Mary Blood Mellen (1819-1886) Sunset Calm off Ten Pound Island Light, Gloucester, c. 1850s
We’ve all recently read about the Cheryl Soones plan to build 4 houses on “the wrong side” of Atlantic Ave., i.e. the ocean side of The Back Shore. But really, why stop there?
There are a myriad of other proposals that could and should be vetted towards the great and holy objective of making money, you know, the almighty dollar, the beast of Mamon – to worship at the feet of dumptrucks full of cold, hard cash, driven up and dumped at the feet of the investors. In this era of Donald Trump, we invite readers to come up with their own ideas of other profitable building ventures in Gloucester to pump up the tax base and class up the place by bringing more of the “1%” into our ranks. Let’s start with the obvious: a full service Yacht Marina at the Lighthouse on Eastern Point. The Feds are only using the tippy-top part and the rest of it is going entirely to waste. The tower would make a heckova bar. Kick back with a Cuban cigar and a snifter of $200-a-glass brandy and watch the fish struggling their little lives away. The yachts and super yachts could tie up right alongside the actual breakwater (on the inside, of course).There would be a shuttle to the squash and paddle tennis courts at the end of the big, suddenly important Dogbar. It could be very profitable and could solve the problem of people who want to fish off the breakwater since there would no longer be room for them with the luxury cabanas and their personal bars, massage tables and big screen TV’s. And they could gaze right down the harbor to the brand new swanky health club on Ten Pound Island with its underground tramway back to Rocky neck. There would be a Trump Tower in Dogtown, as tall as the turbine windmills so as to boast the best views in the east. And just a zip trip away from the Ferrari dealership at The Man At The Wheel on the Boulevard. Hey, but what a wheel – we’d have to inport an Italian sculptor to modify the statue with an actual oversize Ferrari sterring wheel in his hands. Now that’s marketing the city!
And how have we not installed that Jet Boat Docking Terminal yet on Thatcher’s island? Another barely used asset that is just wasting it’s views and profit poptential – as The Back Shore so obviously does. That’ll all have to change. A Helipad at Stage Fort Park is a must for when VIP’s or even foreign heads of state come to town. Very welcoming and appropriate. And wouldn’t Coles Island make some classy Golf Club with all natural sand traps! Let’s not leave out Crane’s and Wingaersheek Beaches because with a wave of the rezoning wand, there’s still space for more and more houses, McMansions all. But more to the point: why couldn’t there be Luxury Apartment Towers on those beaches as well as in downtown Lanesville. We literally have to be able to “rise above” the actual zoning to get this plan to work.
Annisquam has long been itching for a sports and entertainment complex with equisitely fine dining and plenty of limo parking. I say we give it to them. That grey yacht club out there on stilts is getting too old for anyone anyway.
Gloucester itself has always felt kinda naked to me without a proper Polo Club. It can’t be sited too near Stage Fort, though, because the helicopters will spook the polo ponies. Wait, screw the Trump folks and put the Polo Club in Dogtown, far away from the noisy hoi-poloi in town. Put the Trump Tower right at the Rotary and rename the A. Piatt Andrew as the Donald J.Trump Luxury Bridge with a gold plated fence that no one will dare climb. That’ll put us on the map and we’ll get Mexico to pay for it.
Come to think of it, why are all those fish plants and smelly boats still allowed to remain downtown? They will definitely cut into our P.L.D.I. – the Potential Luxury Development Index that financial planners who make big decisions use. Come to think of it, the ocean side houses proposed for the Back Shore had a pretty strong P.L.D.I., considering just how little they paid for the lots. That’s a R.O.I. – Return on Investment – all developers can envy. Ms. Soones can set a new standard on P.L.D.I.R.O.I.
But wait! There could be a fly in the ointment for plans on our new Luxury Gloucester future. Maybe they’ll build the 4 Soones ocean side houses part Affordable Housing. After all, even non-1%-er’s want to live in the teeth of the Atlantic. Affordble housing with an ocean view! And when their houses are scattered down the length of the Back Shore, they’ll feel like the other displaced zillionaires – so that’s a bright spot when Americans feel more equal.
So send in your suggestions, ye citizens. The luxury building boom train is just getting ready to leave the station. Will you be on that train or just one of the old fashioned, stuck-in-the-mud, bleedin’ heart Back Shore protectors who think the rocks there are something special. Hah ! All you need is cash and no memory and we finally can get somewhere. Think P.L.D.I.R.O.I., people!
Gordon Baird sails, writes, sings and video edits his way through Gloucester as he has since 1950. Musician Magazine called him co-founder, Gloucester Times calls him columnist, 3 kids call him Dad. 7 chickens, 2 goats, 2 pigs and a donkey call him breakfast, lunch and dinner.