I brought up the same point with a local developer('s employee) last night. They don't necessarily have to guarantee, for example, that Mesa and Camdi would be in the new building. What developers ought to be doing is finding new spaces for the small/local businesses that they displace. It's not required of them to do so, but it would probably cut the opposition to development in half if people knew that their favorite businesses were relocating right down the street or a few blocks away. If Doran had helped line up spots for say, more than 50% of the businesses he's displacing (rather than zero), I think we'd be in a better place today. Obviously there are other issues with this particular case, including the building itself or the district possibly being designated as historic, but I feel like the example is still useful.If Doran could provide guarantees that the same kinds of businesses would really, truly be able to come back to the rebuilt space, I think cool a lot of the community opposition.
How much less opposition to the Opus project would there been if Podium and Book House already had new spaces lined up by the time word of the development got out? What if Steeple People and Chi Tailors (and whoever else) already had new spots lined up in the Franklin-Lyndale area?