Last week we discovered that Ultimate Self Defense received a notice that the dojo needs to vacate their space at 12 B Street. For the past 18 years, Andrea Muccini and Ultimate Self Defense have been teaching more than 100 kids from South Boston and the Greater Boston area not only martial arts but the important message of striving to be the best you can be. “It’s important for my students to learn the value of hard work and discipline but also the “you can do it” mentality is just as important for confidence,” says Andrea.
The Ultimate Self Defense & Performance Center offers three forms of martial arts discipline including Karate, Judo and Brazilian Jiu Jitsu designed for all levels of fitness and age. They have even a valuable and beloved small business in the community that will now to have to leave its home on B Street. Why is that? Development is the cause for displacement.
“I have been notified by the landlord that the building will start construction after March 31st. Our lease officially ends a few months earlier. When construction is complete we have been offered a space to return but this will obviously take some to complete. In the meantime, finding a place in Southie at this point has become quite challenging and so expensive. I had a chance to look again at our last location (416 West Broadway) but because the building has been recently rehabilitated the rent now is 5 times, yes 5 times what I paid 3 years ago,” says Andrea.
Unfortunately, that seems to be the sign of the times for South Boston. Real estate and rent is just so expensive it makes it hard for small business to stay. It’s a very slippery slope.
“We are doing are best to look around and because we run the dojo as more of a community based program for families and kids this is not my full-time job. I work as a physical therapist during the day so running around trying to look for space is not idea,” says Andrea.
Andrea’s fear is that she would have to wrap it up and close Ultimate Self Defense but she feels responsible to the families she serves. “We still have so many families participating, kids on scholarship, and two making a run for the Olympic Judo Team. We also have a Muay Thai program running and the teenagers really like it and if they like have a chance to compete locally (maybe Olympic level someday)! Our adult Muay Thai team has won 5 championship belts within the last year. All in all just seems like a shame to stop.”
So we shall see Southie. It would be great is Ultimate Self Defense could find a home in the neighborhood and continue to be a vibrant part of our community!
As a studio that leases space this is an inevitable outcome for any business in a thriving, growing neighborhood. If your revenue growth isn’t matching the pace of other businesses in the area then expect to bounced out by a more profitable businesses. They most likely will have to look in cheaper areas of Boston. It’s a tough reality, but if other businesses can pay the rent then there’s not much the community can do.
I disagree, Typical Millenial. Even though I’m not a Southie resident, I think that the Ultimate Defense Studio should be able to stay in Southie, where it’s been for so long. All too often (though not always), valuable long-time businesses suffer a great deal if and when they have to move, and not just by losing much of its loyal, long-time clientele who are often “regulars” at the business(es) in question.
Given the space & price, anyone should be able to be wherever they want. I never said that the studio shouldn’t be in Southie, the more businesses the merrier in my opinion. Southie has undergone unprecedented growth the last few years. If you signed a lease in 2012, it’s to be expected that your rent is going to jump pretty dramatically. I actually live a few blocks from this studio. It’s in an older building that can clearly achieve higher rents if it were renovated….which is the exact plan the current landlord has. My point was that the community can’t really do much to help, except for the current clientele to pay more per class OR a landlord gives a large concession out of charity which is extremely rare. I have nothing against the Studio, I just think it’s kind of odd to ask the community for help.
Please begin to clean up your dog poop. Thank you
Maybe a community center/school/ or parish can provide space? Short of making calls to places like that I’m not sure much can be done by the community which is unfortunate.
What about one of the yacht clubs ?
What about the L street bathhouse? Maybe the PAL, SBNH, or the Boys and Girls club?
How about the Curley Center