I was quoted in a story in today’s Boston Globe. The article was about Boston’s Downtown Crossing neighborhood, which borders the Financial District, Waterfront, Midtown, and Ladder District neighborhoods.

The neighborhood is home to 6,000 residents, and many more are on the way, including people moving into 45 Province, the attractive residential tower rising over the city. Completion is scheduled for late 2009.

Downtown Crossing still has a ways to go before you or I might find it a comfortable place to live.

To the outsider, it still looks like a thoroughly commercial district, and lacks some of the conveniences that would round out its residential character, such as a grocery store.

John A. Keith, a real estate broker and author of the blog bostonreb.com, agreed that Downtown Crossing still comes up short. On a recent walk through the neighborhood, he saw “empty storefront after empty storefront.”

“It always seems in flux,” he said. “It always seems run-down.”

Downtown Crossing may be the perfect neighborhood for students, Keith said – in the center of everything, but without the amenities other city dwellers require.

That’s true. Emerson College and Suffolk University have expanded into the neighborhood, and it seems to me it would be a perfect place for students to live. Far enough away from Back Bay and Beacon Hill, but close enough to just about everything you need, if you’re a student (including heroin for sale on the Boston Common). (Joking!)

What ends up happening to the neighborhood remains to be seen. Will it become a vibrant 24-hour a day neighborhood, with a mix of young professionals, students, and business people, or will it continue to be defined by what it’s “not”, instead?

Source: A neighborhood showcase; Sponsors of an upcoming tour hope to inspire more people to call Downtown Crossing home – By Kristen Green, The Boston Globe

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