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Every once in a while a store empties and people start the speculation process of what will move in. Then people talk about what they WANT to move in. The problem is that many stores we want are only possible if the population increases in density. You need a critical mass of foot traffic to make certain stores viable.

Over in West Newton Square this argument is coming up right now in the form of 429 Cherry Street. Apparently a developer wants to remake a vacant single-story building that had been part of the Newton Community Center into a multi-story 9-resident unit. The property is already entirely built up, so we’re not talking about ripping out trees and other natural growth. This is simply taking a one-story building down and building something new with far more utility for the neighborhood.

According to an email from Greer Tan-Swiston, concerns from residents include the height of the building blocking out light, drainage, parking and changing the character of the neighborhood.

In my opinion it’s the right building for the right location. I wish we’d see more of it.

The Planning Department document is below.

429 Cherry Planning Dept