A new survey is out and has found that a majority of East Boston residents want more market rate housing, more nightlife venues and more retail development.
Community Commons released its second survey on development concerns at last Wednesday night’s Eagle Hill Civic Association meeting. This survey, presented by Dr. Neenah Estrella-Luna, focused on what amenities, services, resources, and opportunities are desired in this neighborhood.
Three hundred ninety five residents responded to the survey across Eastie with 49 percent being white and 42 percent being Latino.
Of those surveyed Community Commons found 62 percent of residents want to see more market rate housing with 70 percent of those surveyed in Eagle Hill also wanting to see more market rate housing.
There was also strong support for additional entertainment spaces. Over 80 percent of residents would like more family entertainment places, like movie theaters. The desire for nightlife venues, specifically restaurants, bars, and places to go dancing, was found primarily among college-educated, white, higher income residents according to the survey.
The survey also found that residents would prefer more locally oriented and low impact development. More than half of residents want more retail and office development.
“What we found is residents want to see a variety of opportunity and the opportunity for small business development, start up companies, high tech and low tech start ups and there was a lot of talk about diversifying the types of business in East Boston,” said Estrella-Luna.
Several residents also commented on the need for more job opportunities, job training, and learning how to start a business, especially for working class and immigrant residents. A Day Square/ Wood Island area resident commented, “I’d also love to see more discussion about creating good jobs for blue-collar workers and working class families.”
The survey also found, “A majority of residents stated that they wanted more amenities that support our daily quality of life. This includes greater access to affordable fresh food and active recreation.”
Residents would also like more services that support the opportunity to be socially and economically mobile. This included more opportunities to learn English, increased access to daycare, and better bike transportation infrastructure.
Eastie has long been a diverse neighborhood and the survey finds that the majority of Eastie residents want to maintain this. Over 80 percent of partici
pating residents were either happy with or wanted more diversity in the neighborhood. Only 9 percent of residents expressed the desire for less diversity in the neighborhood.
“A majority of residents desire more opportunities to discuss local issues. Written comments reveal that what residents want is community building and cross-cultural learning. One Eagle Hill resident stated that we need ‘Less politics, more community’,” according to the survey.