Northland’s MASSIVE Proposed Development on Needham Street

NEXT MEETING: The Land Use Committee will continue its discussion of Northland’s proposed development for Needham street at 7pm on AUGUST 6TH.  More details forthcoming.

Overview:

Northland Investment Corporation (https://www.northland.com/) has proposed a 22+ acre development on land it owns at the corner of Needham and Oak streets in Newton Upper Falls (shaded in red in the image above).

Northland’s massive proposal, which REQUIRES both a ZONING CHANGE and a SPECIAL PERMIT is currently being reviewed by the Newton City Council Land Use Committee.

The information submitted in connection with the zoning change and special permit applications can be found here: http://www.newtonma.gov/gov/planning/current/devrev/hip/needham_st_permits.asp

The proposal calls for:

  • Almost 2,000,000 square feet of development
  • 800 rental units (80 studios, 360 1-bedrooms, 320 2-bedrooms, and 40 3-bedrooms)
  • 180,000 square feet of office space (in the existing Mill building)
  • 115,000 square feet of “retail” space
  • Only 1,550 parking spaces (total)
  • 17 buildings, 7 of them currently at 7+ stories and 96 feet high

And this is just PHASE 1.  Northland has also purchased 14+ acres across Needham Street (the area shaded in yellow in the image above).  Those 14+ acres are certain to become PHASE 2 once Phase 1 is approved.

The Concerns:

While we WELCOME appropriate development of this site (it has become a concrete wasteland during Northand’s 15+ years of ownership), this proposal is simply TOO BIG.  The HEIGHT and DENSITY of the buildings is completely OUT OF SCALE with the surrounding neighborhoods of Newton Highlands and Upper Falls.

  • Northland’s incorrect enrollment projections VASTLY UNDERESTIMATE the financial impact on our schools
  • Northland’s INSUFFICIENT number of parking spaces will cause narrow neighboring streets to become overwhelmed with cars from the project, causing emergency vehicles to struggle to navigate them
  • Northland’s INACCURATE traffic projections DRAMATICALLY UNDERESTIMATE the impact of the proposed development on Needham Street and NEIGHBORING STREETS (especially Winchester St, Oak Street, Saco St, Williams St, Christina Rd, Rachel Rd, Roland St, and Charlemont St)
  • Northland’s proposed shuttle service is WILL NOT solve the TRAFFIC ISSUE
  • Northland’s proposal calls for the BARE MINIMUM “affordable” units allowed by law

About Us

WE ARE NOT ANTI-DEVELOPMENT.  WE WELCOME APPROPRIATE DEVELOPMENT OF THIS SITE!

This website started as an effort by 8 area neighbors with no “activism” experience shocked by the lack of public awareness of this MASSIVE proposed development.  We wanted to help inform our neighbors and our friends. We have grown to 250+ neighbors and counting.

Our goal IS NOT to prevent Northland from developing this site; it is to make sure that the way in which the site is developed BENEFITS EVERYONE, not just Northland’s investors’ profits.

To stay informed or to get involved, please click the Join Us link to the left to be added to our mailing list.

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To voice your concerns directly to the city council, please email the council at citycouncil@newtonma.gov.