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Columnist slams homeowners

Boston Properties wants to build a new 19-story office building on Boylston Street next to the Mandarin Hotel & Residences, and a 30-story residential building around the corner on Exeter Street.

Currently, the owner has approval for an 11-story building and … I don’t know about the other building. I don’t think they had ever proposed putting something up there.

But, of course, now that they have, several neighbors are complaining about it.

Fair enough, right? It’s a quality of life issue. If you have a nice view and you expected to have that view protected, wouldn’t you be concerned if that view was taken away?

No, seriously. Cut these people some slack. Yes, we don’t live in the suburbs, yes, people have to understand that nothing is forever, etc., etc., etc. That doesn’t mean they don’t have a point.

Some of those against it are saying “No way.” Others (perhaps the majority, the ones who don’t get quoted in the newspapers?) are willing to compromise.

I think a 19-story office building seems a bit extreme – they say there will be as many as 1600 employees there, every day. I love development, but all things in moderation, right?

Everyone agreed on 11-stories, just five years ago. I don’t think enough time has elapsed to simply throw that agreement into the toilet.

In both cases, maybe it’s just posturing on the part of the owner. Ask for everything, get a little? Maybe they want 14-stories of office space, and 20-stories of condos.

Okay by me.

Anyway, the point of this post was to complain about a story written last week by Globe reporter columnist Steve Bailey, who ridicules owners in the neighboring Trinity Place luxury condo building.

Pity the poor urban millionaires of Trinity Place …

… Boston Properties wants to build an ugly 30-story apartment building at the Prudential Center that will block the views and cast shadows over their ugly 18-story Trinity Place. The urban millionaires are beside themselves …

… [Boston Mayor Thomas] Menino never met a big building he didn’t like. The mayor’s reasoning is straightforward enough: Big buildings pay more taxes than small buildings. Menino has spent years systematically killing the character that makes Boston so special by planting big, ugly buildings everywhere. Now there is a “shooting” in their own neighborhood, and the good people of Trinity Place are shocked. What a shock.

A little extreme in the criticism, I think.

Trouble in paradise – By Steve Bailey, The Boston Globe