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Old 08-14-2018, 08:18 AM
 
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["Springfield's problems began with the building of Monarch place. Everyone thought it would be the next downtown miracle revival and everything that could be, was converted to condos for the expected rush of young professionals they expected to move. Instead, the condos remained unsold until the prices dropped and were bought up and rented as subsidized housing. There is not a city in the world with a large low income population living right downtown that doesn't experience the same problems."

Uh that isn't monarch place that's owned by Pick Nelly and is offices, it was never housing.
Monarch Place - The Perfect Business Address in Springfield, MA

What you were probably thinking about is Chestnut Towers

https://www.masslive.com/news/index...._park_apa.html

When it became more of a low or moderate income housing a changed. However is going to change in management and is going to be significant Investments. They recently made some pretty big changes. Anybody homeless living in the building has been kicked out they have zero tolerance to any drug paraphernalia they find. They also kicked out a fair amount of people that were on Section 8 that were making more money than what they said. They are clamping down on the number of guests that are allowed and pets. There's going to be a 50 million dollar investment including fixing the elevators replacement of all the windows I'm thinking they're going to reopen the pool at the top and probably fix the parking in the garage. Keep in mind there's also a police kiosk along the same property and the getting along well with the new management.

"The largest spontaneous event in the city's history was the Thursday night concerts (later becoming bike night) Other cities bend over backwards to try and attract something similar (thinking about Middletown CT) yet Springfield chased the event away. I loved Thursday nights - when I was there every weeks I couldn't believe I was in Springfield."


Yeah the problem with that wasn't so much that was bike night they never called it that but that was a demographics that showed up. On Mondays they is Cruise Night, on Wednesdays there's white line Wednesdays and I believe at the farmers market in the center on Thursdays.

"Same with making it illegal to play music in a bar after 1am. What city in the world actively discourages people from coming downtown at night? Springfield has a real identity crisis."

I don't think you may have seen some of the incidents that have happened with The Nightlife. Masslive had a series of articles years ago.


https://www.masslive.com/localbuzz/i...d_nightli.html

Basically performers were not feeling safe so they didn't show up so then minor acts showed up and then all it takes these days unfortunately is a minor Skirmish to blow up to something much larger. There's also been a shift in clubs in general. As has been more tolerance and acceptance to same sex couples gay bars have gradually faded.

As for where riff raff would go consider the following.
1 public housing has no local list anymore. It is a state list and you only have two opportunities to move before they move on to the next person

2 they are not making more public housing in Springfield

3 there is no specific state or federal law that states a property owner must accept Section 8. This is not to say or suggest that people on that are bad people there can be good or bad but in lieu of forcing people those that have vouchers have to go further out.

4 the amount of transit in the area has expanded exponentially due to Union Station. Pvta, Peter Pan, Greyhound, CT rail, Amtrak etc. This is also why wayfinders is moving to the for Peter Pan building in another year. So if people really needs services and need to get out they get out. Next year the rail will have more service going north to Northampton Holyoke and Greenfield.

5 much of Berkshire County has negative population growth Franklin County has started to decline in population

So where are they going to go? Follow the bus route to the pvta, follow the train track lines and so forth.

Transit does not create gentrification. However, Transit is a catalyst in whatever direction that Community is going in.

They've started making policies now that are interesting. For example the city does not want that and roads being developed and is actively trying to connect streets. Redevelopment can occur from different organizations and it is interesting even without MGM. In the South End there's a large field by the Hollywood area. First the city put up an old playground, then the pvta put up a bus shelter, then the police department put a police kiosk there, then the planning Authority put a bike sharing Hub there and the wayfinding map. There's a rail Trail in the work sites that should done probably over the next few years. More market rate apartments, new home construction. More"apps" work. Yelp reviews, instacart deliveries, task rabbit, Netflix, satellite radio has reception, local media, Amazon hubs and lockers, municipal wifi, it all adds up.
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Old 08-14-2018, 09:43 AM
 
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Originally Posted by mdovell View Post
[
Uh that isn't monarch place that's owned by Pick Nelly and is offices, it was never housing.
Monarch Place - The Perfect Business Address in Springfield, MA

.

I fully realize that. With the building of Monarch and the existing space in the (then) CBT building, the expectation was that young professionals would be moving downtown to work in those offices. That is the period when Classical High School was converted along with Kimball Towers and several others (which I can picture, but can't name). A naive assumption.
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Old 08-14-2018, 11:11 AM
 
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Yeah Classical is very nice on the inside and the prices can be good but the HOA I find to be a bit high, $300 a month...

To a point it can be hard to keep track of some of these buildings and the old names and new names don't always correspond. Mass mutual center is just the name on the building, they don't really run that. The name springfield is on many things but it doesn't always mean it's run by the city either.

Silverbrick seems to be the latest to convert although there are plans for the old Harley davidson area to get more. Chicopee is getting quite a bit of apartments.

The large projects in the region are done but the smaller ones that are more on street corners and side streets are going to gradually be finished. I'm looking forward to valley ventures if they can finally move. That brings in another cafe. The makerspace is pretty good. A refurbished Paramount it going to really add to the area. Gradually more of the downtown will fill up. It takes time because you aren't always provided with a clean slate of a building.
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Old 08-14-2018, 12:00 PM
 
Location: Massachusetts & Hilton Head, SC
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Anyone notice the OP never came back to the thread? She was looking for good schools in the area, which eliminates Springfield.
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Old 08-14-2018, 12:12 PM
 
2,408 posts, read 4,440,940 times
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Originally Posted by CaseyB View Post
Anyone notice the OP never came back to the thread? She was looking for good schools in the area, which eliminates Springfield.
Right. We went on and on and we appreciate your lenience toward broad discussions, CaseyB
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Old 08-14-2018, 01:21 PM
 
405 posts, read 222,458 times
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Originally Posted by CaseyB View Post
Anyone notice the OP never came back to the thread? She was looking for good schools in the area, which eliminates Springfield.

LOL, true. As is often the case, threads wander far from the original theme. Anyway, I think it's safe to say, Springfield can be eliminated.


I think Springfield needs it's own folder for discussions. There is a lot that's coming and going.
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Old 12-04-2020, 05:29 PM
 
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Originally Posted by mdovell View Post
Your price range can easily get you a house in the area if not too or potentially even 3 or 4 depending on what you want. If you want to know about Springfield Itself by all means feel free to send me a message. I've been in the downtown for about three and a half years.

Here's a few things to keep in mind:

I-91 is for all points and intentions of pretty easy ride traffic-wise it's straight and you can go all the way into Central Vermont or all the way down into New Haven.
Having said there are some events that do I add the traffic. The Big E is a regional state fair in West Springfield. It runs for practically 3 weeks in September and you're going to know when it's going on. I'd say it's worth it going at least once but it's not something you want to go to for all 3 weeks. The Pike can get you more access to Worcester, Pittsfield and of course Boston. Bradley Airport is the nearest major airport he can get you to a fair amount of places in the US Canada the Caribbean and some of Europe. If you're looking to take a flight further out NYC or Boston are your options.

MGM Springfield opens in about a month. This is a casino and the First full Casino in Massachusetts. There's going to be significant traffic on that day potentially tens of thousands of people in the downtown. There's generally been a consolidation within the region to put more things in the Springfield because of this. There are many businesses that frankly don't operate on weekends or have limited hours. Since the casino does not close it's going to be drawing more people and more businesses are going to have to open up longer. I already heard of some restaurants that are adding hours.

If you get anything in the long Meadows or east of it I would strongly I repeat strongly recommend that you get that Foundation tested. There is an issue with foundations in the long Meadows and small communities to about the Palmer area and also in Hartford County Connecticut. Long story short these foundations have a certain chemical that was added that when exposed to air and water falls apart over time. If an owner refuses to get it tested that could be a red flag.

Crime levels are overhyped. I grew up in the 1980s and I remember how chaotic early 90s was. It's nowhere close to what it was back then. Right now the crime levels in Detroit are pretty much what Boston was at in the early 90s. As long as you're not a member of a gang or do drugs or sell drugs you're probably not going to be a victim of crime.

Schools very dramatically not just by District but also within District. In Springfield I can sell you that the concerns are not so much elementary school but Middle School. Middle schools across the border always tough. There are also charter schools and private schools in the area.


As for the arguments about Amherst or Northampton I consider myself a pretty tolerant individual. I could argue that Northampton is to women what Provincetown is to men. But to be frank I think there's quite a bit more to see in Northampton. The general Peele college communities is that they generally can have amenities that might not be found in suburbs. These can be speaker series, plays, sporting events Etc. Since students are generally the same stream of age groups they are more likely to have disposable income in certain areas so you're always going to see some of the same stores and same businesses. There's nothing wrong with that but as mentioned it can get a little bit boring sometimes.
Still live/love downtown Springfield?? Moving from Ga to WMass area and trying to choose a safe/liberal area. Love old homes and of course Springfield has many to choose from.
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Old 12-06-2020, 12:43 PM
 
Location: near bears but at least no snakes
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Originally Posted by Ncochran97 View Post
Still live/love downtown Springfield?? Moving from Ga to WMass area and trying to choose a safe/liberal area. Love old homes and of course Springfield has many to choose from.
Don't expect to move to Springfield and find your dream house in a great neighborhood. As someone who grew up in the area, it's been sad to see how far Springfield has fallen. I won't even set foot in it but people do say the Forest Park area is still fairly good. There used to be grand old Victorian homes along Maple St and in fact, Springfield was called The City of Homes. Things have changed though.

If you want a REALLY liberal area, you would look a little to the north and live around Northampton. VERY liberal, almost too liberal even for someone like me who considers herself liberal. It's a college town--Smith College and nearby Univ of Mass. Any town around Northampton would be also suitable but you won't be that near to Springfield. When things get back to normal, Northampton is fabulous for the restaurants all up and down Main St and the boutique shops and even some remaining bookstores. Lots of gorgeous old homes too everywhere. The less "famous" town of Easthampton is an alternative for the now expensive Northampton. (Southampton is a semi rural paradise that has become very expensive lately and Westhampton has a great farm store but is a bit of a drive up snowy hills in winter.)

Other people will come and tell you more but without much info to go on, I can still recommend East Longmeadow for a decent small town for families mostly and with a pretty good supply of historic houses. Next door is Longmeadow, itself, but I'd recommend staying away unless you like keeping up with the Joneses and a lot of emphasis on material goods and schools that are like pressure cookers.

More rural, but still suburbs of Springfield are Hamden and Wilbraham. Very picturesque towns.

You can even go across the river and live in Agawam or West Springfield. I know little about them though except that they exist and I don't hear terrible things about either of them. I think Agawam would be preferable to West Springfield.

Most of the towns are safe. Every so often you'll hear of a break in or a theft but people don't go around shooting people (at least not very often, lol) and our gun laws are pretty strict. BTW, you can live in a Springfield suburb and still easily get to the attractions in the Northampton area but it's enough of a distance that it probably isn't something you'd do on the spur of the moment. It's an easy drive up rte 91. The entire area is officially the Connecticut River Valley. Springfield was once the crowning glory.
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Old 12-07-2020, 09:05 AM
 
7,738 posts, read 6,965,096 times
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Originally Posted by in_newengland View Post
Don't expect to move to Springfield and find your dream house in a great neighborhood. As someone who grew up in the area, it's been sad to see how far Springfield has fallen. I won't even set foot in it but people do say the Forest Park area is still fairly good. There used to be grand old Victorian homes along Maple St and in fact, Springfield was called The City of Homes. Things have changed though.

If you want a REALLY liberal area, you would look a little to the north and live around Northampton. VERY liberal, almost too liberal even for someone like me who considers herself liberal. It's a college town--Smith College and nearby Univ of Mass. Any town around Northampton would be also suitable but you won't be that near to Springfield. When things get back to normal, Northampton is fabulous for the restaurants all up and down Main St and the boutique shops and even some remaining bookstores. Lots of gorgeous old homes too everywhere. The less "famous" town of Easthampton is an alternative for the now expensive Northampton. (Southampton is a semi rural paradise that has become very expensive lately and Westhampton has a great farm store but is a bit of a drive up snowy hills in winter.)

Other people will come and tell you more but without much info to go on, I can still recommend East Longmeadow for a decent small town for families mostly and with a pretty good supply of historic houses. Next door is Longmeadow, itself, but I'd recommend staying away unless you like keeping up with the Joneses and a lot of emphasis on material goods and schools that are like pressure cookers.

More rural, but still suburbs of Springfield are Hamden and Wilbraham. Very picturesque towns.

You can even go across the river and live in Agawam or West Springfield. I know little about them though except that they exist and I don't hear terrible things about either of them. I think Agawam would be preferable to West Springfield.

Most of the towns are safe. Every so often you'll hear of a break in or a theft but people don't go around shooting people (at least not very often, lol) and our gun laws are pretty strict. BTW, you can live in a Springfield suburb and still easily get to the attractions in the Northampton area but it's enough of a distance that it probably isn't something you'd do on the spur of the moment. It's an easy drive up rte 91. The entire area is officially the Connecticut River Valley. Springfield was once the crowning glory.
There's plenty around in the area. Plenty of victorian homes in the city. Take a look at the tours
https://www.springfieldpreservation..../walkingtours/

Easthampton has developed of of northampton. Pay attention to the mayor I think she'll run for governor within the next ten years.I was just at the record store a few weeks back, not bad.

The trouble with the longmeadows and to a point hamden and wilbraham is the foundation problem. It's mostly in CT but some of mass is in it. It's going to take years to fix and it lowers potential housing in the area (the 30% rule is also a factor out there). Mass regs have it that if you improve a building beyond 30% then it all has to come up to code. That's fine for say a new kitchen in eastern mass. But contractors aren't going to to downscale a 40K kitchen for the heck of it. A 40K kitchen to a 400K home is 10%. But to something at 133K it's 30% That means it's less likely to be upgraded etc.

I've lived in downtown Springfield for nearly six years having moved from the south shore. My car insurance is pretty much the same price. So if there was a huge amount of crime why aren't I paying more? I've never been robbed or solicited by a prostitute. Can a bum try hitting you up for change? Yeah but I saw that in nearly every city in the past 35 or so years. Much of the homeless left the downtown when the homeless shelter moved to the south end. Another part that changed was the trash cans that the close and prevent people from getting cans. They left to other areas. MGM came in and put a ton of cameras and a patrol. Things are pretty much clean and quiet. If you want trouble you can find trouble but unless you are a drug user, drug dealer, are a member of a gang or have a close affiliation with one the chances of violence going against you pretty small. You don't really see much for drunk driving or car theft. Pawn shops are heavily regulated so they don't fence stolen goods and much is online these days. When people talk about crime in urban areas I have to ask what specific crime are they themselves afraid of? Gangs attack other gangs, dealers attack other dealers. Graffiti is on the rise but I think that's just one guy tagging a few places. Illegal dumping is more of a concern now due to recycling costing so much but again if you are caught on video (and the mayor has done this) he'll call you out publicly.

As for northampton it's not really coming back any time soon. Hampshire council of governments dissolved and the old courthouse is empty, the silver place next to it is closing and the hotel around it (had a great time last year there) is closed until february. Without smith really opening up you don't have students, without students you don't have much of the shops. Even before covid the downtown was losing them. Rents are high and that's how easthampton developed. I've seen some artists go to Holyoke and even Springfield. Holyoke oddly has the highest rent increases (as a percentage) in the state (10%).

Most of western mass is consolidating to Springfield. The berkshires has been shrinking since the 70's and franklin county more recently. Fewer people mean aging demographics and you don't have the same customer base. Further north in Brattleboro the downtown has lost quite a bit. You have to attract younger people and that also means not sky high prices. It helps to also have actual diversity and not something imported via academia or government. I know if I eat Vietnamese in Springfield it actually is Vietnamese and not some Sodexco fake trend thing off of a truck at Smith.
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