Newton Infill and Small Developments

jklo

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It appears to be an attempt to get something built there, as least dense as possible, to ensure that something gets built there instead of something much denser in the future.
 

Equilibria

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How do you have such a large plot of woods in a city like this? This whole area is filled with conservation areas, does anyone benefit from these areas?
Well, people benefit from the conservation areas. This area is a large plot of woods because it was private property.
 

DBM

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does anyone benefit from these areas?
The lawyers have certainly benefited immensely from the *vigorously litigated* Webster Woods... which are essentially next-door. (The southwest corner of Webster Woods is only a half-mile from the northeast corner of this parcel/development site, I see.)

It's too bad there can't be a "grand solution" here involving enlarging Webster Woods somehow to include a portion of this parcel/development site, while still developing the remainder of the site in a far more thoughtful/tasteful way.

[Then again, how could you acquire/engineer a pathway across Route 9 from the edge of Webster Woods to this parcel?]
 

curcuas

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The "conservation areas" are almost all just NIMBYism to prevent development. Areas of land in the suburbs that no one can access for "environmental reasons" but really so that no one else can move to their town. The history of these places is well documented in CA (and I think in MA).
 

Equilibria

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The "conservation areas" are almost all just NIMBYism to prevent development. Areas of land in the suburbs that no one can access for "environmental reasons" but really so that no one else can move to their town. The history of these places is well documented in CA (and I think in MA).
I disagree with that - a lot of them were donated recreational land meant to be kept as recreational space, like Norumbega Park in Newton.

They're basically "state parks" at the municipal level - city parks but covered in trees.
 

curcuas

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I disagree with that - a lot of them were donated recreational land meant to be kept as recreational space, like Norumbega Park in Newton.

They're basically "state parks" at the municipal level - city parks but covered in trees.
If they're actual accessible park land, that's different. But there's enormous amounts of conservation land that is just closed and useless. Gov't protected NIMBYism
 

mass88

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I disagree with that - a lot of them were donated recreational land meant to be kept as recreational space, like Norumbega Park in Newton.

They're basically "state parks" at the municipal level - city parks but covered in trees.
What types of recreational activities are happening at these woods?
 

737900er

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Mount Alvernia on Centre Street is closing in June and the property will apparently be sold. Will be interesting to see what happens there.
 

Equilibria

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Mount Alvernia on Centre Street is closing in June and the property will apparently be sold. Will be interesting to see what happens there.
As with all large properties, first option should be a purchase by the City. Newton is currently looking for ways to replace the nearby Ward and Underwood elementary schools and potentially merge them into a single site. Mount Alvernia is on a major road adjacent to other educational institutions, and nearly perfectly halfway between the two schools with a building sitting there ready to be reused. Should be a no-brainer, and seems like a higher priority for purchase than the property next to Newton South.

This is the playbook Newton used to turn Aquinas Junior College into Lincoln Eliot - almost the exact same story with the nuns fading off and unable to support the property.
 

jms13

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Slipped into the Globe article on this was a comment from a former board member:

Kathleen Joyce, a Mount Alvernia graduate who served on the school’s board of directors for 14 years and chaired the panel from 2019 to 2022, said the Franciscan Sisters voted to sell the property in April 2022 without informing the board.

...

Joyce said another Catholic organization that the sisters did not identify is poised to buy the property.
"Another Catholic organization" would seem to scream BC, given that the law campus is basically across the street. I agree that this jumps to the top of the priority list for the City in any case.
 

itchy

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As with all large properties, first option should be a purchase by the City. Newton is currently looking for ways to replace the nearby Ward and Underwood elementary schools and potentially merge them into a single site. Mount Alvernia is on a major road adjacent to other educational institutions, and nearly perfectly halfway between the two schools with a building sitting there ready to be reused. Should be a no-brainer, and seems like a higher priority for purchase than the property next to Newton South.

This is the playbook Newton used to turn Aquinas Junior College into Lincoln Eliot - almost the exact same story with the nuns fading off and unable to support the property.
Why should that be the 'first option'? Why should a private landholder be obligated to give right of first refusal to a municipal government?
 

Equilibria

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Slipped into the Globe article on this was a comment from a former board member:



"Another Catholic organization" would seem to scream BC, given that the law campus is basically across the street. I agree that this jumps to the top of the priority list for the City in any case.
That's interesting, but given the context and the fact that she's clearly angry at the sale I'd ask whether it's more than a rumor.

Newton has some recent experience taking new purchases from BC by eminent domain.
 

stick n move

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Opus Newton, u/c

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https://www.dellbrookjks.com/project/opus-newton/

Upcoming Senior Community in Newton Addresses “Middle-Market Abyss”

“2Life Communities has broken ground on Opus Newton, a 174-unit middle-income senior living development located on the Jewish Community Center Greater Boston campus in Newton, MA. The facility will feature a restaurant, café, art studio, classroom, and fitness spaces.

MassDevelopment has supported the project with $130 million in tax-exempt bond financing.

The community is 95% pre-sold, which according to non-profit organization 2Life Communities speaks to the “middle-market abyss” in which middle-income seniors can’t afford to live independently with market-rate options, but do not qualify for subsidized housing.

To maintain affordability, Opus leverages residents’ home equity and offers a range of apartments to accommodate different living styles and pricing needs. Rather than move residents to care, the model brings care to residents within their own apartments, supported by a team of care navigators, advocates and providers.

Opus Newton builds on 2Life Communities’ “aging in community” model, marrying affordable, independent living with a communal lifestyle. The model also incorporates resident-driven volunteerism alongside programming and amenities.”

https://www.connectcre.com/stories/...nity-in-newton-addresses-middle-market-abyss/
 

jms13

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Catching up on some emails, and from the Mayor's newsletter last week, we've got a 40B submission by Toll Brothers for the Sam White & Sons landscaping lot on the south side of Rt 9 (528 Boylson St), just a bit northwest of the Dudley Road site that's been under discussion. Six stories, 244 apartments total (95 1br, 122 2br, 27 3br), 25% affordable, 385 parking spaces, all but 10 in a below-grade garage. Application with docs here, (very sparse) city page here. About a mile from the Newton Center Green Line stop and a mile from the Wegmans and other retail at Chestnut Hill, with the 52 bus a few hundred feet away, though of course the general hostility of Rt 9 makes all of that a challenge. I am not an architect in any sense of the word, but it seems like there is a lot going on in these renders.

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