In essence, the NRA plan involves adding some green space in exchange for a sizable condominium and commercial development and the elimination of 150 parking spaces. It is not by any means clear, however, that additional green space on the waterfront is needed at this time; it is rarely fully used now except during Yankee Homecoming.
We should allow the development of the public waterfront to evolve organically as the growth and needs of the city dictate. The current plan to expand the harbormaster center is a good example of that kind of development because it connects with our maritime history and serves a growing need. Better landscaped parking is another step that would allow the aesthetics to improve while giving the community the time needed to raise funds for development that meets the evolving needs.
I have talked with many residents and they are almost universally opposed to a condominium development on the public waterfront. Their view is not “get it done” but “get it right.” Building over 30 condominium units on the public waterfront is decidedly not getting it right.