Because even in a year where political discourse has veered off into ugly directions, Kouril Grieser’s assertion that projects like the one businessman Robert Korff has proposed for the corner of Washington and Walnut Streets is “reversing the American Dream” is stunning.
If I understand Kouril Grieser’s position correctly (and, granted, she can be confusing) seniors, singles, young families, childless couples or anyone else who might believe an apartment in Newtonville close to transportation, a grocery store, a pharmacy, great restaurants, an arts center and other amenities would be a great place to live are — unbeknownst to them — “settling” for something less than the American Dream.
In addition, Kouril Grieser declares, those same misinformed apartment dwellers are ALSO “destroying the dreams of everyday Newton residents” who choose to and/or are able to live in a house with a garage and a back yard.
You need to read the whole thing, but here’s two excerpts:
As more settle for units without owning land, they become vulnerable to the economic and political power of those who do. But suburbs, with less density and income inequality than urban areas, still offer a housing ladder for Americans, including the record numbers of minorities buying houses, backyards and economic security.
Newton is a caring community of generous, hardworking people at all income levels. There’s nothing “welcoming” about displacement or destroying the dreams of everyday Newton residents. Our city councilors are too intelligent and responsible, I believe, to vote for Korff’s request, because it hurts Newton.
Korff’s proposal for Washington Place does nothing of the sort. It takes an unattractive, outdated collection of mismatched, underutilized buildings and replaces them with a thoughtful, historically-respectful design, courtyard, brickwork and step backs that will enhance the visual appeal of Newtonville.
It will bring new customers and vitality to our village businesses, open up new opportunities for existing businesses that may choose to move there or for new business enterprises. It provides a public space dedicated to the arts, new crosswalks and improved bike lanes.
And it provides homes for our seniors, our differently abled people, our Millennials, our young couples and others who are struggling to find housing that meets their needs and/or lifestyle and really don’t need Kouril Grieser’s demeaning or dehumanizing their choices or them.
The one thing Washington Place will indisputably not do is destroy anyone’s American Dream.