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Austin Street developers outline parameters for project

2015 January 14
by Greg Reibman

Austin Street Partners, the firm selected by the city to develop the Austin Street parking lot following a unanimous vote to do just that by aldermen back in 2012, published an op-ed in this week’s Newton TAB.

 

Here’s the video from the Mass DOT Needham Street/Highland Ave. presentation 

2015 January 14
by Greg Reibman

Many thanks to NewTV for sharing this. Earlier post is here Wicked Local story is here.

Newton’s Stephanie Pollack appointed Secretary of Transportation

2015 January 13
by Adam Peller

The Globe reports that Governor Baker has appointed Stephanie Pollack to lead MassDOT. Pollack served as associate director of Northeastern University’s Dukakis Center for Urban and Regional Policy and was an advocate for the gas tax to support progressive transportation policies. The Governor, however, has vowed not to raise fees or taxes.

Get inspired at Newton Inspires

2015 January 13
by Greg Reibman

If you attended Newton Inspires last year, chances are you’ve already signed up and are excited about this year’s program on Weds. Jan. 21. If you didn’t I strong suggest you check this out before it’s sold out. Here’s a brief explanation:

There are three sessions with a wide variety of speakers, all with ties to Newton.

Here’s how it works: Each speaker presents a 30-minute sessions including a 10-minute Q & A. Participants choose three half-hour session to attend. Following the formal program, participants and speakers convene in a central location for refreshments and casual conversation. Click on the green list tab below to see details on the speakers.

Check out this year’s speakers here and register here.

Austin Street discussion Wednesday

2015 January 12
by Village 14

The League of Women Voters are presenting this meeting on Wednesday. 

Next Steps for the Austin Street Proposal

January 14, 2015: 7:00pm – 8:30pm
West Suburban YMCA, 276 Church St., Newton 02458

Open to the public, but space is limited

The plans to create new housing and commercial space at the Austin Street parking lot in Newtonville have their origins in the City’s Comprehensive Planning process from the mid-2000’s.  The Mayor, City staff, Board of Aldermen, and several citizen groups all advised on or passed ordinances on the project.  However, the project has been paused for citizen input since the selection of a development partner last spring.
Austin Street partners will present an update on the project based on input from the community and further discussions from the City.  They are ready to share these with the public.

Our speakers will be: read more…

Blogger notes restaurant growth

2015 January 13
by Village 14

James Mackenzie aka posts this local business update on the Touch My Culture blog.

The front runner industry for small business growth in Newton is without a doubt the restaurant industry. Newtonville seems to be the center of this success with thriving restaurants such as the Rox Diner, Brewer’s Coalition, a full bar added to the Village Cafe, and the new addition of Los Amigos

State to review Newton’s 40B exemption claims

2015 January 10
by Greg Reibman

UPDATE: Read the appeal here.

Developers of the proposed 135-unit apartment complex on Rowe Street in Newton have challenged the city ’s assertion that it has met an affordable housing threshold that would put it outside the parameters of the state’s Chapter 40B affordable housing law, Ellen Ishkanian reports in the Sunday Globe.

If the state determines that the city has met the threshold, the Rowe Street project and other 40B affordable housing proposals can still go forward.

The focus of the review process would be shifted, however, with the city having a greater ability to address local concerns, said James Freas, Newton’s acting planning director.

In addition, rather than a developer being able to appeal a Zoning Board of Appeals decision to the state Department of Housing and Community Development, it would have to go through state Land Court, which is a potentially lengthier and more costly process.

Setti Warren articulates his position on development in Newton

2015 January 10
by Greg Reibman

Agree or disagree with him, anyone who has been waiting for Mayor Warren to articulate his vision of Newton’s future as it relates to development, will no doubt read his column in this week’s TAB with great interest.

In addition to affirming his commitment to moving forward on Austin Street, Warren acknowledges his commitment to making data-driven decisions through the Dukakis Center study, zoning reform, senior housing, affordable housing, workforce housing, housing for Newton’s next generation, the innovation economy and master planning.

I’m sure some folks will say he didn’t go far enough. Others will say he’s set us on a collision course to become the next Brookline.  And that’s exactly why we have a comments section here. So dive in.

 

Roots music at the Durant-Kenrick House on Sunday

2015 January 9
by Jerry Reilly

MusicAtKendrickHouseLooks likes a good afternoon of musical history along with some Newton history this Sunday, Jan 11, 4 PM at the Durant-Kenrick House.  For years, Historic Newton was based solely at the Jackson Homestead Museum.  A few years ago they added a 2nd historic property, the Durant-Kenrick House on Waverly Ave.  If you’ve never been there, it’s worth a trip, especially read more…

What would a Boston Olympics mean for Newton?

2015 January 9
by Greg Reibman

How do you feel about the prospect of Boston hosting the 2024 summer Olympics and what do you hope/fear/think it might mean for Newton?

Who wants a free home theater?

2015 January 7
by Jerry Reilly

The Newton Nomadic Theater is putting together plans for its next production in Feb-March.  “Turn of the Screw” by Jeffrey Hatcher is an eerie ghost story based on the Henry James novella of the same name and it’s set in an English manor house.

The Newton Nomadic Theater is a new traveling theater.  It’s widely acclaimed first production this past fall (“Faith Healer” by Brian Friel) was presented in Carriage House Violins, Gregorian Rugs, First Baptist Church, Auburndale Library and Dunn Gaherins Pub/Restaurant, as well as few read more…

More stories soon

2015 January 7
by Jerry Reilly

StorySlam2Back in November, the Newton Nomadic Theater hosted its first Nomad Story Slam – a night of community storytelling.  It was a great night with a big crowd and lots of storytellers.

We’ve scheduled the next one for Friday Jan 23, 7:30 PM at Gregorian Rugs in Lower Falls.  Tickets ($10) are now on sale at the Nomadic Theater’s web site.

You can come down and hear great stories from your Newton neighbors.  Better yet, read more…