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Boston to Consider Workforce and Investor Diversity in Real Estate Decisions

Beginning this week, the city of Boston will ask developers how they plan to include women and minorities as workers and investors when putting city-owned real estate out for bid.
October 8, 2018, 1pm PDT | Philip Rojc | @PhilipRojc
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Richard Cavalleri

To address "persistent criticism" that lower-income, non-white neighborhoods are being denied the benefits of recent construction in Boston, the city is debuting a new process in which developers seeking to build on city-owned sites will be queried on their inclusion commitments.

Tim Logan writes, "When putting city-owned real estate out for bid, city agencies will now specifically ask developers how they will work to include minority workers, professional-service firms, and investors in their project, and how they'd address the risk of residents, and neighbors, being priced out of their buildings."

Last year, City Council members Ayanna Pressley and Michelle Wu "spearheaded an ordinance that calls for similar diversity plans on city contracts and construction projects." Now those guidelines will apply to a variety of real estate sites the city plans to sell.

The new rules only apply to city-owned land, not land owned by state agencies or privately-held sites. But officials like economic development director John Barros hope a broader conversation will emerge. "This is about where the City of Boston is going, and how we do business. We're saying this matters," he said.

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Published on Sunday, October 7, 2018 in The Boston Globe
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