial partner on the project.

Fish declined to discuss the dispute because it is a legal matter but called Drew a "wonderful guy."

Fish tends to build large, residential projects with an affordable component, but he hasn't shied away from the luxury market. In 2004, Fish acquired the land and buildings from the Massachusetts Division of Capital Asset Management that would become The Waterworks at Chestnut Hill. The $103 million project, which turned an old pumping station overlooking the Chestnut Hill Reservoir into 112 luxury condominium units, was completed this year. Fish bought out his former partner on the Waterworks project, Merrill Diamond, about a year ago.

Anonymous said...

JOBS FOR FALL RIVER, INC.
Entity Type: Nonprofit Corporation

Identification Number: 042655817

Old Federal Employer Identification Number (Old FEIN): 000076669

Date of Organization in Massachusetts: 03/29/1978

Current Fiscal Month / Day: / Previous Fiscal Month / Day: 02 / 28

The location of its principal office in Massachusetts: No. and Street: 1 GOVERNMENT CENTER

City or Town: FALL RIVER State: MA Zip: 02722 Country: USA

If the business entity is organized wholly to do business outside Massachusetts, the location of that office: No. and Street:

City or Town: State: Zip: Country:

The name and address of the Resident Agent: Name:
No. and Street:

City or Town: State: Zip: Country:

The officers and all of the directors of the corporation:

Title Individual Name
First, Middle, Last, Suffix Address (no PO Box)
Address, City or Town, State, Zip Code Expiration
of Term
PRESIDENT ALAN A. AMARAL 145 GLOBE ST.
FALL RIVER, MA 02724-7700 USA

04/2010
TREASURER DAVID F. WESTGATE 492 ROCK ST.
FALL RIVER, MA 02720-3436 USA

04/2009
VICE PRESIDENT PAUL MEDEIROS 79 NORTH MAIN STREET
FALL RIVER, MA 02722-1191 USA

04/2009
CLERK LORETTA S. GEORGE 66 MILTON ST.
FALL RIVER, MA 02720-4132 USA

04/2009
DIRECTOR ALAN A. AMARAL 145 GLOBE ST.
FALL RIVER, MA 02724-7700 USA

04/2010
DIRECTOR LORETTA S. GEORGE 66 MILTON ST.
FALL RIVER, MA 02720-4132 USA

04/2009
DIRECTOR DAVID F. WESTGATE 492 ROCK ST.
FALL RIVER, MA 02720-3436 USA

04/2009
DIRECTOR PAUL MEDEIROS 79 NORTH MAIN STREET
FALL RIVER, MA 02722-1191 USA

04/2009
DIRECTOR BARRY R BIBEAU 60 BEDFORD ST
FALL RI VER, MA 02722-0389 USA

04/2009
DIRECTOR FRANCISCO J CABRAL 164 BEDFORD STREET
FALL RIVER, MA 02720-3039 USA

04/2011
DIRECTOR MANUEL L CARDOSO 556 WOOD STREET
FALL RIVER, MA 02721-4433 USA

04/2009
DIRECTOR CARLOS A DACUNHA 215 PLEASANT ST
FALL RIVER, MA 02721-3018 USA

04/2010
DIRECTOR FERNANDO J GARCIA 292 WILLIAM S CANNING BLVD
FALL RIVER, MA 02721-2342 USA

04/2009
DIRECTOR ROBERT L HORNE 80 NORTH MAIN STREET
FALL RIVER, MA 02722-2550 USA

04/2009
DIRECTOR JAMES M KARAM 10 NORTH MIAN STREET
FALL RIVER, MA 02720-2130 USA

04/2010
DIRECTOR LISA LUNDY KUSINITZ RIVERSIDE AVE
SOMERSET, MA 02726-0440 USA

04/2011
DIRECTOR THOMAS F LYONS 79 NORTH MAIN ST
FALL RIVER, MA 02722-1191 USA

04/2010
DIRECTOR JOSEPH A MARSHALL 982 EASTERN AVENUE
FALL RIVER, MA 02722-4210 USA

04/2009
DIRECTOR ARTHUR MIRANDA 48 APOSTLE ROAD
SOMERSET, MA 02726-3325 USA

04/2009
DIRECTOR MICHELLE PELLETIER 753 DAVOL STREET
FALL RIVER, MA 02720-1005 USA

04/2009
DIRECTOR LOUIS J PETROVIC 151 MARTINE STREET
FALL RIVER, MA 02723-1501 USA

04/2010
DIRECTOR KENNETH R REZENDES 3 SAMMY'S LANE
ASSONET, MA 02702-0879 USA

04/2011
DIRECTOR ANTHONY J RICCITELLI 4 PLAZA WAY
FAIRHAVEN, MA 02719-4602 USA

04/2011
DIRECTOR JOHN J SBREGA 777 ELSBREE ST
FALL RIVER, MA 02720-7399 USA

04/2010
DIRECTOR STEWART P WASHBURN 5 MIDDLE STREET
DARTMOUTH, MA 02748-3427 USA

04/2009

Anonymous said...

http://www.corp.sec.state.ma.us/corp/corpsearch/get_pdf.asp?pdftype=.pdf


most recent annual report:

http://www.corp.sec.state.ma.us/corp/corpsearch/get_pdf.asp?pdftype=.pdf

Anonymous said...

Progress in Fall River

http://www.heraldnews.com/homepage/x541346494/Entrepreneurs-FR-ripe-for-economic-development

A lot of entities are struggling to stay above water, Paul Simister, longtime director of the Marine Museum on Water Street said of his and other city museums.
He said the Battleship Massachusetts, the states official museum for veterans at Battleship Cove, is basically a floating hotel on weekends. Without scouting programs that use the facility on weekends, the Battleship would have little tourist revenue, Simister said.
I dont have two cents to put into an advertising budget, Simister continued. He said for more than two decades hes been involved with cultural events for the citys waterfront. He's been to hundreds of meetings and heard dozens of hopeful plans.
Sometimes theres been genuine progress like the venues of Heritage State Park, the state pier and, most recently, the potential offered by the designated arts overlay district. But Simister and other entrepreneurs called upon Mayor Robert Correia and City Council to play a more active role in tourism.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Erin B
You might not have 2 cents but you sure had $500 to contribute to the mayoral election!!!
Campaign Robert Correia :

http://www.efs.cpf.state.ma.us/DisplayReport.aspx?reportId=76571&schedule=DisplayScheduleC

/31/2007 Simister, Paul
36 Winthrop St. Fall River, MA 02721 Graphic Designer
Adgraph t shirts printed $500.00
15 itemized inkinds: $500.00
Un-itemized inkinds: $0.00
Total: $500.00



Tom Paine2 hours ago
Report Abuse
Of course he donated, he had a family member work for Mr. Correia at the state house.


observer21 hour ago
Report Abuse
Electing the Mayor, all of the City Council and all of School Committee every two years wastes a lot of money. Private donations to all the campaigns may be better spent on actually getting things done. Someone should calculate all the donations for all the candidates and compare that sum to the money spent on promoting the city, and all the other needs we have, including getting more money to fund the schools.
Maybe we should do like other communities and stagger elections so only a 3-4 of the Council and School Comm. are elected--move to 3-4 years terms. Elected officials might actually be motivated to think more about what is good for the city than what is good for their re-election the next year. They could spend more time on solving problems than fund-raising for themselves and attending every other candidates' fundraisers. We may want to move to a City Manager system, where a professional Manager is hired to run the city, with policy set by the Council, and where the Mayor is more of a figurehead. .
The election system we have hasn't worked very well for us as community. It is crazy to keep doing the same thing over and over and expecting better results.

November 13, 2008 8:42 AM
Anonymous said...
This website will give you the information on any political contributions made:


http://www.mass.gov/ocpf/

November 13, 2008 8:45 AM
Anonymous said...
THIS JUST KEEPS GETTING BETTER, UNBELIEVABLE!!!


lizzie3 minutes ago
Report Abuse
Here is another fun one Erin:

The address for Paul SImister is the same as this one (im guessing they are related)-

Andrea L. Merolla-Simister of 36 Winthrop St. (Correia zoning board appointee)
http://www.heraldnews.com/archive/x1295935104

Location 36 WINTHROP ST Property Account Number Parcel ID F-24-0039 Old Parcel ID -- Current Property Mailing Address Owner CORREIA ROBERT City FALL RIVER State MA Address 1290 PLYMOUTH AVE Zip 02721 Zoning
ErinB

Anonymous said...

Simister just got appointed by the Mayor to the Fire Commission.

Anonymous said...

And the fire and police chief contracts go before the city council on tuesday.

Anonymous said...

Even though I abided by the pool rules it seems I am not able to post to the Herald site. Has this happened to anyone else?

The most recent posts that were deleted were in reference to Paul Simister and his connection to the mayor.

Have your comments been deleted even though you did abide by the pool rules? If so please email fouryes08@hotmail.com
information will be compiled and you will be able to have your comments published on a blog that is going to compete with the Herald News.



TOM PAINE and LIZZIE also commented but I see Tom is still able to post.

TomPaine said...

To Anon:

I also posted that Mr. Simister's daughter worked for Bob Correia at the state house, but I think it is gone!

Anonymous said...

Sounds like the mayor is having his people reading the blogs and is flagging any comment he doesn't like as abuse. Then the HN automatically deletes it, I think, I don't think anyone bothers to check and see if it is really abuse. It is probably just deleted automatically. I actually flagged one as abuse last week that was very derogatory and uncalled for by that RobertN in regard to Christine Tremblay, the laid off teacher, and it was removed.

Anonymous said...

Truthspinner perhaps. Well I just reported all their pro bob comments and let's see if they get deleted.

Anonymous said...

None of the 10 different comments reported where deleted.

Anonymous said...

Look for the new blog coming soon:

The Sterile News Fall River

email your comments to

foureyes08@hotmail.com

Anonymous said...

Lefty, what do you think about the retirment board moving out of govt ctr. What other quasi agencies are paying rent there and is it public info. I would be curious to t's acutally a good new pracctice instituted by the mayor but I would like to see what the
profit is.

Anonymous said...

The school committee just voted to rescind their previous vote to enter into contract negotiations with Dr. Fischer. They are going to have a special meeting to discuss his job performance. So is he history, or what?

The Sterile News Fall River said...

Yes, The mayor already has the votes and the ok from karam.

Anonymous said...

Where is the new blog the Sterile News . blogspot? Is it up yet? I can't find it.

The Sterile News Fall River said...

http://thesterilenewsfallriver.blogspot.com

Still in the works but feel free to comment.