The building boom

85 Boston Street as proposed by Greystar.

Many thousands of new units have been built Everett in the past few years or are being built today.

Massive apartment projects have sprung up everywhere.

There is now the prospect of a 21 story tower going up with almost 400 units and talk as well of another tower or two to follow.

The development gives the appearance of Everett as a boomtown.

The public face of that appearance is positive. It speaks well of the city that so many younger people are coming here to live.

However, there is a downside to the massive new projects and the several thousands of new residents.

They are strangers in a strange land.

These new Everett residents don’t shop here. They don’t vote here. They don’t pay taxes here. In essence, they don’t contribute much to the future well-being of the city.

They, in fact, have little to no interest in the city, in city hall, in city politics, in who the mayor is and most of them couldn’t identify a city councilor or a member of the school committee or even the mayor in a police line-up if they were asked to do so.

This doesn’t make them bad people.

It doesn’t make the development projects bad developments.

Longtime Everett residents privately grumble about all the new development because they view the newcomers as helping the city to disappear as the place they have known for a lifetime.

The new developments require and demand a connection to the city to be meaningful to the city’s future.

Who do the new developments help other than the developers and builders if the new residents don’t take a dime of interest in the city

This is a reasonable question and one which all three candidates for mayor should be discussing.

It takes more planning and development talent than the city is presently bringing to the table to create a community than it does to build 5,000 new apartment house units for people who come and go.

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