The Boston Public Market is almost full again, but it takes much longer for pedestrian traffic to recover


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There’s only one place to fill right now: a new bar area made possible when the market received a rare liquor license from the city earlier this year. Cronin said leadership is still deciding whether to tap an outside vendor or hire bartenders to keep operations in-house. She hopes to open the bar – 2022, which will allow visitors to stroll through the various stalls with beers in hand.

the Boston Public Market Association is non-profit, which meant there were two grants from the Kendall Foundation, a total of $ 750,000 to help the market and its vendors recover. (The market has a typical annual budget of $ 2 million.) In contrast, the nearby Quincy Market, which is still suffering from some vacancy, is run by a for-profit company.

The public market opened in 2015 and pedestrian traffic peaked in 2019 with around 2.5 million people. Then the pandemic struck and the market closed for half of 2020. Business began to recover this fall, with 110,000 visitors in October, before traffic fell again amid the recent coronavirus surge. Cronin still hopes to attract 1 million visitors in 2021.

The market’s customer mix usually consists of city dwellers, office workers in the city center, as well as tourists and day-trippers. All three categories fell this year compared to 2019, with the bureaucracy almost entirely gone.

Cronin hopes to attract more people in 2022, in part through presentations by local chefs and more live music. Ultimately, however, the recovery may depend on the return of downtown office workers.

“Getting office workers back is a top priority,” said Cronin. “I will keep saying it even if it might be unpopular. I think it’s important for the city. It’s important for a place like the market. The city will not be what we want if no one returns to the city center. “

From West Roxbury into the world

If only her fathers could see her now.

Paul Ayoub and Judy Habib became friends as young children and grew up close together in West Roxbury. Their fathers were among the founders of the St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital in Memphis, founded in the early 1960s by a Lebanese-American entertainer Danny Thomas.

Ayoub and Habib carry on this legacy. You are now the chairman or vice chairman of the hospital board, which gives it a decidedly Boston accent. (Ayoub is the chairman of the law firm Nutter McClennen & Fisch while Habib is the managing director of the marketing company KHJ brand activation.)

Like their fathers, they have long been St. Jude volunteers. That mission took on a new meaning this month when St. Jude announced an ambitious $ 200 million program that began with the World health organization to deliver cancer drugs to underserved communities around the world. St. Jude hopes to be able to help up to 120,000 children over the next six years.

“Nobody has ever coordinated drug distribution for such a program,” said Ayoub. “When our fathers [joined with] Danny Thomas, to start this hospital, you dreamed really, really big. But that’s brave on a completely different level and gives hope to children all over the world. “

Galer says goodbye

Greg Galer helped do that Boston Preservation Alliance a formidable force in the city during his nine years as managing director. Now he is looking forward to a new challenge that is internationally oriented.

Galer will leave his job in mid-January to become Executive Director of the Association for Conservation Technology International; he will remain based in the Boston area and work remotely. Alison Frazee, the deputy director of Allianz, will take on the role of deputy managing director.

According to estimates by Galer, the alliance influenced around 100 projects in some way this year. During his tenure at Allianz Gallery played a key role in Boston in accepting a Community Preservation Act surcharge on property tax bills and in establishing the Legacy Fund for Boston, which has allocated $ 6 million for historic preservation efforts.

Galer hopes he has changed the widespread opinion of Boston conservationists that they are just naturally obstructionists and that he has demonstrated the environmental benefits of redeveloping existing structures rather than demolishing them.

“What we like to say is that reusing buildings is climate protection,” said Galer. “The city cannot achieve its climate goals without considering its resources: its historic buildings. At the same time, the monument protection community has to recognize that we have to be a little more flexible. “

Grossman has big goals for a small business group

The newly convened Council for Underserved Communities hasn’t even met. but Steve Grossmann, Chief Executive of the Initiative for a competitive inner cityHe already has a few ideas about what to do.

The prominent Democrat was just appointed to the council that advises the Small Business Administration but took a hiatus during the Donald Trump years. The first meeting of the newly constituted council is on January 11th. Grossman wants the SBA to work on ways to “level the playing field” for inner-city small businesses.

One of his top priorities for the SBA is developing a scorecard for institutional not-for-profit and for-profit corporations to track and report their sourcing of goods and services from colored entrepreneurs on a quarterly basis.

Grossman now has a new place to preach this message, which for him has essentially become a mantra: “If you really believe in closing the prosperity gap in this country” [then] Small business ecosystems are key to wealth creation. “

Coal from local poles for Joe Manchin

Here’s a holiday tradition the pandemic couldn’t stop: NBC10 political reporter Alison King‘s annual singalong with elected officials from the Boston area. More than a dozen politicians contributed pre-recorded parts of “Santa Claus is Coming to Town,” some better than others. The spots were sewn together for a segment that aired on Friday with Mayor of Boston Michelle Wu It starts by playing the song on an upright Yamaha piano and King appears in front of the camera at the end and sings along Governor Charlie Baker.

Halfway through, the politicians are asked who is on their “naughty list”. Senator Elizabeth Warren said, “I can imagine about 50 Republican senators,” while Congressmen Lori Trahan and Ayanna Pressley both said “Joe Manchin“- References to the belated” Build Back Better “spending bill and the Democratic Senator holding it up. Attorney General Maura Healey said hers was too long to mention. State auditor Suzanne Bump refers to “the unvaccinated”. Representative Seth Moulton Single out Wladimir Putin. and Senator Ed Markey calls them Buffalo bills – and that was before the team was drubbing that Patriots On Sunday.


Jon Chesto can be reached at [email protected] Follow him on Twitter @jonchesto.


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