City Realty is evicting Santo Ramírez from Anibal Color Studio, the business he's run at 3154 Washington St. for the last six years. On Tuesday, he and other business tenants took to the streets to protest what they say is their new landlord's heavy hand.
"We depend on our business to survive," Ramírez told Jamaica Plain News after the rally.
He and other business owners said City Realty has tried to jack up their rents and hasn't been a good community partner since they bought two Egleston Square buildings at auction in April.
Jamaica Plain News hasn't been able to reach City Realty for comment. On Wednesday, City Councilor Tito Jackson attacked the company.
"We will not support organizations that try to come in and bust up our neighborhoods and communities," said Jackson.
It's not the first time the District 7 councilor has called out City Realty. He referenced them in a hearing order he has pending in city council to address the wider issue of corporate landlords.
Several of the business owners gathered outside 3160 Washington St. on Tuesday said they'd have been interested in buying the buildings when they were foreclosed — but the properties were scooped up without them getting a notice. The April auction where City Realty bought 3152-3160 and 3106-3108 Washington St. was advertised in the Metro. Bidders that day told Jamaica Plain News the auction circuit is an everyday part of life as developers in Boston, that similar auctions happen nearly every day.[selfie]
While the businesses and City Realty have been negotiating with the tenants, the company has started eviction proceedings on several of them, including Ramírez.
Two community groups — City Life/Vida Urbana and the JP Neighborhood Development Corp. — have further protests planned. On Wednesday at 6 p.m., they aim to rally against City Realty before the 7 p.m. meeting of the zoning committee of the JP Neighborhood Council. On the agenda at that meeting is a separate City Realty property at 38-42 Hyde Park Ave. in Forest Hills. The company aims to demolish the former karate studio and build a three-story mixed-use building, according to the Gazette. Wednesday's meeting is at Farnsworth House, 90 South St.
Here are the seven businesses who are facing eviction:
- Anibal Color
- Pin Bochinche Restaurant
- Nelly's Flower & Fragrance
- Tony's Travel Corp.
- Yamel Beauty Salon
- Cellular Nutrition/Herbal Life
- Buena Vista
[Editor's note: In the original posting, the day of the protest was incorrectly given. It took place Tuesday.]