Friday, May 17, 2013

A Rising Pride

Nearly a year ago, the Port Pride organization successfully pushed through a temporary tax increase to fund the construction of a new Bresnahan School, a new Senior Center and the refurbishment of the Nock/Molin School.

The day after the June 6 election I penned a blog piece praising their efforts and imploring the principals of the effort to remain engaged in our city. 
Even prior to knowing the success of the effort, I'd planned to write a column imploring the organizers of Port Pride to keep at it to avoid the temptation to disband and to melt back into our suburban wilderness of soccer games and school meetings. No doubt, those things are vital to our families and our community. But Newburyport will be stronger and better if the people who made last night possible keep on their political pilot lights and maintain a strong interest in community.
This week's news that City Council hopefuls include new faces like Meghan Kinsey and Sean Reardon show the Port Pride movement is still alive and active. This is great news for our community. I hope we see more political newcomers rise to the challenge.

Monday, January 28, 2013

Aww Shaw's

Growing up I was a  Cerratani's guy. Now I'm a Shaw's guy, but I admit I'm concerned about the lack of customers going in and out the doors at Port Plaza. I'll be even more concerned when the Whole Foods opens in Lynnfield.

And this article in the Globe doesn't make me feel one bit better.

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Vanguard Not Budging

I was a bit surprised to see the item about Steve Karp's hotel plans last week. I'd heard the rumor a loooong time ago that he had designs on the former Fitness Factory site as a hotel. The idea has merit, given the proximity to downtown and his own waterfront properties.

But the current occupant, Vanguard Key Clubs, says such talk is very premature. Owner Tim Barnes sent out an email to members (including yours truly) this morning:

Karp has been trying for years to develop the waterfront properties and the club site is something he has been interested in trying to get rezoned for development. I want to assure you that there are no plans to move the club from this location now or in the near future.

With this being said I want each of you to know that we are doing well and have a new tenant who just signed a 3 year lease in the building.

The tenant of whom owner Barnes speaks is Urban Elements, the furniture place on Pleasant Street. I noticed a sign there yesterday, after my workout, that identified the Merrimac Street fronted space as Urban Elements Warehouse. (Fuel, the fitness business, already occupies the third floor.)

So my guess would be nothing is pending on the hotel. But I am biased. I'd hate to lose my gym.


I asked Tim about the terms of the lease.

The lease has a BUYOUT clause with 6 months advanced notice, after a minimum of 3 years which is not until spring 2014, so there will be notice to everybody and no surprises.
So don't expect anything to happen this year if ever.

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