Welcoming a Whole Foods home value boost

My wife and I purchased our first house here in JP in 1989 and, 22 years later, we still live in it. We have 3 children who will be entering college soon and, as freelance musicians, we will be relying on the equity in our house to aid us with the upcoming tuitions. The last few years have seen a severe drop in our home equity and we’re hoping that over the next two years it will bounce back.

It is with that thought in mind that I am astounded at the decision by the majority of the Jamaica Plain Neighborhood Council that Whole Foods is not a “good fit” for JP (Gazette, March 18). I would assume that the thousands of homeowners who are within walking distance of the proposed Whole Foods would be overjoyed at the realization that their homes will suddenly see a surge in value. I’m certain that many of those homeowners have tuitions and other bills that need to be paid.

Why is it that the JPNC feels that the sudden windfall to these owners is not a valid part of this argument? Is a college education for a lower-income family member gentrification? Is the ability to take out a home equity line of credit (perhaps to open a local Hispanic food store) gentrification? These people had the luck and forethought to purchase their homes in a desirable location, and many have persevered through hard times in the past and can now reap the benefits.

Ken Pope
Jamaica Plain

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