One Man’s Grit, Resilience and Perseverance Brought the FBI to Chelsea

By Patricia Simboli

If you want to teach the lessons of grit and resilience, perseverance and testing the limits of one’s physical and mental limits, then look no further than Anthony C. Simboli.

Seventy-five years ago, nearly 80, he started selling newspapers outside St Mary’s Church in the North End. Riding his bicycle piled high with so many papers he had to stand up to see. He and his brother Pat (who could often be found warming up at the back of the church) cornered the market on Sunday sales only to be told to “shoo” by the “big boys” in town back in the `40s. With that bump in the road, he turned to selling greeting cards door to door and went on to get himself a Boston College education while working nights at a printing shop.

Thanks to this determination and resilience he learned, it is an HISTORIC DAY in the City of Chelsea as the FBI takes occupancy of its new building on Maple Street and Everett Avenue. More than 30 years ago, Anthony made a commitment to the city of Chelsea and has not given up. Despite incredible odds and obstacles, he and his children, Anthony and Patricia, have worked to bring businesses and beautiful buildings to the city that was devastated by fire.

The City has been a great beneficiary.

As a group of civilians and agents relocate from Center Plaza Boston to Chelsea, we cannot yet know the long term impact and benefits.

Right now, though, flags are flying. Signs have been unveiled. Employees are arriving and a new day is dawning in the City of Chelsea.

The story goes on and on. But today he still works every day. And if the “big boys” from the `40s, who controlled the streets of the North End, could not appreciate his determination, we sure hope the big boys from the FBI will be grateful for the Herculean effort he made to build a beautiful building and to continue the change in Chelsea.

We are proud to call a talented, determined, and generous man one of our own. We hope his vision, determination and commitment to the City will be shared by other developers as new projects are on the drawing boards in the city.  It is important for all new developments to be of the highest quality and greatest purpose to protect the existing investments and all of the risk and development effort that has been born by many who have set the stage for further growth.  The City has an enormous responsibility to protect these investments and to continue the strong positive momentum.

 

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