Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Stop Simon Properties Group & Neiman Marcus' "Jim Crow" Skyscraper Reconstruction Project at Copley Place in Boston's Back Bay: Part 7

Simon Properties Group [SPG]’s attorney, James H. Greene of the Rubin & Rudman corporate law firm, has claimed at recent Boston Redevelopment Authority [BRA] and Boston Zoning Commission hearings that Simon Properties is no longer required to keep 25% of all residential units constructed on the Copley Place Project land affordable to low-income and minority tenants who wish to live in the Back Bay/South End neighborhood of Boston until 2077 (as mandated by the Section 16 housing affirmative action and residential affordability provisions of the 1978 and early 1980s master and amended master leases between the Massachusetts Turnpike Authority and the original developer, the UIDC subsidiary of Aetna Life).

Yet in its August 11, 1980 "Response by the City of Boston to an administrative complaint submitted by Greater Boston Legal Services to HUD Concerning the Copley Place Urban Development Action Group," the City of Boston attorneys, themselves, stated:

"Again, the complainant fails to acknowledge the significant benefits to low-and moderate-income persons and minorities which were negotiated through the CRC process as well as those incorporated by the City into the UDAG application. These are mentioned in at least three separate locations in the application .

“In addition to the permanent and construction jobs agreements cited in Part V, the Copley Place project has provisions for a minimum of 100 units of housing with 25% reserved for low-income households, and provisions for 15,000 to 20,000SF of community retail space with 50% reserved for Community Development Corporations and Minority Business Enterprises at below market rents...."

But, coincidentally. according to the Massachusetts Office of Campaign and Political Finance website data, the proposed Copley Place Reconstruction project's lead architect, Jack Hobbs of Hingham, Massachusetts, gave 5 campaign contributions--totalling $1,100--to Mayor Menino's campaign committee between May 16,2005 and November 4, 2010.

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