The down side of downtown revival

November 29th, 2007

Today’s Providence Journal has a telling article about downtown condo owners complaining about the noise and odors from a nearby bar.

“We were lured to downtown being told one thing, and we were duped. This is an upscale place, and it should have a certain tonality. Instead, my home is now a source of my stress. You’re lying in bed at night, the headboard’s going boom-boom-boom,” she said.

It’s the downside to the new downtown. The clubs and bars that have long dominated are now coming into conflict with the high-end residences that have sprung up in the last few years. Both feel they have the right to exist, exposing an at-times uneasy relationship between the established businesses and the moneyed newcomers.

The story is a perfect illustration of what will happen if condos are built right next to industrial facilities along Allens Ave. Future condo owners are certain to complain about the loud noises and industrial activity produced by typical working waterfront operations. And with complaints will come political pressure for operating restrictions that would eventually force many working waterfront companies out of business.

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