Back in the day, the area around North Station was a vast wasteland of government offices and eight-lane highways (remember when you had to go to the Registry on Nashua Street?)

Fast forward, and today the area, re-christened as “the Bulfinch Triangle” is the site of condos, apartment buildings, and hotels … surrounded by a vast wasteland of government offices and a sunken eight-lane highway.

In the old days, you could pretty much propose a development of any size or density. But, now that people actually live here, they’re saying, “enough is enough” to new projects.

From the Herald:

Twenty-one residents of Strada234, an upscale development near the TD Banknorth Garden, thought they had a deal to settle two lawsuits that have stymied the Lovejoy Wharf project. But the negotiations collapsed and the parties are headed back to court.

At issue is an $85 million mixed-use development at the water’s edge that includes the rehabilitation of 160 North Washington St., the former Registry of Motor Vehicles building, and a new 14-story tower on nearby 131 Beverly St …

… Daniel Chisholm, a plaintiff who is also an attorney, recently attempted to negotiate a settlement with the Lexington-based developer. Under the terms of the deal, Ajax would pay the residents $2.3 million and, in exchange, the plaintiffs would drop litigation.

What do you think? Do the owners have a case here? Do they deserve compensation for their perceived (but as of yet, unrealized) losses? Could a cynic call the whole thing “extortion”, with the current owners promising to go away if the developer makes a payoff?

I was in the building just a couple months ago, with a client. We looked at a condo listed by one of those owners who are suing. He seemed pretty steamed that the new building had been proposed for a space right outside his back window (even though his views, in his own opinion, would not be adversely affected). (Mind you, Strada234 was originally six stories and the developer added floors 7-12 when they were turned into condos …)

I think my client and I both felt a bit uncomfortable about his behavior, so much so that my client chose not to pursue a deal with the seller. (There were other reasons, but that was one of them.)

Source: Boston fight renewed over big plans for former registry site – By Thomas Grillo, The Boston Herald

Photo courtesy Flickr.com

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