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Hong Kong billionaire with a penchant for Harvard Square is growing fond of Savin Hill as well

Gerald Chan, who bought up large chunks of Harvard Square, has plunked down $17 million to buy the 4.7-acre Spire Printing Co. property on Bay Street, next to the Savin Hill T stop, BLDUP.com reports. In 2015, he bought a two-acre parcel nearby on Dewar Street.

Both are within a short walk of the impending DotBlock development on Dorchester Avenue - which he also now owns a piece of.

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Comments

Loving how Dorchester is getting a face lift .

It is starting to be a great summer .

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he's more known for buying than doing.

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How long has the former Harvard Square Theatre been untenanted?

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Five years. Cambridge has told him to either come up with a plan or they'll take it by eminent domain. Globe story

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is going to have serious repercussions on transit. Dorchester Ave during the AM/PM commute is already a parking lot. Couple that with the fact that Red Line is basically full by Fields Corner now, means there is going to be serious strain on the transit systems in the next four years. Personally, I am nervous about how all of this is going to work. Or not. We are rapidly turning the city's Production, Distribution and Repair (PDR) areas into residential. And the long term effects of that are not great for residents (read increases in residential property taxes). I believe a healthy city has a balance of business and residential taxes. But if developers try to turn Boston into SF circa 2007, that business tax base may quickly disappear in the name of "housing" and then we are left with no way to get to and from work and having to pay higher taxes. Not that all glitters is always gold.

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Only if you are limited to getting to work by car. Dorchester was much more dense in the 50's and people managed to get to work.

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and the red line had about half the headway times prior to the braintree extension

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Ride it every day for the past ten years since moving back. And the service has declined each year while the trains have more people. Add in the new development at JFK and the Red Line is going to need to a serious upgrade to handle it.

And 50 years ago most households were probably single income. Therefore allowing one parent to either stay home or take the kids to school and the other parent could leave early enough to get to work on time. (I can't imagine the T has just recently begun to slow way down.) Today, most families I know are two income households in order to be able to afford the cost of living. Meaning one parent might do school/daycare drop off and the other handles pick up. But if transit and roads are so slow and/or unreliable, it can be challenging to get to work on time or leave at a regular time. My apologies for not making that point clearer in my first post.

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does not address the actual issues that the trains are much more crowded while operating less efficiently than they did ten years ago per my first point. And from my observations around the neighborhood there are more and more out of state plates than cyclists. Traffic and public transit need to be addressed as these new developments will only be adding to challenges on the T and on the streets.

Some people may choose to ride and I think that is great. I used to be a bike guy myself. Rode it to work virtually every day for three years and then out on the trails on the weekend. But I am not putting my kids on a bike to school & daycare. Not with the way people drive in Boston. Too dangerous and also agree it needs to be addressed.

Finally, we do need a car. For example, your child's after-school program ends at 4pm and daycare also closes at 4pm. But your partner can't get out of work until 3:45 at the earliest and their place of employment, daycare and school are all more than a mile apart, how do you recommend we do that 10 months a year? (Never mind summer when there is no school and parents may need to send their children to a day camp) They may be able to get one of them by T but not both and a bike isn't going to work every day Jan-Mar with a toddler and little one in sub-freezing temps, sleet, snow and rain.

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most of the barriers that you discuss are actually caused by cars. The streets are unsafe for you to bicycle your kids because of other drivers. The rest are restrictions created in your mind. I am sorry that the trains are too crowded and slow for you but it is still your choice to drive your car. It is not the only option. More than a mile is your idea of an impossible distance to travel with 2 children wearing parkas? I guess you aren't poor or very old for that matter.

You do not need my approval to drive a car. You are a working adult and are qualified to determine whether buying a car is right for your family. But it is not a necessity.

Families with both parents working are not a modern phenomena. It has been going on for hundreds of years. You can manage without a car, you choose not too. And I respect that, but stop whining about the traffic. You are the traffic.

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I wrote in my post how I take the T EVERY DAY TO AND FROM WORK. CAPS for EMPHASIS to avoid confusion.

Or did you just want to ignore that fact? #notcreatedinmymind

It was my personal experience, including being hit by a car while riding my bike, that has made me re-evaluate my desire to ride in the city. And while I agree that a lot of these issues are caused by cars, they are not going anywhere. People love their cars. Should they be better at sharing the road? Totally. Should they slow down? Yes please. But to act like these developments won't bring in more cars to the neighborhood is an unrealistic expectation.

And it would be more than a mile once add in multiple locations for multiple children. Maybe your children are the perfect outdoor kids, but our first wouldn't wear mittens or gloves for the first two years. Just couldn't keep them on without duct-taping them to their parka. So, yes, it would be hard to get them to and from daycare or school outside in the winter. Which these days seems to last until Memorial Day.

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Despite the fact that I carefully stated that you are entirely the judge of whether having a car is what your family deserves, you seem very defensive about it. Doesn't make it a necessity. Many people don't have the option. The traffic the sum of all the cars driven by people pretending they have no choice. You can choose to stop driving at any time. At least you can stop complaining about something you freely choose to do.

2 miles is the distance that boston expects children to walk to school. It is sad that many people (and you) believe this is impossible.

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Or just get stuck on the part about traffic? This is not just about car/T/people congestion. It is about the need to keep the city's tax base even between residential and commercial property. If all the commercial property is converted into residential, it very well likely means greater demands on public needs, like schools, trash removal, water, electricity, school buses, etc that will be paid for through your higher taxes because there is less commercial tax. The commercial property helps balance the city because they are also required to pay taxes but put less strain on the day to day operations of the city, all while bringing in people to work there. And those people contribute to the hyper local economy by eating lunch, buying coffee, gas or a few groceries all while not being, at least some, residents of Boston.

But if we force these businesses outside the city, then we not only lose their tax revenue but also the secondary impact on the local economy of Dorchester as they no longer buy a cheap lunch, grab coffee or groceries at these local places anymore. Which can then have a ripple effect on neighborhoods losing the "character" that draws people to them in the first place as places close because it is easier for the owner to put up condos then run a bar, lunch spot or store.

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Most the commercial property in this area is closed and not providing anything to the neighborhood. The square footage of commercial property will be the same. There is a whole row of empty stores on Neponset that was built back when boston was actually dense. Comercial and residential development grow together.

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revenue. Even if the building is closed the owners still have to pay taxes on the property.

By your logic, if Dorchester was once more dense with both commercial and residential units, why does it need more housing now? Why can't we use the pre-existing infrastructure?

Dot Block has 37,000 square feet of retail space, which is not PDR and is not the same size as 4 acres. It is less than 1 acre of commercial space.

Also, one of the things that keeps neighborhoods affordable for people is having these areas of PDR because a portion of the population does not want to live next to gas stations, car repair shops, gravel & sand pits, bus depots, transfer stations or manufacturing that can operate on a 24 hour day. That said, these areas can have a positive ripple effect as it can keep the rents on residential units cheaper because these renters are willing to live next to places that operate at odd hours and have more noise pollution. But if you remove these areas from cities and put in the ever popular "mixed use" space it can actually drive rent and values up. Why? Because a majority of mixed use space operates on a more traditional 9 to 9 retail time-table. And now neighborhoods that were once affordable to people at a variety of income levels are only affordable to the middle and upper class.

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More people pay more taxes. Do you actually believe that preserving empty commercial buildings keep rent prices lower?

It seems that you making tenuous rationalizations because traffic is inconvenient. Take responsibility for your choices.

This project is well overdue.

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Something has to get done . Dot Ave , Granite Ave , Both boulevards are awful in the am and pm . As for the redline add more cars then . I just like looking at places that are not armpits anymore . There was a piece on UH about a part of Roxbury that is going to go condo and the response of " whats going to happen with people who have lived there for 50+ years ? " Sorry, someone is going to invest and you can't afford? Well hit the bricks . I'm confident that our elected officials will figure out a tax strategy so we are not San Fran . Certain parts of Dorchester are in need of a good wash , delousing. Get rid of the Riff Raff and move on .

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As to your other random add-on. Poor people are willing to move, the problem with pricing them out of the city is that if you are too poor to own a car, you are limited as to where you live. Just 4 walls and a roof aren't enough. You need a health center, grocery stores and schools.

If fact it seems that you would be happier if you moved somewhere you had room to drive your car.

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Any ' ing is better than rotting.

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It could still rot, that's the point.

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That building and the parking lot has been sinking into the ground since it was built without a sufficient support system. I don't know if it was just poor design or they never imagined installing printing presses that heavy when they built. The tractor trailers parked overnight had basically crushed the pipes in the ground. The owners were facing a massive project to tear up the infrastructure and then jack up the building to install piles. Dodged a bullet and scored a nice payday. Well done.

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the guy who bought it is known for buying stuff and then letting it just sit and accrue value. Land-based investing. When the area is hot with development he'll dump it for double what he paid and let someone else demo it. EVERYONE WINS (cept the people that buy condos there eventually, they are just suckers).

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Hoarding. Real estate hoarding.

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