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The FBI is coming, the FBI is coming
That subject line would have once been a warning here, but after 20+ years of remaking the way we do business  (both economically and politically), we can all take great pride in knowing that we have achieved a certain status in reputation that allows for a major federal tenant to want to call Chelsea its home. 
The FBI regional headquarters relocating to Chelsea is so very significant on so many levels.  At 250,000 s.f., it pushes our office market up over the magic 1,000,000 s.f. number, indicating a massing of office space that attracts additional office interests and support businesses.  The FBI locating to the Emerald Block, on Everett Avenue near the Wyndham Hotel, again validates the work we have done in our urban renewal district.  Had we not had the vision, and, quite frankly, guts to undertake such a massive economic development initiative, we wouldn't be in the position today to bring home such a cherished prize as the FBI HQ.   From a public safety perspective, one could only expect very good things to happen.
Think about this time next year along Route 1, our most visible corridor through Chelsea.  A stately building befitting the FBI is under development, and adjacent to it a new Cambria Suites hotel is under construction and across the highway a 250-unit residential development is under construction.  BAM!  Every one of those 50,000+ people driving on Rte 1 daily will be reminded that things are happening here in Chelsea that aren't happening anywhere else, and this time, for the good!  Two years from now, those projects will be complete, and for the next twenty years, when anyone drives by they'll be reminded that the nation's premier crime fighting force is in Chelsea.  What a testament to what we have going on here! 
Some of you have been kind to lavish me with praise, but the real credit goes to our development partner, ACS Development.  Anthony, Sr. took a chance on Chelsea 25 years ago when no one else would.  Now, he, his daughter, Patricia, and son, Anthony, Jr., are responsible for bringing us the FBI, along with MGH and so many other outstanding tenants.  While spreading around the congratulations, the work of the City's land use boards, especially the Economic Development Board, and the City Council have created the environment where we can celebrate today's news while knowing full well that it is only the best news we will hear today, because even greater news willl surely follow.
Yes, some will make fun of us, and that is the scar we bear from generations of mischief and more.  Yes, we do have some societal issues that seem to gain us more attention than others, even though those problems are everywhere.  But, we also have a special place where we are all pulling together for the good of the community.   We're not going to solve all our issues overnight, but nothing happens that easily.  The fact is that we are all moving our community in the right direction, and day by day, every single action on top of every other action, gets us further away from our less the spectacular past and forward to another new day when unbelievably spectacular accomplishments, like securing the FBI HQ, is now possible.
It's no time to rest.  Let's celebrate today and recommit ourselves to an even better tomorrow.  We need to continue to support each other and those among us who are working hard to better our community and the lives of those within it.  Do celebrate today and then recommit to helping our community based organizations, patronizing our local businesses, supporting our public officials and investing in our community. 
Thanks for being part of something special, and for allowing me the opportunity to share with you the responsibility we have to each other!

Jay Ash
City Manager, Chelsea

Chelsea City Hall 500 Broadway, Chelsea, MA 02150    Phone: (617) 466-4000    Website Disclaimer