Tough situation to be in.

Last week the Globe ran a glowing profile of GTI Properties, a developer in the South End of Boston, who has done a lot of good work renovating properties over the past decade (and longer).

One of the company’s employees made an inappropriate comment that pretty much negated any goodwill generated from the article.

In this week’s Globe, the employee tries to make amends:

While I was pleased to read the Sunday Globe’s article on our SoWa neighborhood here in the South End (“Call it ‘Mario’s Village,’ ” Real Estate, June 3), I was greatly taken aback to see one comment of mine from a 45-minute conversation highlighted: “When you turn on the lights, the roaches scatter.” The juxtaposition of this quote with a paragraph discussing homelessness made it sound like my quoted reference was to the homeless. But that was not my intent.

Those of us familiar with this neighborhood’s history know that in the not-too-distant past, it was a very different place — a place where you could easily encounter people engaged in every manner of criminal pursuit including drugs, prostitution, and theft. It was to those people that I meant to refer, and “turning on the lights” has brought life and new businesses and residences to our neighborhood, eliminating the dangers of the past.

One of the most precious things about the rejuvenation of the SoWa district is that no one was displaced by improvement of the area — mostly vacant lots and abandoned buildings.

The South End is nothing if not diverse. All manner of good people coexist here including the homeless at the Pine Street Inn, and I took pains in the interview to point out that they do not engage in any of the criminal behavior that turning on the lights has banished.

John J Kiger
Leasing Director, GTI Properties

I am willing to cut this guy some slack. No doubt, Mr Kiger made a comment that was best left unsaid, but he also said a lot of good stuff. And, again, the good they’ve done outweighs the comment that was made, by far.

Source: Pine Street Inn’s neighbors – The Boston Globe

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Updated:  1st Q 2018

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