Former San Francisco Residents: Boston Could Learn Plenty From San Francisco

WBUR radio reported:

“Whether or not Boston wins its bid for Amazon, one thing is clear: The city is ambitious in wanting to bring in more big business. That can be a blessing and a curse, especially when it comes to housing. The average rent for a one-bedroom in Boston is around $2,200 — already up 70 percent from five years ago. It’s not just residents feeling the pinch; it’s also small businesses…”

The news report included advice from two persons experienced with the changes San Francisco experienced. Before moving to Boston, Anh Nguyen was a community organizer in San Francisco. Currently, she works with Boston Main Street, a group of nonprofits supported by the city to help revitalize small businesses. Nguyen advised:

“This former blue collar city is migrating to uber-elite white collar… We’re going to continue to attract people from all over the world to come here and it’s going to be like San Francisco.”

Former San Francisco Supervisor David Campos, who is now the deputy executive for Santa Clara County, advised:

“… Our eyes were bigger than our stomachs in terms of the tech industry. We should’ve asked them to be more involved in the creation of housing. Don’t just think of the short-term benefits, think of the long-term ramifications, and I think if we would have done that, we would be in a much stronger place today in San Francisco.”

Since economic growth will require more commuters, it’s probably wise for residents to review both the City of Boston’s Go Boston 2030 infrastructure plan, and the MBTA Focus40 plan. Residents may want more details and updates about both; especially the proposed Red Line and “rapid bus” improvements.