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Newton Mayor Setti Warren tells the Boston Globe’s Ellen Ishkanian that his selection of Austin Street Partner’s to develop the Austin Street parking lot was based the city’s evaluation of the developers, not on the conceptual drawings outlined for the property last fall, which included a four- to five-story apartment building with 80 units, and six first-floor restaurants and stores.

“There is no specific project proposed, there is nothing on the table at this time,” Warren said.

Austin Street Partner’s Scott Oran adds,

“The mayor told us that he selected a team and not a project,” he said. “So there is no project yet,” said Oran, who lives in Newton. “Speaking for myself and the whole team, we want to develop a project that everyone can be proud of. That means listening to everyone,” he said.

Planning Director Candace Havens added that Austin Street Partners were “particularly sensitive to the parking needs of the area.”