In advance of Tuesday’s (June 18, 7 p.m.) meeting before the City Council’s Land Use committee, Northland has sent a letter to Land Use Committee chair Greg Schwartz, outlining proposed changes to their Needham Street project.  Read the letter for full details but here’s some key points.

  • Additional units of workforce housing, bringing the total to 140 units, representing more than the total number of affordable housing units built in Newton since 2003.
  • A commitment to obtaining passive house certification for three residential buildings (representing 35% of the total) with interest in expanding that to another five buildings (representing 85% of total). Northland is also willing to commit to achieve the Gold level of LEED for Neighborhood Development.
  • Agreeing to finance the undergrounding all the utilities wires and remove 77 poles along portions of Needham Street, Oak Street, Christina Street, and Tower Road.
  • Provide free (to both the public and the residents) round trip shuttle service from the Mobility Hub to the Newton Highlands MBTA stop. The electric vehicle (“EV”) T Circulator will provide 10-minute service, 16 hours a day, 7 days a week, which makes NND effectively a transit-oriented development.
  • Replace the proposed community building with splash park/skating rink and fund the cost of the improvements up to $1 million as well as operating costs. This programming change will assure an active Greenway year-round.
  • Just kidding about the unicorns but there are new traffic mitigation enhancements for Oak Street.