Upham's Corner Online

Paraiso Restaurant Pledges to Support the Community

Posted: December 1, 2011     Nancy J Conrad

Paraiso RestaurantOn Nov 29 Upham's Corner Main Street held a meeting to discuss the additional licenses that Paraiso Restaurant has requested (takeout and entertainment). 

The general concensus of the attendees was support for the restaurant's requests.

However, the Upham's Corner Improvement Association (UCIA) said that in order for them to issue a letter of support, they would need the restaurant to commit to proactively maintaining their building and grounds.

After some discussion, Gregorio Colon, Manager of Paraiso, agreed to the proposition.  As a result both the restaurant and the Upham's Corner business district will benefit from this relationship.

UCIA is happy to report that Mr. Colon has picked up all the litter and trash along their Belden Street garden, saying that he even found a discarded microwave oven. 

The "broken window" syndrome applies here.  One broken window attracts more vandalism as does one piece of trash.  Keeping the area clean daily does not take long and it provides a quick "return on investment" for the business and the business district.

Note:  Photo taken this summer prior to cleanup.  The presence of weeds is apparent.

According to UCIA,

"The Improvement Association is committed to improving the whole of Upham's Corner.  This includes the overall appearance of the business district. 

That is why we are recognizing businesses that promote cleanliness.  That is why we issued the Golden Broom award to John Hosmer.  He cleans the front of his business faithfully every day.  Other businesses can do the same as well."

What are the issues identified for Paraiso Restaurant?
  1. The landscaping that winds from Dudley Street down Belden Street was full of weeds during the summer with no one seeming to take responsibility for creating an attractive location in the business district.

  2. That same area is a dropping off area for trash and litter which no one ever removes.

  3. Trash accumulates at the back of the property and is not removed (weeds, bags of trash and a discarded tire).

  4. Plaza tiles have fallen off or broken off so that the edge of the plaza looks like it is falling apart.
At the meeting both Max MacCarthy and Bob Haas pointed out that the licenses being requested had nothing to do with the cleanliness of the business. 

A different perspective provided by UCIA is that the cleanliness and overall upkeep of the business has everything to do with the right of the business to continue to operate in Upham's Corner. 

An example is that Paraiso restaurant was willing to clean up before a "big event" [the Tito Jackson celebration] but daily cleaning in support of the overall appearance of the community was not being done [not by the restaurant and not by the property owner, Amado Enterprises].

During the discussion, emphasis appeared to be on not hampering a new business [by making them clean the building and grounds].  Instead the community needs to support the business in getting the tools it needs for business functionality [such as additional licenses].

On the surface this makes sense.  As Bob Haas stated, "What is important to Upham's Corner is the business surviving." [and by implication, not spending time picking up trash and litter].

Still, Upham's Corner should not fall prey to this fallacy: 

You do not have to choose to neglect your appearance in the community in order to make a profit. 

Take, for example, countries like France or Holland or, closer by, cities like Jamaica Plain.  They have managed to create a mindset that places a high priority on the appearance of their businesses. 

The condition of the Paraiso property does not reflect well on the restaurant and it certainly does not encourage non-residents to come to Upham's Corner.

At first Mr. Colon talked about how hard he works and how little time he has to "clean."  Later on he agreed that picking up the trash daily would not be much of a problem and, in fact, would benefit the restaurant. 

The Upham's Corner Improvement Association has agreed to support Paraiso Restaurant's request for additional licenses and Paraiso Restaurant has agreed to work on site maintenance issues including the following:
  • Clean up the litter and trash daily along Belden St and at the back of the property
  • Work with the owner, Salomao Amado, to tastefully landscape the strip of land along Belden and Dudley Streets
  • Work with the owner, Salomao Amado, to replace/repair the loose and missing plaza tiles
  • Work with the owner, Salomao Amado, to proactively maintain the overall condition of the property
The next step, of course, is to actively engage the "landlord."  Holding a "tenant" responsible for landlord issues doesn't work.  Getting a tenant on your side and in agreement with the goals and objectives is a great starting point.

"Mr. Amado, here we come!" 

"With enthusiasm," they said, "The Improvement Association looks forward to extending the pledge agreements to all members of the Upham's Corner Business Community."

View Maintenance Pledge

View Letter of Support
The plaza at 750 Dudley Street has been constructed to be level with Dudley Street while a strip of land winds its way down Belden Street in a step-wise fashion. 

At the top the ground begins as a narrow strip and widens as it makes the turn, providing a spot for beautiful small bushes or ornamental annuals each year.

At each step is a small evergreen or other bush. 

Salmao Amado, owner of Amado Enterprises as well as the building where Paraisoo Restaurant is located has a chance to create a space of beauty in Upham's Corner.

But that is NOT how the property is being maintained. 
Paraiso Restaurant exterior not being maintained

While the strip of land could become a garden of colorful flowers or bushes, it was instead covered with landscape fabric to "keep down the weeds." However, the weeds grew anyway.  You can see the weeds, the poor condition of the soil and the landscape fabric in the photos below.

Paraiso Restaurant exterior not being maintained Paraiso Restaurant exterior not being maintainedParaiso Restaurant exterior not being maintained
Paraiso Restaurant exterior not being maintained

Trash has been allowed to accumulate around the bushes along the entire length of the property on Belden Street.  The owner, Imado Enterprises, despite having a business in that very spot, is not maintaining the property.

Paraiso Restaurant exterior not being maintained Paraiso Restaurant exterior not being maintainedParaiso Restaurant exterior not being maintained
Paraiso Restaurant exterior not being maintained

Plaza tiles have been breaking off for years and they are now falling off while the current and prior owners ignore the repairs needed. 

Paraiso Restaurant exterior not being maintained Paraiso Restaurant exterior not being maintained

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