Hope springs eternal of course, and when it comes to my hometown I tend to be an optimist despite a very concerted effort to remain dispassionate and rational. On this beautiful Spring morning it’s hard for me to not be optimistic about the future however. I’ve taken a walk around the block, hardly deviating from the main thoroughfares which constitute the most circumscribed of paths and I was able to photograph all of these different projects in various stages of execution:
I’ll leave you to sort out what’s what here, but these projects run the gamut from publicly funded to private, retail to residential, small to large, incipient to completed, speculative to specific, institutional to private.
What excites me about this is that only two of these are in response to the tornado of 2011 and none of them appear to be dependent upon the MGM project being selected by the state as the designated casino for western Massachusetts. As I have expressed before, I understand the reservations which people have about casinos in general, and I think that they are valid, but under the current circumstances there is no sense pretending that not having a casino in western Massachusetts is a possibility: A casino is coming. That MGM’s proposal is both superior to the others in terms of its design and scope I think is fairly obvious, what bodes well for its success, as that is defined in terms of casino projects, is that the neighborhood seems to be moving forward even without it.