Newton Infill and Small Developments

tysmith95

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Three-story, 190,000 square foot residential building featuring 88 new apartments with anticipated delivery in Summer 2017. Hancock Estates will feature 34 one-bedroom and 54 two-bedroom apartments. Resident amenities will include a business center with a private conference room, a club room, a fitness center with yoga space, a hospitality suite, a large balcony deck, a lounge, a resident project room, theater space and a sitting area complete with a fireplace.
The 88-unit Hancock Estates apartment development in Newton has reached its' construction midpoint, reports general contractor Nauset Construction in an official press release. Nauset most recently completed the three-story Hancock Estates building's roof and framing. Hancock Estates is scheduled for completion in Early Summer 2017.
http://www.bldup.com/projects/hancock-estates
 
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West

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bldup has their map pinned in the wrong place; they've put it on LaGrange in West Roxbury instead of LaGrange in Newton. The site is pretty much smack on the Brookline border, a few miles from where bldup shows it.
 

Jouhou

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Uhhhhh I think that render isn't the current version they are building.
 

JumboBuc

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Globe: Newton Centre may get a new hotel, restaurant, and housing

Boston Globe said:
Newton officials are preparing to unveil plans by a developer to erect a hotel, restaurant, and affordable housing in the area of the former Newton Centre branch library, Mayor Setti Warren said Monday.

The proposed project, a short distance from the MBTA Green Line, addresses several needs identified by city officials, including bringing more diverse housing and business activity into Newton’s village centers.

Stuart Rothman, president of First Cambridge Realty Corporation, has proposed building a three-story structure with six affordable apartments on city-owned land behind the vacant former library at 1294 Centre St.

Rothman would also build a four-story, 57-room hotel on an adjacent piece of land he owns at 39 Herrick Rd.

The library building itself would house a 2,500-square-foot restaurant or cafe with 85 to 90 seats run by chef Rachel Klein, along with a community space for public use. An underground parking garage would include 24 spaces, plus nine above-ground parking spots.

[...]
[here]
 

Shepard

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Where is "39 Herrick Road" ...? Presumably not where Google says it is, otherwise that would be a non-starter.
 

Equilibria

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Where is "39 Herrick Road" ...? Presumably not where Google says it is, otherwise that would be a non-starter.
I'd expect that it's the parking lot along the tracks. It abuts the library building on Centre.
 

JumboBuc

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Where is "39 Herrick Road" ...? Presumably not where Google says it is, otherwise that would be a non-starter.
It's the parcel on Herrick Road that abuts the former library building (1294 Centre St) to the east-southeast. Switch to Map view on Google and you can see it clearly outlined.
 

DBM

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So, this abandoned former library is the building bracketed by the Pure Barre fitness center/baby toys retail strip on one side, and the Rosenfeld's Bagels/nail salon/etc. retail strip on the other.

An extreme amount of traffic there, weekend and weekday, due to the Pure Barre's popularity in particular and the overall appeal of the retail/restaurants in general in that district. Badly exacerbated by the way Centre & Cypress dangerously converge there and smash right into Beacon St., making conditions rather perilous at times and requiring very deft maneuvering a fair amount.

In short, this seems like a legitimate, non-NIMBY case to scream "traffic woes!" Not to inhibit the development in any way, but... to attach a covenant to deed-restrict the units so that all residential tenants are carless?

Given the proximity to Newton Centre T stop, why not?

Alas, I doubt such a truly progressive stance would be taken seriously...
 

West

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I'd be curious whether such a deed restriction would stand up in court, and even if it did, how it'd get enforced? Some property manager's going to be required to check RMV databases regularly to be sure tenants aren't cheating? Really? (These affordable units are described as apartments, not condos.)

But it's only six households. The real traffic impact will come from the 57 hotel units. I can't see how they're going to jam 57 hotel rooms in a four story building on that parcel, but perhaps the drawings will prove me wrong. But realistically speaking, most hotel patrons aren't going to arrive by the Green Line. Some will, but not most. 57 hotel rooms and the parking to serve them, or even half of them? I REALLY can't see how that fits on that parcel.

You're right about the traffic there being crazy. As someone who lives nearby, I can tell you that 90% of us locals know how to avoid that intersection - there's plenty of ways to do it. Most people getting jammed up there are through-drivers, of which we get many thousands using Newton roads for short-ish north/south commutes to avoid 95. And then the few random locals too stupid to figure out how to avoid it. I don't much care if traffic gets even worse for those two groups. The first group might ease off (for a few years until induced demand kicks in) once the 95 widening is finally done, as for the second group, there's no fixing stupid.

My feedback on the proposal will have to wait until I see the plan. A café in that old building makes sense, some affordable units would be good, and if the guy is actually proposing a Tokyo-style coffin hotel, that'd at least be interesting and unique. And might fit.
 

JumboBuc

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I'd be curious whether such a deed restriction would stand up in court, and even if it did, how it'd get enforced? Some property manager's going to be required to check RMV databases regularly to be sure tenants aren't cheating? Really? (These affordable units are described as apartments, not condos.)

But it's only six households. The real traffic impact will come from the 57 hotel units. I can't see how they're going to jam 57 hotel rooms in a four story building on that parcel, but perhaps the drawings will prove me wrong. But realistically speaking, most hotel patrons aren't going to arrive by the Green Line. Some will, but not most. 57 hotel rooms and the parking to serve them, or even half of them? I REALLY can't see how that fits on that parcel.
Is there resident permit parking in this area? If so, the way to enforce car restrictions is to make the address ineligible for a resident permit.

Hotel patrons are more likely to use taxis/Uber/Lyft. They don't take up parking spaces but still create traffic.
 

West

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Is there resident permit parking in this area? If so, the way to enforce car restrictions is to make the address ineligible for a resident permit.
There is only scattered resident permit parking in Newton, not much of it near this site. Instead, parking is constrained around there by being metered, and forbidden overnight. And overnight parking is forbidden nearly everywhere in Newton during winter months, to keep clear for plows. So, if the six apartment units had no spaces on site, the lack of available nearby street parking would be a de facto form of a car ban regulation - via pain in the ass factor. Again, it's six units: as a nearby resident, I'd be completely ok adding six cars to the local mix in the name of boosting affordable housing stock. And I would certainly hope the residents would use the T a lot. I use the T a lot, and the wife and I only have one car as a result - but doing without that one in Newton would be a real burden. I'd be very leery of demanding that lower income folks make it work just to spare us more fortunate folks a measly six cars, some of which would probably be used mostly on the weekend, like ours is.

Hotel patrons are more likely to use taxis/Uber/Lyft. They don't take up parking spaces but still create traffic.
Very true in a downtown hotel, but even they have a bunch of parking, because even there some patrons show up with a car. I find it hard to believe that any hotel operator will build 57 rooms in Newton Center without onside parking for a bunch of them, if not all of them or nearly so. If events prove me wrong, so be it, I'll be happy to be wrong on that point. But the more I think of a 57-room hotel there, the less I perceive it as likely. A boutique hotel, sort of bed and breakfast style, with about 16 - 20 rooms would work great there, especially if the "breakfast" part of the deal was a certificate to the abutting restaurant rather than cramming the usual kitchen/dining facility into the hotel building itself. I'm just really curious to see how they're getting 57 units on that site. I'm possibly going to be able to make it to the Friday morning presentation, if scheduling adjustments allow.

I spend radically less time worrying about traffic than most Newtonians, so my attitudes are not representative. My neighbors will squawk about the traffic impact of a hotel whether folks arrive in their own car, or, as you suggest, via Uber/taxi/Lyft. So, yeah, there will be a NIMBY response.

More generally, I'm glad someone's proposing something to convert some asphalt to a building. The more this happens in Newton Center, the better.
 

atlantaden

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Same old tired story, neighboring posh burbs fight mixed use developments that contain both market rate and affordable housing, or in many cases, just fight any new multi-family housing. Wellesley has similar objections to multi-family housing being built across from the commuter rail station! This is one of the major causes for the high price of housing in the Boston metro area.
 

TallIsGood

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Wellesley isn't fighting mixed use across from the commuter rail, there are legitimate concerns that are stated in a letter to the state. Town agrees its a good place for mixed income density.
 

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