Maura Barry-Garland, MUP 2019
Organization: South Boston Neighborhood Development Corporation, Boston, MA
Sponsor: Joint Center for Housing Studies Community Service Fellowship
“Although South Boston Neighborhood Development Corporation’s portfolio is primarily housing, the organization also owns three commercial spaces. As part of our role supporting the community, we are willing to offer lower-than-market rents to small local businesses as they start out in an area with increasingly high commercial rents.
The South Boston NDC development currently under construction, 206 West Broadway, will contain a ground-floor retail space in addition to sixteen units of affordable housing. Currently, SBNDC is in the process of finding an occupant for this new commercial space. Since this storefront is just a 6-minute walk from the Broadway MBTA Red Line station and on one of the busiest streets in the neighborhood, it’s a great opportunity for an entrepreneur.
A local mother and daughter who operate a small cafe are interested in opening a second branch. SBNDC is helping them prepare their business plan and market analysis, so this new venture will be successful. Above and below are two of the many charts I’ve prepared in this process, including one of retail leakage (the dollar amount residents in an area spend on a type of good, minus the dollar amount of that type of good supplied by stores in that area) and one of the transportation that residents living less than a fifteen-minute walk from the new development use to get to work. Knowing how many local residents walk or take the T to work helps us establish how many people will walk by this store each weekday.
Although I am still most passionate about creating affordable housing, I am now also excited about local economic development, as I get to see firsthand the possibilities that small businesses can create for entrepreneurs, employees, and residents of a neighborhood.”