Businessmen in the Harvard Square area are generally in favor of the University's proposed purchase of the MTA property on Boylston St., it was learned yesterday. No opposition was offered to the move from the 14 store owners and managers polled.
The merchants thought University construction on the land would bring more people, and therefore more business, to the Square, and would enhance the beauty of the area.
"Those MTA car barns are a tremendous waste of valuable land," said Robert I. Slate, owner of the Slate stationery store. But Stanley Davis, assistant manager at Hayes-Bickford's, was more reserved and predicted that "in the years to come, all Cambridge is going to be owned by Harvard and M.I.T."
The University "seems to get what it wants," said James M. Jacobs, president of J. August. Terming the University's offer to pay a million dollars over the market value "fantastic," Jacobs added that the University is bending over backwards to make itself pure in this matter."
Touching a sore spot in College-Cambridge relations, J.C. Kjellander, owner of the Derby jewelry store, hoped that construction on the property would "in no way interfere with parking." Many of the merchants bemoaned the parking difficulty and especially the problem of student cars, and Gilbert H. Greenwood, manager of the Church Street Garage, called on all drivers to "be more careful where they leave a car."
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