Editorial: Tower developers should reach out

The proposed residential tower on Worthington Street is generating opposition the likes of which haven’t been seen in years. That should be taken as a sign to have good-faith discussions with the community about alternatives and compromises.

Mission Hill is not an anti-development neighborhood by any means. It is a neighborhood that asks one very simple, very good question: What’s in this for the community?

Residents and community leaders have a long record of making projects better with their questions and input.

Indeed, some controversial projects have earned community support. Once soundly whipped in public meetings, the Clutch Works redevelopment turned into a local success story under a local developer who listened to local input. A towering MassArt dorm with an avant-garde exterior design won praise after officials held community discussions—when technically they didn’t even have to—and demonstrated that the facility would reduce the off-campus student population.

Is there something in the Worthington Street project to benefit Mission Hill? Many respected residents and leaders are skeptical. If there’s a more positive answer, it will be found by reaching out to the community before any tower reaches to the sky.

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