Luxury condos mustn’t exchange the Dockside Restaurant

Priscilla Samuel Jones
 |  Guest Columnist


MV Iyanough returns to action for the season

The MV Iyanough returned to action for the season Wednesday. The Steamship Authority’s fast ferry transports passengers between Hyannis and Nantucket.

Merrily Cassidy, Cape Cod Times

We don’t need Stuart Bornstein’s latest plan for two 5-story luxury apartment buildings — each of which will be 75-feet tall — on the site of the popular Dockside Restaurant, a hilltop with a beautiful view of Hyannis Harbor.

Located near the hospital on South Street, this hilltop lot could be purchased by the town as a wonderful site for a park that everyone could enjoy, along with a renovated Dockside Restaurant. For people visiting ill family members, what a wonderful place to stop, rest and enjoy a stunning view of a lovely harbor, bustling with boats coming in and out.

Having residents of 34 apartments, priced from $1.4 to $2 million, enjoying this incredible view, versus a whole town of residents and tourists, just wouldn’t be right. The waterfront belongs to all of us, and the town, soon to be awash with state American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) money, can afford to purchase the Bornstein property to preserve this overlook and view for everyone. Gov. Baker is sending lots of money to Massachusetts towns to reimagine their downtowns, including Hyannis.

Well, let’s reimagine our waterfront instead of trying to turn it into a little city of boring high rises that may or may not expand the town’s ever thirsty tax base — considering how many breaks Mr. Bornstein’s company may get. His plans will already require the town to break height and density rules, a big loophole the officials and boards have provided under the Growth Incentive Zone rubric, a mental and physical zone none of the residents of Barnstable have ever had a direct chance to vote on — as all towns on the Cape would have under their more democratic open meeting laws.

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To build and preserve a beautiful waterfront, town officials need to go visit Annapolis, Maryland; Alexandria, Virginia; Mystic, Connecticut; East Greenwich, Rhode Island, and get some good ideas by meeting with young architects capable of transforming the Hyannis waterfront into a place everyone would want to visit.

Expand the boatbuilding aspect, add a museum shop selling items relating to our maritime history, remove some Hy-line Ferry parking lots to create a new and exciting architecture of art and pottery shops, small restaurants. Then find a bigger and better way to reconnect a new waterfront to Main Street Hyannis. That’s the kind of imaging Gov. Baker would approve of.

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At the other end of Main Street, use ARPA money to buy for about $20 million the Twin Brooks Golf Course property, renovate the large conference center into moderate income apartments, add some duplexes and higher density housing but preserve open green space down to the shore for recreation and walking trails.

That’s the vision the Barnstable Land Trust has offered through the Boston architectural firm they hired and one that I’ll bet Gov. Baker would see as really reimagining Main Street from one end to the other!

Priscilla Samuel Jones, West Barnstable