Tuesday, November 1, 2011
The tormented Taino mural at the rear of the former Hi-Lo received a facelift in preparation for the upscale grocer's arrival in JP.
A Hyde Square landmark since its creation in 1984, the anguished and exquisite “Taino” mural at the rear of the former Hi-Lo Supermarket received a facelift in preparation for the arrival of upscale grocery chain Whole Foods. The store opened on Monday. The Boston Art Commission’s website describes the Taino mural as depicting the tribe’s wind goddess Huraca’n, from which the word for a tropical storm is derived. She is flanked by two gods Guatauba and Coatrisque, who represent in Taino mythology the respective powers of thunder and flooding water. It was originally painted by Rafael Rivera Garcia, a Puerto Rican university professor and artist, of whom little is known. According to a 2004 Boston Globe article reprinted on the Jamaica …
Friday, October 7, 2011
Whole Foods Market has erected signs at their new Hyde Square store. The grocer has said it aims for a late fall opening.
Whole Foods signs are now up at the site of the grocer's new Jamaica Plain store. The grocery store has said it aims for a late fall opening. While many JP residents say they are thrilled at the store coming to the neighborhood, other residents have opposed the store, saying it will worsen what they say are negative effects of gentrification. The store is replacing the former Hi-Lo Foods, which catered to the Caribbean and Latin communities. For complete JP Patch coverage of this issue, please see our Whole Foods topic page.
Monday, October 3, 2011
Whose Foods, which opposes Whole Foods' coming to Jamaica Plain, says the starting salary of $10 an hour is below the $13.10 an hour required by the city of Boston for its vendors.
[Editor's note: Updated at 5:25 p.m. Monday with comment from Whole Foods.] As Whole Foods holds the second of three planned job fairs across the street from their new Hyde Square store, an anti-gentrification group decried the jobs' starting salary of $10 an hour. "Whole Foods has offered no guarantee that those jobs will pay well enough for workers to actually live in JP without housing assistance," read a statement by Whose Foods. The group, whose members have been arrested for protesting what they say are the gentrifying effects of Whole Foods, says the starting wage is more than $3 below the "living wage" required of city of Boston contractors. Whole Foods is not, in this scenario, a contractor for the city and would not be subject to…
Tuesday, September 13, 2011
In a posting on the Whose Foods Web site, organizers decried Whole Foods' unwillingness to sign a community benefits agreement.
Whose Foods, an anti-gentrification group founded as a response to high-end grocer Whole Foods' new store in Hyde Square, demands that 1 percent of the store's revenues be used to combat what the group sees as the store's negative effects. A statement signed by 20 people reads: "We demand this 1 percent for the funding of local anti-displacement organizing, especially in Hyde Square, and the creation and/or preservation of local affordable housing, annually for the duration of the store’s 20-year lease." The statement, posted today on the group's Web site, comes after Whole Foods said it would not yet sign a "good neighbor agreement" put forward by a negotiating team from the JP Neighborhood Council. The terms of that agreement were not …
Sunday, August 7, 2011
Boston-based Emily Corwin produced this look at Whole Foods' arrival.
Sunday, August 7, 2011
Boston-based Emily Corwin produced this 5 minute, 51 second video about the arrival of Whole Foods to Jamaica Plain. Here is how she introduced the piece on the web site State of the Re:Union. It appears here with Corwin's permission: "On January 21st 2011, a newspaper in the Boston neighborhood of Jamaica Plain broke the story. The 47-year old Hi Lo Hispanic grocery store would be closing, and a Whole Foods Market would be moving in. The news was polarizing. City councilors spoke at town meetings, alliances formed, and one thing became clear. Gentrification pits against each other two conflicting values, both at the heart of the American identity." Audio produced by Emily Corwin, photos by Kelly Creedon, funded by Virtual Street Corners…
Friday, July 29, 2011
Instead, the Beth Israel Deaconess doctors' office might move in, though that is not confirmed, reports the Jamaica Plain Gazette.
Friday, July 29, 2011
According to the Jamaica Plain Gazette, a plan to recruit a Latino grocer to retail space at Creighton and Centre is dead. The director of the JP Neighborhood Development Corp., Richard Thal, confirmed with the Gazette what neighbors have been saying for several weeks: That the plan to bring in Chelsea-based Compare Supermarkets will not happen because of one of the grocer's owners recently passed away. The plan to bring in a Latino grocer to fill a niche voided by the closure of Hi-Lo Foods just down the block was not well-received by several nearby Hispanic business owners. They pointed out a lack of parking at the site, among other drawbacks. Whole Foods will be opening in the late fall in the former Hi-Lo space. Beth Israel Deaconess …
Wednesday, July 27, 2011
City Councilor Matt O'Malley opposes a Community Benefits Agreement based on the recommendations in a Neighborhood Council report.
The JP Neighborhood Council, a volunteer elected body, has deputized five of its members to negotiate a potential agreement with Whole Foods on what sort of benefits the grocer will provide. "Community Benefits Agreements" are sometimes crafted when big developments come to a neighborhood. The idea is to mitigate any negative impacts of the new development and enhance positive ones. The Neighborhood Council voted 11-2 on Tuesday night to create a smaller group to handle any talks with the grocery chain, which plans to open in Hyde Square in late fall. The grocer's arrival has splintered public opinion in JP, with some welcoming the store while others argue it will increase the negative effects of gentrification, like pricing long-time …
Friday, June 10, 2011
Activist Martha Rodriguez speaks frankly about a range of topics, including last week's food fight at the Curley School: "As a Latina, I feel that we are slowly being kicked out of the neighborhood."
Martha Rodriguez is one of Whose Foods' most visible and vocal supporters. A resident of Jamaica Plain for 14 years, the single mom of two was the last person to speak at last week's Whole Food's Town Meeting before police shut it down after the arrest of three people. She recently agreed to an interview with Patch. Who represents Whose Foods? There’s not one person in particular that represents the group. It’s a group of JP residents. There are homeowners, renters, low income, and middle class people. We try to keep the group as diverse as possible. Why are you opposed to Whole Foods opening a store in Hyde Square? Hi-Lo was the kind of place that brought the Latino community together. That’s where we could get foods from our …
Saturday, June 4, 2011
At a budget roundtable on Friday, Boston Mayor Thomas Menino said "Whole Foods is great for the neighborhood," according to the JP Gazette.
According the JP Gazette, Boston Mayor Thomas Menino has taken a firm stand in favor of Whole Foods coming to Jamaica Plain. “I think Whole Foods is great for the neighborhood," the mayor said during a Friday press conference on budget matters. "They have done a lot to work with the neighborhood." The mayor said opposition to the store is the work of “a few [people] trying to make it an issue,” according to the Gazette. His remarks came a day after three opponents of the grocer were arrested for disturbing a public meeting held by Whole Foods at the Curley School. The mayor joked about protesters coming from outside Boston. “We are trying to figure out if they are from Philadelphia, Chicago [or] Washington D.C.,” he said, according to the …
Tuesday, May 31, 2011
The JPNC plans for one council member to welcome Whole Foods, but also admonish them for waiting so long to meet with the community.
On Thursday, Whole Foods Market plans to meet with Jamaica Plain about its new store at the former Hi-Lo Foods site. It's the first time since news broke in January about the high-end grocer coming to the neighborhood that Whole Foods will have met with the community. The JP Neighborhood Council, which previously narrowly voted that Whole Foods is "not a good fit" for Hyde Square, plans to have one member give a brief oral statement during a 30-minute question period at Thursday's meeting. At a council meeting last night, Council Member Steve Laferriere said the oral statement would be "thanking them for having a meeting, but admonishing them for taking four months to do it." Later in the meeting, after discussion among the council and …