Boston is lucky. It’s almost all condos (downtown and Boston Proper, I’m talking about). Very few co-operatives.
I’ve mentioned this before – co-ops blow. Most people don’t understand their financial structure; their eyes glaze over once you start to discuss it.
Of course, even if you decided you wanted to buy into a co-op building, you just might not be able to. Co-ops can say yes or no to whomever they want.
I don’t think we need to change that. It’s how co-ops are set up. We don’t need legislation changing anything.
Simple solution for those who don’t like how co-ops are run. Don’t buy there.
Steve Bailey, Mr. Understatement himself, weighs in on the issue, in a recent Globe column (smearumn, I call it). (Yes, this is a regular Horatio Algers story, with the little guy against the big guy … sorry Steve, really. The little guy in this story is a wealthy businessman looking to buy on Beacon Hill. Can we really sympathize with either side?)
John Walsh thought he was living the American dream. Until, that is, he ran head-on into Jonathan Winthrop.
The two men come from very different worlds — and Jonathan Winthrop has every intention of keeping it that way.
John Walsh has a remarkable rags-to-riches story to tell, but it has not been remarkable enough to impress Jonathan Winthrop, who lives his life, quite literally, overlooking Beacon Hill from the penthouse. Walsh just wants to move downstairs. Winthrop and his neighbors have said no. Walsh, though, is not going away quietly.
For months now Walsh has been trying to buy a unit at 68 Beacon Street, a striking nine-story brick building at the corner of Charles Street — one of the city’s best locations, at the foot of the Public Garden and the Boston Common.
The problem: 68 Beacon is a cooperative building, which courts have ruled are essentially private clubs, giving boards the right to turn down anyone they want as long as no one can prove they have broken laws barring discrimination based on things like race, sex, or age. Co-ops are much more common in New York than Boston, and prospective owners are frequently rejected without knowing why.
Complete story: An American dream denied – By Steve Bailey, The Boston Globe