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The Boons of Olympus: Positive After-Effects of a Bid for Boston

As another American city like Los Angeles or Washington D.C. gets ready to pick up Boston’s Olympic bid, it’s tempting to ask what went “wrong” with the Hub city’s own attempt to host the 2024 contests. But as recent history shows, even in the wake of a “failed” Olympic bid, there is often much that still goes right.

As a report commissioned by the Boston Foundation said of New York’s missed bid to host the 2012 Olympics that it “opened pathways and initiatives for sustainable development of new neighborhoods, parks, stadiums, middle-class housing, and even the first subway extension in 50 years.”

Boston gives every indication of following suit. As the Globe said, “With or without the 2024 Olympics, the industrial area between South Boston and the South End is going to be remade into a new neighborhood. So said Mayor Martin J. Walsh, who is determined to see the area known as Widett Circle redeveloped to continue the kind of growth that has transformed other parts of Boston."

Widett Circle is a part of Boston’s Dorchester Area once slated for an Olympic village, but still eyed for mixed-use residential development.  And as noted Boston-area appraiser and developer Collin Lord told us about his hometown’s Olympic bid: “If it doesn’t go forward? I don’t think anything changes.”  He mentioned Columbia Circle, and its location between an already redeveloping South End, and up-and-coming Dorchester. “Vacant land right on the Bay? Someone’s going to develop that, whether it’s for the Olympics or not.”

Or as the Curbed website said about Dorchester’s Widett Circle, Mayor Walsh “is not just keen on the new housing, hotel rooms and office space. A redeveloped Widett Circle could spawn as much as $100 million in annual tax revenue. Stay tuned.”

If you’d like to learn more about the positive changes occurring in Boston's real estate market, read Patch of Land's Market Research Report Boston: City on a Hill (FREE Download).

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