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City Seeks Davis Square Hotel Proposals by Feb. 4

The city could choose a developer by March.

Developers who are interested in building a hotel in Davis Square have until Feb. 4 to submit their plans to the city, according to a request for proposals issued Dec. 19.

The city is seeking to sell the parking lot at Herbert and Day streets—home to the Davis Square Farmers Market—to a hotel developer and is accepting proposals from both big chains and independent operators, according to the request for proposals, which you can read here.

The land is valued at $1,001,400, and developers will have to show how their proposal will add revenue to the city's coffers and maintain parking spots in the area, the request says.

It says the city plans to interview development teams and chose a developer by March.

Somerville sought to bring a hotel to the Davis Square area a few years ago but received little interest, according to Board of Aldermen proceedings held in October. It's hoping an improved real estate market will interest developers this time around.

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Aldermen Support Plans for Hotel in Davis Square

Thoughts: Building a Hotel on Davis Square Parking Lot

MamaBunny72 December 31, 2012 at 09:31 PM
There's a hotel in Medford too, on Riverside Ave, close to Medford Center.
SomervilleGirl December 31, 2012 at 10:54 PM
AHM, Are you familiar with William Worthy who wrote, "The RAPE of our neighborhoods, and how communities are resisting take-overs......"? (c1976). In it, he writes about a hospital in NY which tried desperate measures (intimidating residents of an apartment building who refused to leave their homes) to force a neighborhood takeover for expansion. "The Bill Worthy's of our society provide the moral fuel necessary to prevent the flickering conscience of our society from going out." http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/William_Worthy Gone are the days of unbiased journalism which provide honest reporting of what happens to displaced families when their real estate taxes go through the roof. Eight family members have owned homes since 1930's. I watched both parents struggling for years on a modest income as others. In those days, people were not into "house flipping", as many of the so called "professionals" are doing by stealth. I guess they got some of that training from the ws brood, which we are all now paying for their $43 TRILLION DOLLAR MASSACRE. But, hey, they made money and bailed and bailed out from lucrative taxpayer dollars which were then spent in Aspen instead of job creation and helping homeowners. When they are bored with this area, they will move on. Those long term investments are by those who remain loyal to their homes and neighborhoods. To the transients--it's just another temporary Disneyland.
SomervilleGirl December 31, 2012 at 11:13 PM
RV, What occupants are you referring to? The Powderhouse Community School has been vacant for over 10 years. Maybe you should get the facts before you post non-sense. This vacancy equates to 10 years of lost revenue the city could be receiving from commercial office/retail space. The question we should be asking is, WHO WILL MOST BENEFIT BY THE SALE OF THESE PROPERTIES? There lies your answer. It is not going to benefit local residents of this community to build a hotel in Davis Square. The square is already too dense. It is the sole benefit of a few who will gain by selling off Somerville land. Our city was once called a "melting pot", because it stood on inclusion of ALL PEOPLE, not just those with trust fund accounts and belonging to special interests with their own inclusive agenda which restricts everyone not part of their private club. I see it happening in my own neighborhood with homes going "condo" and selling in the range of $749k. I wish it was 1980 again and I was surrounded by working class families. There is a huge difference in the newcomer culture who have moved in. I've experienced this as a landlord with certain prospective tenants who make unreasonable demands--it's clear they want a condo but don't want to pay the price, so they try to harass landlords into providing what they feel is a necessity, but it's more about the fact they are selfish bullies who obviously missed the class on proper etiquette.
SomervilleGirl December 31, 2012 at 11:38 PM
ps...RV As far as "hard working individuals & families buying & fixing up properties, renting the apts."....may be some doing this, but majority are house flipping--make their bucks & scram to white picket fence paradise to buy what they could not afford unless given this profitable strategy. There are hundreds who have done the work for the newcomers & left with nothing. They bought the false American dream which promised them prosperity & secure retirements for the next 30 years. The predatory lending gang made sure they didn't walk away with enough to buy a sustainable retirement. Although, some locals who sold in the booming 90's, did well on the sales, they miss their city & continue to regret their move & are priced out. People who grow up in working class cities understand what sustains us here. It's not the bar rooms, coffee shops or fast food establishments. It's the people of our neighborhoods we shared our lives with--that is what is missing. Gentrification erodes the fabric of close knit communities. Those who live in suburbs do not experience life as we who have struggled to survive in the city. We are better for it because we do not take what we have for granted. Our homes are our sanctuaries--that experience is not shared by those who use a house just as a quick sale investment. You've got it wrong -- those spending the most locally are local residents, not temporary transients. The right people & the right growth build strong communities.
SomervilleGirl December 31, 2012 at 11:49 PM
AHM, Do your best to remain in Somerville. I don't like what is going on either, but I believe it will change again one day. Buyers remorse will be setting in when the tax bill arrives. I'd like to see more of a push to curb the problems with Tufts and tell them to go to Medford and landbank, see how far they get. I continue to applaud Medford for putting up the fence and keeping this craziness out of their backyard. The realtor I use to find "good tenants", not snooty-entitled types, luckily there are some--tells me they don't show apartments in Medford because all their clients want to live near Davis Square. You know, it's like buying that first cell phone and calling all your friends to brag about it. I once had a couple who couldn't wait to tell their friends they lived close to Davis Square and they were jealous about it. This couple were a nightmare--especially the boyfriend who kept asking for more and more of my real estate as the months progress. First it was, " We need more basement space for storage, a spot in the yard for my motorcycle and how about your new shed". I politely declined on both counts. When I asked if they were interested in renewing their lease, he said only if they could have a golden retriever, when the original lease stated no pets. Their living space was 600 sq. ft. So it was essentially blackmail. When I let them know I was not renewing their lease, they verbally attacked me for months on email and threatened legal action.
SomervilleGirl January 01, 2013 at 12:03 AM
AHM, I guess mommy and daddy forgot to explain that when you are grown up and living on your own, the landlord is not your surrogate parent, maid, butler, handyman or goofer and they are under no obligation to re-new the lease. In the end, I basically told the guy he was in the wrong profession and should have become a used car salesman. Well, at least that got him to stop the verbal abuse via email. On the first day of their move, they brought their parents with them to canvass the apartment for an attempt at other requests and a screen door for a "wonderful breeze-way"....Good riddance. Now when I look for tenants, I screen carefully, but it's been 10 years of hell. I've seen it all--everything from the bullying corporate lawyers who graduated from Harvard who throw dishes at their trust fund loafing boyfriends, to the inexperienced at real life who are looking for Miss Jane's Romper Room and Mr. Roger's Neighborhood. Those who have remained the longest are people who are human beings with heart, intelligence and common courtesy. One couple remained 7 years before buying and three working graduates who have built character by experiencing life on their own and good parenting. A wise school principal once said, "Our children mirror our homes". I guess I can be thankful I didn't get some of the parents instead.
SomervilleGirl January 01, 2013 at 12:24 AM
AHM, Oh, you mean the project off Lowell Street--well luckily it's not another block of Ward 7. We are still waiting for the verdict on three sites in our backyard--the crater in Teele, PHSC and now Johnnies old site. I keep hearing rumors of a grocery store, but no one seems to be biting. That might be the fact they have to lease and also build--pretty costly. But the owners of the liquor store are convinced they will remain. My hunch is they will sit on it until the flames die down, maybe they will try to condo that area. But three sites will stand in the way of any progress.
AHM January 01, 2013 at 12:26 AM
Didn't read the book but one only has to look and see what's going on and where the money is going. We now have apartments going up to at least $4000 a month and at the same time we have an oncrease in homelesness here in Somerville. There actually is an increase in senior homlesness in the whole country. I see my street is now going downhill. I come home years ago and was stuck in the snow in the street. Before I got out of the truck there were people there with shovels. If I don't get home in time my sidewalk is alrady shoveled. When the trash truck came down the street people came out with brooms and cleaned up if they left anything. I tried to be nice but it's no use. Went over to one of the newbies to warn them of the street cleaning before they got a ticket and they were not happy being disturbed. Guess I should ahve brought some Starbucks for them. Used to be so nice here. I lived in working class areas and it was nice knowing and being able to talk to your neighbors. Have places to eat that served normal food where we could al get together. Now we have the new places, here today, gone tomorrow. Places used to be here for years here. Now we have Assembly Square with upper class shopping, guess we know how we fit in there. They have made this city unaffordable for the working class. Driven most of my friends and family out of here. I don't know anout you but I have lost any hope of Somerville be a friendly neighborhood place again.
AHM January 01, 2013 at 12:46 AM
Small footprint store is a hard sell. Last rumor was Stop and Shop was interested. Don't know how true that could be unless they are getting into the small store business. As for the crater I have yet to hear anything. Maybe Powder house could be a super whole foods<G>.
AHM January 01, 2013 at 12:59 AM
If I get stuck staying here and have to rent out an apartment I will rent for less to a blue collar worker. Right now I have my parents there rent free as they have very little income.
SomervilleGirl January 01, 2013 at 01:46 AM
AHM, There is talk about the school going to Tufts. I'm wondering if there is soil and asbestos issues at that site and why it's been sitting there for an entire decade. If they can't flip it, they toss it back. It's as good as a dead Tuna to any worthy fisherman. One proposal was for over one hundred condos to be built at that site. Can you imagine the traffic that would be created by adding that many condos to one block of an already overly dense region of our city? It would be a parking lot at rush hour. I managed to get a "no left turn" sign on my street so motorists would stop speeding through the neighborhood in order to avoid the Holland Street traffic jam. Word is that other neighbors are demanding the same. When does the dam break? It's unhealthy to be living with so many people crammed into one area. I have been forced to take the train to work and it's not any better. The people who ride the train are just as rude as the new neighbors. I have to practically wrestle someone to the ground in order to get a seat, even when I am first in they push and shove like a pack of animals. The women are worse than the men. Lots of angry people out there. I guess they expect us all to just move away and give up our homes for free. Not happening here. I will keep up the fight and continue to preserve what is rightfully mine. I refuse to be driven out by anyone. What kind of reception do you think natives of our cites receive when they move to the suburbs?
SomervilleGirl January 01, 2013 at 02:09 AM
AHM, When mom retired I moved her in with me and the kids because her pension and retirement was not enough to pay her bills. Her health was also failing and she needed help. As a divorced mom, I kept it all going while working full-time and going back to college. It was hard, but I would do it all over again knowing I could remain in my family home and be able to hold a good paying job nearby. Now that business is booming in our city, those from suburbia know we have a good thing--and it's not to their credit that this city has become what it is today. Much of this has been perpetuated by Boston and Cambridge real estate development which is also on the fast track. This reminds me of the wave that came through in the late 90's when dot.commers were looking to buy and raze our properties. I had offers and still get hungry realtor solicitations in the mail which I toss in the trash. I will never sell my home. My wish is to be able to erect a 10 foot fence to keep the meddlesome newcomer neighbors out. They are all hoping the locals move away, they've got a long wait. Our street is one of the many last hold-outs. I continue to be grateful they haven't sold out like others--but I do understand why they did. Many of the locals felt betrayed by our politicians and didn't like the way they were being treated by their new neighbors. The one with the fatter checkbook wins, but only as long as they keep filling the till. There are losers in both camps, trust me, it will happen.
AHM January 01, 2013 at 03:25 PM
I figure either Tufts which will give us nothing in taxes or money for it or most likely condos. Possibly another Maxwell Green type of place. Sure to keep us old timers out of it. Down here in Winter Hill it will be crazy once Assembly gets people in. Figure maybe 2500 apartments, that's should be about 5000 cars at least and the city is making the roads narrower. They let Mystic View Task force mess that up on us. Small portion of Somerville residents screwing up the works again.
AHM January 01, 2013 at 03:29 PM
It's already started on my street. If I were to stay I would cover up my wood shingled house with crappy blue vinal siding.
SomervilleGirl January 01, 2013 at 04:12 PM
AHM, If I had the choice to do it all over again, I would have done minimal improvements to my home, kept it a single family. The triple tax hike left me no choice than to become a landlord, a job I truly dislike-- you are caught between two forces which do not let you breathe--the newcomer tenant w/ far too many great expectations of the city & their rented space. They complain of high rents but for a fully remodeled apartment--that's cheap compared to house prices in the city where the lucrative jobs for "professionals" are located. Renting outside the Rt. 93/95 belt for less and what would be those prospects? Lack of public transportation, single night-life of sports bars & Starbucks (as you cleverly pointed out) mom and dad probably got fed up and toss their spoiled arses out of the house. This is why they pushed for condos, they want their own piece of Somerville to do as they choose. I'm betting most will probably flip once again for profit. The 3 year tax penalty for selling early was put into place for that very reason. I had an in-law who did this in Andover during the 80's & 90's--married w/ a growing family. They were referred as the Enterprising Jones's--as soon as market picked up, they sold one home only to buy one bigger in a more secluded area of town, one neighbor worked for a big pharm-co, so we know that sticker price was close to $1 million at the time. There kids had no guidance because parents were too busy making $. In the end, father died at 50.
SomervilleGirl January 01, 2013 at 04:35 PM
It was sad, but I'm convinced it was from over-work & stress-trying to keep all the balls in the air while pretending to have an idyllic lifestyle. That event reinforced my belief that true success is a balance & does not matter how much you have in terms of cash or assets. It can all disappear very easily in a short amount of time if you are not careful in the way you manage it & your lifestyle.
SomervilleGirl January 01, 2013 at 04:36 PM
MVTF made mistakes too because they were unwilling to compromise. However, the larger issues are insurmountable as I see it. The apartments by this company are located in Saugus. A family member once rented there and it was nothing to write home about. Maybe it's a different floor plan, but seriously--the existing neighborhoods are not going away anytime soon and Rt. 93 is right by their door. Are they planning to tear it down and build a mega-bike path to take it's place? With all their crying about our vehicle emissions, shouldn't they be more worried about the 2500 residents sucking up exhaust from their balcony windows?
SomervilleGirl January 01, 2013 at 04:37 PM
I knew of this plan over 10 years ago when a former rep told me about it. I'm convinced this is coming from somewhere higher than our local pols, AHM. They have had their fangs in our town for decades. My dad had a tavern in the North End many years ago. I know the history of our town. From the great wisdom and courage of Harry Markopolos, " "It is time the nation woke up and realized that it's not the armed robbers or drug dealers who cause the most economic harm, it's the white collar criminals living in the most expensive homes who have the most impressive resumes who harm us the most. They steal our pensions, bankrupt our companies, and destroy thousands of jobs, ruining countless lives." If you haven't read about his story, please do, it will connect some missing dots. When they get involved with people they shouldn't be dealing with, it's a new game in town. Pensions must be paid and the money must come from somewhere. The culprits are on WS. They knew exactly what they were doing and still at it. What we need is a miracle to reverse the stench of their low tide.......http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Harry_Markopolos Happy New Year, AHM. The best advice I can give is to keep your home and ride out the storm. It's better to keep mom and dad close to the best healthcare and other services. Trust me, I've been down that road for a long time with several family members including mom. Keep the faith.
Jim January 01, 2013 at 07:03 PM
Townies vs. newcomers debate aside, I can't understand how a hotel makes any sense at that location. Parking is a premium down there and the streets are narrow, ensuring that Tufts parents will get lost looking for this hotel. The city also gets the parking revenue from the site which I presume is substantial. The city leadership is totally oblivious or unsympathetic to the concerns of residents since I haven't heard anyone say that they want this thing. Davis Sq. needs those parking spots. No neighborhood lasts forever, but I think the biggest issue in Somerville is absentee slumlords (asshats who think they are "investors") who rent to Tufts kids or entitled 20-something trust fund surfers. Each house on my street that is a problem has the aforementioned demographic living there and these houses are a cancer on our street. Working families can't compete with wealthy BMW driving Tufts kids who can pay 1000/bedroom. Each time a house in our neighborhood goes up for sale, I'm incredibly worried about who will buy it since a couple more slumlords on our street would force us to move, even though we love our apt and landlord. I'm a newcomer (moved here in 2003) and am borderline yuppie, but probably won't be able to buy a home in West Somerville since we are priced out, despite making over 100k thanks to two kids and student loans.
AHM January 01, 2013 at 09:08 PM
I am here until they pass on, otherwise I already would be gone from here. We are just looking around to see where we can fit in. Wife just wants out of MA alltogether but I would like to stay as I would have work here. Maybe western part of state or Cape. It's just not nice here anymore.
jo January 02, 2013 at 01:17 PM
how about barneys??
Sam Franklin January 02, 2013 at 05:41 PM
The Powderhouse school has been empty for several years. Something useful should be done with that space.
Ron Newman January 02, 2013 at 05:56 PM
I'm OK with having a hotel built on my street, but the farmers' market needs to stay around, somewhere near where it is now.
Timothy January 02, 2013 at 08:46 PM
SomervilleGirl, A little history on the Powderhouse School. The closing of the school was very contentious. It was closed for the purpose of office space for the city Rec. Department, School Department, etc. The mayor made a promise that it would always be used for community use, and that the gym (a great gym, used constantly by various basketball and soccer groups) would remain available to the community. It's in the perfect location, as it is on all major bus routes in the city, easily accessible from all corners of Somerville. DIdn't take long for him to break that promise. He saw the $$$ signs.
SomervilleGirl January 03, 2013 at 01:20 AM
Timothy, I grew up in Ward 7, attended the PHCS in the early 70's. Years later, my two children did as well. At that time, when the Western Junior HIgh School was sold to Tufts, grades 7-9 merged into the PHCS. There were over 700 students at that time and I became a substitute teacher until I found a full-time job. The PHCS was built due to fire of The Hodgkins Elementary School, which I also attended. The Cutler School, now The Neighborhood School on Powderhouse Blvd., was completely renovated due to asbestos removal. A family member was overseeing the project. When families moved out due to the yuppie sprawl, PHCS was no longer needed. Another family member was "clerk of the works" during the building of PHCS and we were all excited about having a new school in the neighborhood. I'm just guessing it may have developed same issues as the Cutler. I heard the rumors about using it as a "community center", then the recession hit in RE markets. If it's not producing a revenue or direct service to city use (as in city offices, like Traf&Pkg, our old Post Office) it's viewed as strictly an expense. I would think there is a grant attached to a "community center", type use, but that is not my expertise. With all the cuts made to community services, I'm not surprised that money is no longer available. I'm not making excuses, just trying to understand the process and why they make these decisions. I'm still trying to figure out why so much went wrong with Assembly Square.
SomervilleGirl January 03, 2013 at 01:35 AM
Ron, I'm curious, what are your reasons for wanting a hotel in Davis Square?
Ron Newman January 03, 2013 at 02:26 PM
I didn't say I necessarily want it, but I don't object to it either. It will be useful for local people who have family and friends visiting them, but don't have room to put them up. I wouldn't favor tearing down homes or businesses for a hotel, but this is just a parking lot except when the farmers' market is using it. I hope the market could be moved to the Buena Vista parking lot if this lot is built upon.
Ron Newman January 03, 2013 at 02:28 PM
Also, Davis Square used to have a hotel where Ciampa Manor is now.
Joseph January 03, 2013 at 07:06 PM
Ron, 'just a parking lot' is what is keeping most of the Davis Square businesses afloat.
Joseph January 03, 2013 at 07:09 PM
You seem to know a lot of the history of PHCS. It was meant to be used as a home for the school department offices, Special education, city recreation department, etc., etc. I feel that none of that was ever intended, and it was just used to get the school committee to close the building and turn it over to the city. At that time many promises were made by the mayor, one of which to keep certain spaces, like the outdoor basketball hoops and indoor gymnasium open and available to the public. There was nothing structually wrong with the building to my knowledge, there just weren't enough kids, so money wasn't really an issue. It's all just bread and circus.

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