Tuesday, August 04, 2009

Herald Article on Achilles Closing

Fort Point shop folds as projects stall
By Thomas Grillo | Monday, August 3, 2009 | http://www.bostonherald.com
| Business & Markets

Michael Krupp shut down his Achilles Project, a funky restaurant-
boutique in Boston¹s Fort Point Channel, over the weekend, blaming in
part stalled development projects.

Krupp - whose business combined a designer clothes shop with a cafe
called Persephone - criticized what he called ³local politics and a
lack of congruency among developers² for the failure of the Seaport
District to take off.

³Fort Point was heralded as the next up-and-coming neighborhood, but
nothing has happened,² he said. ³There¹s a half million square feet of
vacant space with no one living in it for no apparent reason. We¹ve
lost lots of jobs in the area and that¹s had an impact on our business.²

Steven Hollinger of the Seaport Alliance for Neighborhood Design, and
a longtime Fort Point resident, said developers can¹t be blamed for an
economy that has stymied demand for office and residential space.

³It¹s hard to make an argument that developers should be doing more
when the economy is preventing them from doing anything,² he said.

Lincoln Property Co.¹s $32 million redevelopment of two vacant
warehouses at 316-322 Summer Street - into 140,100 square feet of
office space with ground floor retail - is on hold until a large
tenant can be found, according to John Miller, Lincoln¹s senior vice
president.

Last fall, the Boston Redevelopment Authority approved the first
residential building within the proposed Seaport Square project on the
South Boston waterfront. The project is expected to include 34 one-
and two-bedroom units in a six-story building with ground-floor
retail. But Gale International, the developer, has been caught in the
credit crunch and the project has stalled.

Some work has moved forward. The Channel Center, a mixed-use property,
recently completed renovations with about 100,000 square feet of space
still available for rent.

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