Anger is reportedly growing on the streets of South Boston over a gym designed to cater to the city's "most influential" gang members and "at-risk" youth.
According to the Boston Globe, the community only learned of InnerCity Weightlifting’s plans to open up in Southie after a 3-year lease was signed and $30,000 in renovations were completed.
The gym, which also features a career center, was slated to open on Aug. 13, but that opening was postponed due to strong community opposition.
Director Jon Feinman told the newspaper that his organization serves the "most influential gang-involved youth in the Boston area,” including active and former gang members.
InnerCity still needs an occupancy permit and no opening date is set, said Feinman, who needed no special approval to open in the 3,000-square-foot space on B Street, but apologized for not contacting community members first.
Mayor Thomas Menino, meanwhile, has voiced concerns.
"It is difficult to support an organization that doesn't check first with the community before going forward with a new program within that community," Menino spokeswoman Dot Joyce told the newspaper.