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TACKLING DEVELOPMENT IN BOSTON

Keep keen eye on affordable housing at Copley tower

August 15, 2011

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THE GLOWING endorsement of a proposed 47-story tower at Copley Place (“Three big-ticket developments would speed Boston’s recovery,’’ Editorial, Aug. 10) omits mention of another major community benefit for the Back Bay: the addition of more than three dozen affordable units among its 318 residences. That is the number of affordable units required by Mayor Menino’s 2001 blue ribbon panel and its May 2006 update.

The developers of the two most recent residential towers in the Back Bay have honored both the letter and the spirit of that mandate by including nearly four dozen affordable units among their 400 new residences. The Globe should advocate that Copley Place follow their lead. In particular, the paper should be vigilant in ensuring that the developer not violate the spirit of the law by attempting to invoke a loophole - for example, one that would allow it to buy out its obligation through the cheaper alternative of directing affordable housing dollars elsewhere in Boston.

Marvin S. Wool
Boston