What is the Bruni Project?

Brady Scobert and Aidan Lewis, Journalists

          I’m sure you’ve seen the bright red signs around town exclaiming “Stop the Bruni Project”, but what exactly is the Bruni Project and why do people have such strong opinions on it? Is it really a project that goes against the town or can it be beneficial? We sought to answer that very question.

          It’s incredibly difficult to find unbiased information about the Bruni Project. There’s not a clear explanation other than that of those whose opinions are already strewn across their lawn. In short, the Bruni project is a proposed plan for community housing by the Bruni marketplace in Ipswich. Under the 40b act, the plan is green-lighted by the state because the project has above 25% affordable community housing. The 40b aims to streamline projects bringing community housing to the commonwealth.  The planned complex is supposed to house 191 apartments, making Ipswich go above the 10% affordable housing threshold. After they go above the 10%, the state would not be able to force Ipswich into more affordable housing.

          Detractors of the plan have been vocal around the town. Many believe that 191 is way too many, seeing Ipswich only needs 60 more to get across 10% affordable housing. Another popular thought is that the large influx of people moving to town will disrupt the community. Ipswich has always maintained its small-town feel, and those who grew up here want to keep that general aspect. They believe the state and town are forcing them to change the makeup of the town. As of the time of writing this, 2,453 people have signed a change.org petition to stop the project.

          Those in support of the plan seem to be few and far between in the town, but it’s hard to tell if the opposition is just a vocal minority without a proper study. The supporters believe that the town needs to get above that 10% limit, and this project is the perfect way to do that. Also, many of those we spoke to think that housing in the town is generally too expensive anyways. When asked, a resident of the town told us they wanted the project to go through “Because I know what it’s like to struggle to find an affordable place to live”.

          The Bruni Project is polarizing, there is no doubt about that. Both sides have opinions rooted in valid points. The town sits on the edge as the project moves forwards. Either way, Ipswich will not be the same after the Bruni project.