The apparent appointment of Peter Meade as head of the Boston Redevelopment Authority is intriguing.
A long-time city power broker, Meade definitely has the behind-the-scenes negotiating skills to bring community groups and other interests together to make sure developments get done and done right. Those skills will come in handy as developers and neighborhood groups clash.
But there are some things even skilled negotiators can’t do — such as making people part with their money. Would Meade have been able to avert the stoppage of work at the Filene’s Basement site in Downtown Crossing? Nope. Unless he found hundreds of millions of dollars lying around, the Filene’s project wasn’t going to move forward until the credit and real-estate markets recovered.
Is he going to be able to negotiate the massive build-out of the Seaport area? Nope. Again, the market will have final say on that.
Then there’s the issue of Meade possibly overshadowing Mayor Menino, who isn’t exactly known for liking to share the limelight with high-profile subordinates.
But here’s hoping the Meade appointment works. The city could use a dynamic, and effective, development director as Boston emerges from the recession.