Planned high-rise is an ill fit for Chinatown, Leather District

Renderings of the tower proposed for 125 Lincoln St.(GENSLER)
Renderings of the tower proposed for 125 Lincoln St.(GENSLER)

In a Letter to the Editor published by The Boston Globe (August 15, 2019), Elaine Ng comments on the proposed 125 Lincoln St. development and its ill fit in advancing the identified needs of residents in the Chinatown and Leather District neighborhoods.

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Dear Editors:

The proposed office tower for 125 Lincoln St. is another example of development that is not in synch with neighborhood needs (“24-floor tower plan stirs protest,” Business, Aug. 13). The 340-foot tower will isolate two historical Boston neighborhoods from each other and bring more workers seeking to live nearby, further accelerating the gentrification of Chinatown and the Leather District.

TSNE owns and operates the Nonprofit Center at 89 South St., around the corner from the proposed tower. We bought this building in 2004 to serve as an anchor for nonprofits by providing below-market, accessible downtown space for the nonprofit community. And, as recent Globe articles point out, real estate market pressures make it virtually impossible for nonprofits to stay in the Back Bay, South End, and downtown areas. This pushes nonprofits farther away from transportation hubs, is a barrier for recruiting and retaining young, diverse talent into the sector, and forces constituents to travel longer to access services. It’s another consequence of gentrification, and another indicator of the lack of equity in our city’s urban development policies.

Instead, Boston needs to honor its commitment to all its residents, and use this parcel to build affordable housing, community retail, and community-based programming space at 125 Lincoln St.

Elaine Ng, CEO