I bet Ted knows a lot more about this, but to answer Kristine’s question on the previous West Newton Square thread, I was actually wondering the same thing myself and was going to write about it, before getting distracted by the Globe’s beautification article. I’ve been driving by this lot practically every day since Galaxy Auto Body moved out, i.e., years.
Two parcels on the corner, 111 Elm St. and 8 Border St., are owned by Border Trust, Constantine Taleas Trustee, according to the Assessor’s Database. What follows is basically from Googling his name. This 9/18/11 Boston Globe article may be one of the articles Kristine saw. Constantine Taleas also owned the Mango Thai building (it’s a different trust) and wanted to build a similar mixed use building on the vacant lot and connect the two buildings. It appears from this Dec. 5, 2011 Reports Docket that the project was approved except for the part about waiving lighting requirements for outdoor parking, that was ‘withdrawn without prejudice,’ which I believe means they were planning to resubmit. Sadly, it seems Mr. Taleas died on Dec. 16, 2011. Maybe the family is still dealing with estate matters. Maybe no one else is ready to take on the project.
It’s a great location, across the street from commuter rail, walk to cinema, many good restaurants (must go to Mango Thai again). You could even walk to Trader Joe’s for your grocery shopping. So it is strange to see it unused for so long. By the way, those boards in the photo don’t appear to have anything to do with the parcel; I think it’s part of National Grid’s staging area for the new gas main they’ve been laying down Webster Street.