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Monday, January 14, 2008

At Least We Have High Hopes For Convenience

The recent meeting at the Boys and Girls Club regarding the redevelopment plan appeared to have a slightly different focus than previous meetings we have attended. Wow, for the first time, it felt like someone thought about what it might be like to live here in these properties in the midst of all the uncertainty of what the future may hold for us. Finally, we were given a glimpse of what the future's options may be. For the first time, I heard what the proposed plans were of where we will go while all the development is taking place, and for the first time, I have heard some options being discussed where some thought went into how the maximum number of us will not have to move twice (at least about half of us residents). The Birch Hill buildings have the most tenants, so in those properties, residents will not have to move until the tail end of the redevelopment plans (maybe a couple years?). For the other tenants, sometime this year, they will be relocated to the Birch Hill buildings. They will be provided some funds to help compensate for the moving expenses and they will receive one month's free rent. That's nice. Thank you for thinking that part through - at least now we can think about what we will need to be doing this year. I have a wall that I really want to paint, but have been holding off thinking it is possible I may be in a different place in 3 months. It sucks not knowing. Once we are all in the Birch Hill properties, we will have the option to move into the new rental units, or wait until the ownership-based housing is developed and move at that time into a condo, town home or single family home at the tail end of Allied. Who knows exactly what the future will hold for any of us, however one thing is clear - at least we can feel like we have a little tiny bit of control over our living spaces and we do not have to worry about getting an unexpected letter saying it's time to go, hurry up and pack. As one Allied Drive city-property resident put it at the Boys and Girls Club meeting, we didn't ask the city to buy our buildings, so the least that can be expected is for the city to think about us as they are making plans for all these changes (which I am optimistic about).