Report reasons why condos are so costly

When the title and first paragraph of a news article contains the words “jewel,” “swanky” and “luxury,” the clear message from your newspaper is class envy. That this project is slated for the rich and the rest of the unwashed masses will just have to deal with it. Normally, news content consists of who, what, when, where and why to a topic. Sadly, I saw nothing to explain the why for the high pricing at Port Gardner Wharf, leaving me to conclude that there is either bias or journalistic incompetence at play. By the way, I can’t afford a condo there.

If this is the next “jewel,” what was the previous one? Aside from the Events Center, there are no previous “jewels” in Everett anywhere near this magnitude. The project is huge, unprecedented and will bring a significant economic boost to a community that could use one.

Land near (or on) the waterfront is expensive. The port has a fiduciary responsibility; it still owns the land and must set ground lease rates at market. With 28 percent of the acreage set aside for public common areas, the remainder must bring a fair return to a developer for undertaking such risks. Additionally, the whole area is filled tidelands, and costs are much higher than normal because concrete piling foundations are necessary for support.

I don’t approve of all of it, but the project will provide more public access, transform the aesthetics of the waterfront, generate net new jobs and provide a higher and better use to this unique location. Some 1,200-plus new residents will benefit business owners in town, opening the door to more jobs.

This is one of those rising-tides-lifts-all-boats situations, and it’s irritating that you played the envy and resentment cards rather than explaining why the pricing is where it is.

Paul C. Bird


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