JP prof to head Whole Foods study

April 27, 2012
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A sociology professor who lives in Hyde Square will lead an academic study about Whole Foods Market’s impact on the area.

Dr. Glenn Jacobs, whose online resume says he lives on Lamartine Street, told the Gazette that the University of Massachusetts Boston study is just being organized. He declined to comment on its exact subject matter or timeline.

The upscale Whole Foods replaced a Latino-centered market at 413 Centre St. While supported by many residents, the move also drew concerns about speeding up the pace of gentrification in what is known as Boston’s Latin Quarter.

The study is being performed by researchers at UMass Boston’s Mauricio Gastón Institute for Latino Community Development and Public Policy. The study will be funded by UMass Boston with Jacobs as the “principal investigator,” according to Gastón Institute spokesperson Pablo Goldbarg.

The forthcoming study was mentioned in an April 13 article about Whole Foods coming to Detroit on the website of the magazine Bloomberg BusinessWeek. The article quoted the Gaston Institute’s Eduardo Siqueira as calling the Jamaica Plain Whole Foods debate a “very controversial issue for our neighborhood—the most polemical debate that I’ve seen in almost 20 years.”