The abandoned Ford pickup sat on a prominent commercial lot in Chelsea for so long that a mature pine tree was growing through its roof. For decades, the tree was about the only thing rising in this struggling industrial city, a place that seemed perpetually stuck in the shadows of the Tobin Bridge and unable to attract significant private investment.
But a starkly different mood is starting to prevail in Chelsea. The tree and the pickup truck are gone, replaced by a Wyndham Hotel. Next door is a new Marriott Residence Inn, and the FBI will soon start construction across the street on a 250,000-square-foot local headquarters. Citywide, hundreds of new residences have been built in recent years, and thousands more are planned.