City Journal: Super-Sizing It

Two go-getters are planning a $100 million makeover for Uphams Corner.

Take a look at the patch of land on Dudley Street, near Uphams Corner on the Dorchester-Roxbury line. Doesn’t seem like much. But Drew Forster and John Barros, a pair of visionaries with Ivy League credentials and major-league enthusiasm, have big plans for it. Forster and Barros, of the Salvation Army and the Dudley Street Neighborhood Initiative, respectively, came together after the death of Joan Kroc, wife of McDonald’s founder Ray Kroc. She’d left a ton of cash to the Salvation Army, along with a mandate: Build some jaw-dropping community centers. The pair dreamed up a 90,000-square-foot complex that would be a $100 million point of pride in a long-neglected neighborhood. They broke ground last month, and when the center opens next year, it’ll be the biggest in New England, says Barros, who grew up down the block. The coolest feature? Forster, who’ll run the place, thinks it’ll be the kid-friendly pool built for play, not just for swimming laps.