Community for tourists?
The only community that some residents feel is left in Back Bay
is built for tourists, shoppers and young urban professionals.
The population has so changed that a lot of them are transient.
It used to be students that were transient, now it is young urban
professionals that are transient,” said Kressel. “Nobody
comes to the city with children, so they’re not coming
to stay, they’re only staying until they transfer to the
office in Atlanta.”
Newbury Street in the spring is bustling with tourists and
More and more tourists will be lured to the Back Bay with the
opening of the Mandarin Oriental and Jurys Hotel. The Mandarin
Oriental plans to have a mixed use building that will include
both a hotel and luxury condos costing upwards of $2 million
to buy. The cost of the two projects will eventually cost developers
upwards of $300 million.
These luxury condos will help further gentrify Back Bay, an area
that most people already associate with wealth and affluence.
In 1998, the median household income for Back Bay and Beacon
Hill was $65,509, while the Boston average was $39,987. This
gap is magnified when you look at white residents only, who make
up 85 percent of this population. Then the average income is
closer to $75,500.
People don’t think about the Back Bay being gentrified,” Kressel
said. “But it is, it has been, because when I moved here
just 10 years ago, there was a lot more variety in the people
that lived here and that could afford to live here.”