Thursday, September 9, 2021

Hudson and Newburyport

A reader--the same one who was first to alert me earlier this week to the article about Hudson in GOLOCALProv--also tipped me off to an article that appeared recently in Boston Magazine and its relevance to Hudson. The article is about Newburyport, Massachusetts, and its resistance to Steve Karp, the developer who helped transform Nantucket into "a glitzy island paradise": "Don't Nantucket My Newburyport." The article is well worth reading for the comparisons that can be seen with Hudson, which has its own issues with a developer who owns dozens of properties in the city and seems intent on transforming Hudson according to his own vision. What is equally interesting is connection between Hudson and Newburyport that goes back almost fifty years.

Back in 1975, after the City had carried out the devastation and reconstruction that was Urban Renewal, Hudson embarked on a plan to revitalize its business district (which was all of two blocks) that drew on history and restoration and took Newburyport as its model. The reader provided these images from a Register-Star Special Feature insert called "Putting history to work: Hudson." 

Curiously, although Hudson looked to its history and architectural heritage to promote itself in the 1970s, it wasn't until more than a quarter century later that the Common Council adopted a preservation ordinance to protect the city's built environment.

Regarding the major property owner who seems to be Hudson's version of Steve Karp, Gossips learned yesterday that the acquisition of the former Community Theatre by the Galvan Initiatives Foundation is now complete. 

Galvan announced its plans to acquire the building in November 2020. At that time, this was said about what its intended use might be: "Galvan will develop the building as the gateway to our Depot District Initiative, a mixed-used commercial and residential development in the planning phase. We expect to complete the transaction in January 2021." It seems it took a bit longer to accomplish that. 

When the building first went on the market in December 2019, the asking price was $1,470,000. The latest published asking price was $990,000. Marina Abramovic purchased it in 2007 for $950,000. The building is assessed at $1 million. It appears that Galvan bought it for $800,000.


  1. "The gateway to our Depot District...". "OUR" It's as brazen as it is disturbing. Galvan will no doubt rename some of the streets in THEIR city. Depot Street. Eric Street. Galvan Way (a one way street, of course). Bully Avenue. Kent Avenue. Hoarder Street.

  2. There is absolutely no obligation for Hudson to approve ANY of Galvan's preposterous stream of proposals. Let them continue to renovate their own damn properties (probably at the same snail's pace) rather than continue to foist these bloated and completely inappropriate real estate boondoggles on Hudson.

  3. Ugh. We were afraid that Galvan would get its grubby little hands on the community theatre. But like the Biden administration - "nothing will change." It will simply continue to deteriorate.