Real Estate and The Bottom Line

Someone playing “devil’s advocate” (this works for me) said that they thought there would be very little difference between Mr. Karp owning much of downtown Newburyport, MA and someone like David Hall who also owns a great deal of property in our small New England city.

For me, the difference would be vast.

David Hall is “on the ground” and “walking among us.” (Please press here to read earlier entry on David Hall).

Mr. Hall has done incredible things for our community, like raising the money and being the chair-person to see that the skateboard park (which is really amazing) at the Nock Middle School got built. This is a huge accomplishment.

Mr. Hall did this by contacting and connecting with “all and everyone” in the community to raise money to get this remarkable project completed.

And that’s just one of the many things that he has done and is doing for our community. David Hall’s involvement with the Rail Trail, a long and lengthy process, would be another amazing example.

And David Hall was also one of the first if not the first to go solar and green. And it must be to his total delight that finally “going green” has become popular, if not just downright “politically correct.” This is a man way ahead of his time.

And David Hall is physically part of the community. He is part of our “everyday trivial” lives (please see previous post). He and his family can be found at the pharmacy, doing errands around town, at the checkout line at the local supermarket. He is enmeshed in our community, our neighborhood, our town and our lives.

When the Lagasses owned much of downtown, I think people had a trust level, because they were/are one of us. And the fact that they are on the ground leasing the retail properties owned by Mr. Karp and New England Development (NED) is a relief.

However, a huge corporate entity owns so much of where we exist. (Please press here to see NED’s website). And I think that is what is so unsettling to me and to so many folks in Newburyport, MA.

Looking at NED’s website, Newburyport is just one of many projects. And yes, to reiterate, Mr. Karp may indeed be a “benevolent” landlord, but the bottom line is making money. (And that is his right, he bought all that property.)

But that is very different for me, than the bottom line being “what is best for the community on all socio-economic levels.”

I know that David Hall knows the folks in Newburyport, MA, and it is not all about the bottom line of “making money.” That there are many times, that no one knows about, that Mr. Hall has committed random acts of kindness and empathy, because, in my experience, that is who is he is. And he is viscerally connected to the community of Newburyport, MA in a way that Mr. Karp, unless he moves to Newburyport, MA (which I would imagine be unlikely) could never, ever be.

Mary Eaton

(Editor’s note: Here are two related and very helpful links for the Newburyport Rail Trail. The Coastal Trail Coalition and The Essex National Heritage Commission.)