Monday, December 6, 2010

What To Do About Dutchtown

You've most likely heard about the plans afoot for the 600 block of Northampton St. the latest update is here, the plans for a project called dutchtown commons. basically it's a NY developers idea to build a grocery/parking deck/apartment building there. You can read about some other viewpoints at neighborsofeaston's coverage of the article.

I like the idea; I mean, why not? Some opponents of the idea are slumlords in the block, namely Terry Briggs, Paul Reaser, and Elliot Joseph. Well, I don't know if Elliot is a landlord, per se; his family 'owns' Jacob's Produce and the Armory, so they are a hinderance to any progress in that block.

Some arguments against the Commons are its height, that it won't fit the character of the neighborhood.


The character of the neighborhood is modeled on downtown Baghdad, but without the Federal rebuilding dollars. I am all for saving and restoring historical structures and drawing attention to offending buildings, but what is left in this block? They've knocked down the really unsafe ones, most all else have been converted/molested into slum apartments.

I would love to see the Commons built there. I would also love to see Jacob's Produce set up as an actual, viable produce distributor, something on the lines of Elias Produce, or even as a location for a Farmer's market. The Armory? I don't even know where to start, but if the City can get rid of the Hubcap store, they can get rid of the hindrances to developing the site.
I KNOW if Lafayette College was interested in these properties, things would be happening NOW.