NEWTON, MA – (Oct. 7, 2015) A majority of members of the Newton-Needham Chamber support the proposed mixed-use project at Austin Street in Newtonville, according to a survey conducted by the Chamber in late September.
Fifty-seven percent of Chamber members who responded to an emailed survey said they would like to see the special permit for the Austin Street project “approved by Newton’s Board of Aldermen,” while 18 percent of respondents said they would like to see the special permit application “rejected.” Approximately 13 percent of responding members said they would like to see the project “modified further” while another 13 percent were undecided.
Support for the Austin Street development was slightly higher among Newton-Needham Chamber members than it was among overall respondents from the business community, the survey showed. But support still outnumbered opposition by more than two-to-one.
Among both members and non-members who responded to the email survey, 47 percent favored approval of the project while 21 percent want aldermen to reject the special permit.
The proposed project by Austin Street Partners LLC would redevelop the existing 74,000 square foot municipal parking lot with a mixed-use residential building that includes 68 units of rental housing (25% of which will be deed restricted as affordable) approximately 5,000 square feet of ground-floor commercial space, 127 at-grade public parking spaces and 90 underground parking spaces for the residential units and retail employees.
Newton’s Board of Aldermen is expected to vote on the special permit for the project in November.
Overall, the business community expressed mixed feelings in the survey about the changes to the project that were introduced by Austin Street Partners this past May 2015.
For example, when asked about Austin Street Partners’ decision to reduce the square footage for retail space by 45 percent (to 5,000 square feet) one-third of respondents said the reduction was “a loss of needed retail space” while 21 percent described it as “an improvement” and 13 percent felt the amount of available retail space was “not small enough.”
Asked about the decision to reduce the overall number of residential rental units, from 80 to 68 apartments, 26 percent of all respondents said they considered that to be “a loss of needed housing units” while 23 percent thought it was “not small enough” and 22 percent thought the reduction in total apartments was “an improvement.”
Finally, 57 percent of all respondents said it was “an improvement” that the number of proposed street level parking spaces was increased from 85 to 127 public spaces (the same amount of public parking spaces currently available), while 16 percent felt it was “not enough parking” and eight percent felt it was “too much parking.”
Chamber President Greg Reibman said he was not surprised to see many divergent views expressed about the project.
“Generally speaking, business owners in our market see this mixed-use transit oriented project as a way to bring more customers to our local restaurants and retailers and to provide needed rental units for employees,” Reibman said.
“On the other hand, there have been very understandable concerns about a loss of parking during an expected six to nine months of construction,” Reibman said. “Newtonville businesses and the Chamber are looking forward to reviewing a proposal from the working group of municipal officials and local businesses who are collaborating with Austin Street Partners on an interim parking plan.”
The Chamber’s Austin Street Survey was conducted Sept. 18-29, 2015. Just under 200 participants completed the poll. The survey was sent to Newton-Needham Chamber members as well as other business owners and recent attendees at Chamber-sponsored programs and events.
The Newton-Needham Chamber’s Board of Directors has not taken a position on the project but is scheduled to discuss the special permit at its Oct. 21 board meeting.
As frustrations grow over the proliferation of monster houses in Newton and elsewhere, visitors to Newton Centre on Oct. 18 will have a chance to explore a growing alternative trend in modern living: a solar-powered “tiny house” that occupies a mere 8-by-16-foot footprint.
The self contained, “tiny house” will be on exhibit, along with several plug-in eclectic vehicles and dozens of other green exhibits, at Newton’s Annual Harvest Fair Sunday, Oct. 18 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. in the Newton Center parking lot.
The green-themed exhibits are part of the annual Green Solutions EXPO, happening during Newton’s popular Harvest Fair. The EXPO is produced by the Newton-Needham Chamber in partnership with the City of Newton and is sponsored by the Newton Solar Challenge and Barn Raise Energy, a Newton-based company with a social-impact mission of increasing solar adoption and ownership.
“The Green EXPO is about providing a chance to showcase the latest in green living so we’re delighted to bring a tiny house to Newton Centre on Oct. 18 so attendees can see what this new trend is all about,” said Peter Smith, chair of the Newton-Needham Chamber’s Environment Committee.
The 128-square foot tiny house is powered by solar panels capable of producing 2.4 kilowatts and storing the power in a lithium-ion battery for up to five days. The stored energy is enough to power lighting, a microwave oven and refrigerator. In addition, the tiny house can power a five horsepower electric motor when used on a pontoon for a house boat or for an electric vehicle.
The Newton Solar Challenge is a partnership between Green Newton, other participating community organizations and BarnRaise, with a goal of helping 100 Newton homeowners adopt solar ownership in 2015 through this innovative community solar campaign. The Newton Solar Challenge aims to break down the barriers to solar adoption by offering high quality American-made solar panels with preferred pricing, as well as the high quality regional solar installers, and also by providing a zero fee “Solar Loan” for 100% of the cost of home solar installations through its financing partner, The Village Bank.
EXPO attendees will have the opportunity to sign up for a free Newton Solar Challenge home solar evaluation at the event. To learn more and to sign up for a free home solar evaluation through the Newton Solar Challenge, please visit: www.newtonsolarchallenge.com
Green Solutions EXPO, sponsored by Newton Solar Challenge and Barn Raise Energy, will take place as part of Newton’s Annual Harvest Fair on Sunday, Oct. 18 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. in the Newton Center parking lot. Admission is free and the EXPO will take place rain or shine. For information about becoming a Green EXPO exhibitor call 617-244-5300.
US EDA grant and added fundraising will support competiveness study and marketing plan Newton, MA, August 6, 2015
The Newton-Needham Chamber has been awarded a federal grantdesigned to advance economic development in the section of Newton and Needham known as the N2 Innovation Corridor, U.S. Congressman Joseph P. Kennedy III announced today.
The $50,000 grant from the U.S. Economic Development Administration (EDA) has been matched with an additional $50,000 from local businesses and non-profits and from the City of Newton and Town of Needham. It will fund a year-long competitiveness study and create a marketing plan for the N2 Corridor as the Corridor enters a period of marked expansion and development.
“By partnering and promoting their shared assets, Newton and Needham are uniquely positioned to attract industry and drive development,” Kennedy said. “This N2 Initiative grant will help leverage the Corridor’s unique strengths and capitalize on our rapidly expanding innovation sector as we continue our efforts to expand access to economic opportunity throughout our Commonwealth.”
Comprised of nearly 500 acres of commercial, educational, retail and recreational land along the Newton-Needham line, the N2 Innovation Corridor is home to some of the nation’s fastest growing and most well-known innovation companies. In addition to being the new location of TripAdvisor’s world headquarters, which opened in July, it’s also home to PTC, Turbine, SharkNinja (formerly Europro), Verastem, CyberArk, Big Belly Solar and Karyopharm Therapeutics, among others, What lies ahead for the N2 Corridor has the power to transform the region. Earlier this year, Normandy Real Estate Partners purchased a 28-acre parcel in the Needham Crossing section of the Corridor with plans of large redevelopment.
The parcel is expected to be home to a 400-unit affordable housing complex, creative office space, restaurants and retail. Additionally, at the Wells Ave. office park in Newton, several significant property expansions are in the planning stage. Considerable roadway improvements -- including a new dedicated exit ramp off of I-95 at Kendrick Street leading to the two office parks -- are currently under construction. A renovation of Needham Street and Highland Ave. has just been funded. “This grant ensures that the early success we’ve enjoyed establishing the N2 Corridor as a work-live-learn-play destination will be relevant and sustainable over the long term,” said Newton-Needham Chamber President Greg Reibman.
“We are extremely grateful to the EDA, to our municipal partners in Newton and Needham and to the 18 businesses and non-profits who’ve contributed financially towards this project,” Reibman added. “The N² Corridor is a great example of how municipalities and private partners can work together to more effectively advocate for the resources needed to finance projects based on holistic plans that will have a big impact on the area,” said Newton Mayor Setti Warren.
“This grant will enable us to get the expertise needed to create the strongest, most effective plan to spur the economic development that will attract innovative companies, entrepreneurs, and high-paying jobs to Newton and Needham. “I am proud of the work we have done through this private-public partnership with the Town of Needham and the Newton-Needham Chamber and look forward to continuing to grow this initiative and see how we can apply our success here towards the creation of other innovation districts, such as the Charles River Mill District. I would like to thank Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Economic Development Jay Williams and the EDA for their support of the N² Corridor,” Warren added.
“This grant recognizes the value of both the N2 area and the constructive regional approach that Needham and Newton have taken together in partnership with the Newton-Needham Chamber and the businesses in both communities,” said Maurice Handel, chair of the Needham Board of Selectman. “We also recognize the key role played by the Metropolitan Area Planning Council and our elected representatives.”Kennedy announced the grant at a press conference at Karyopharm Therapeutics’ headquarters on Wells Ave. in Newton.
“I commend Mayor Warren, Selectman Handel and Greg Reibman on earning this grant and look forward to working together as we move this initiative forward.” Kennedy said. EDA grants are awarded through a competitive process based upon the application’s merit, the applicant’s eligibility, and the availability of funds, according to the U.S. Department of Commerce. In addition to the financial support from the EDA, the Chamber received financial contributions totaling $50,000 from City of Newton, the Town of Needham, financial contributions and the following Newton-Needham based businesses and non-profits:
Normandy Real Estate Partners
The Bulfinch Companies
Mount Ida College
Boston Realty Advisors
Cabot, Cabot and Forbes
Residence Inn Needham
New England Development
Dunn-Gaherins Food & Spirits
Fairway Independent Mortgage
RL Tennant Insurance
Jewish Community Centers of Greater Boston
Bakers’ Best Catering
The Chamber is presently interviewing consultants to work with the Chamber, the N2 Task Force and its municipal partners on the creation of a strategic business plan for development of the corridor. “None of this would have been possible without careful guidance and support from the Steven Winter, Economic Development Manager at the Metropolitan Area Planning Council (MAPC) in Boston and Chris Steele, COO and North America President at Investment Consulting Associates and a member of the N2 Task Force,” Reibman said. “I’m deeply grateful to have Steve, Chris and the support from the Chamber’s Board of Directors on this initiative,” Reibman said. “We at MAPC are thrilled to partner with Newton, Needham, and the Newton-Needham Chamber in announcing this economic development grant, which will help to promote the N2 Corridor as an attractive area for innovative businesses to locate and grow,” Winter said.
Contact Greg Reibman firstname.lastname@example.org 617-244-1688
Mayor Setti Warren announced today that Newton has reached agreement with MassChallenge, the world renowned Boston-based start-up accelerator, to create an innovation center in the former Newton Corner Library building in the Newton Corner area of Newton.
"The innovation sector is one of the major engines for sustainable jobs and opportunity for all workers in the 21st Century," Warren said. "This is a tremendous opportunity to work with MassChallenge to encourage entrepreneurship in Newton while also opening up access to the innovation economy to Newton residents of all backgrounds."
This move marks MassChallenge first expansion in Massachusetts outside of Boston's Innovation District. The non-profit will design programming for entrepreneurs as well as the community at large and will collaborate with Cambridge Innovation Center (CIC). These organizations are both locally and internationally recognized with proven track records in the innovation space.
MassChallenge has also agreed to host interns from the Mayor's summer high school internship program and to conduct workshops for both students and other community groups on business practices, some in conjunction with the Newton Free Library.
"We're thrilled that MassChallenge and the Cambridge Innovation Center recognized the value of setting up their first Massachusetts expansion in Newton," said Greg Reibman, president of the Newton-Needham Chamber. "Newton offers easy access to the Boston area but with our own unique amenities, access, affordability and talent.
"This is an extraordinary economic development opportunity for Newton and our efforts to establish the N2 Innovation Corridor and the Charles River Mill District as destinations for innovation-economy sector companies and support businesses. It also brings focus to Newton Corner which is already home to a number of growing companies as well as a small restaurant and bar scene," Reibman added.
MassChallenge runs startup accelerators designed to catalyze a global renaissance by connecting high-impact startups with the resources they need to launch and succeed. Anyone can apply to MassChallenge, with any early-stage startup, in any industry, from anywhere in the world. MassChallenge does not take equity or place any restrictions on the startups it supports.
With programs in Boston, Israel and the UK, MassChallenge provides entrepreneurs with mentorship, office space, education, access to a vast network, and other resources during four months of acceleration. MassChallenge awards over $2 million in non-dilutive grants to the startups demonstrating the highest impact and highest potential. A nonprofit organization, MassChallenge is funded by corporate, public and foundation partners. To date, the 617 MassChallenge alumni have raised over $947 million in funding, generated $485 million in revenue and created 5,105 jobs. For more information, visitwww.masschallenge.org.
"Mayor Warren and Newton are offering an excellent opportunity to help inspire and support more entrepreneurs," said Scott Bailey, Managing Director of MassChallenge Boston. "By engaging with the Newton community, we hope to forge more connections and help entrepreneurs launch and grow."
MassChallenge and the city previously discussed opening a branch in Newton Centre. This initiative replaces that prior plan.
Meredith Dunn, Laura Hasenfus, Greg Tormey and Seana Gaherin of Dunn-Gaherin’s Food & Spirits took first place in the chamber’s 24th Annual Children’s Charitable Golf Tournament Monday August 3 at Woodland Golf Club. Photo by Michelle DeSimone of Needham Bank.
Over one hundred golfers formed twenty-six teams to compete in the Newton-Needham Chamber’s 24th annual Children’s Charitable Golf Tournament Monday August 3 at Woodland Golf Club in Newton. In first place was a foursome from Dunn-Gaherin’s Food and Spirits: Seana Gaherin, Meredith Dunn, Laura Hasenfus and Greg Tormey. Walter & Lynn Tennant and Rick & Lauren Grisolia from R.L. Tennant Insurance captured the second place title. Rounding out the podium in third place was the foursome from JN Phillips Auto Glass: Steve Marino, Tom Dwyer, Dave Grich and Mike Gallahue.
Out of approximately 16 golfers who hit the green on the fourth hole, Noah Ehrenpreis, who played with the Ares Management foursome, was randomly selected to win $100 gift card to the Capital Grille in Chestnut Hill. Proceeds from the Hit the Green contest supplemented the chamber’s contribution to this year’s charity beneficiary, The Second Step, Inc., a Newton-based nonprofit providing support for adult and child victims of domestic violence. Sarah Perry, executive director of The Second Step, spoke briefly during the reception immediately following the tournament thanking participants for their support. A chamber member since its founding in 1992, The Second Step, Inc. provides a wide range of services including safety planning, advocacy, long-term transitional housing, children’s programs, legal case management, peer support groups, and outreach prevention services. Noah Ehrenpreis, who also won $500 in the event’s 50/50 raffle, generously donated a portion of his winnings to The Second Step, Inc.
The Village Bank returned as the title sponsor for this year’s tournament. Wingate Residences was the lunch sponsor for the event. Also sponsoring the tournament were R.L. Tennant Insurance Agency, Beth Israel Deaconess Needham, Rockland Trust, Century Bank, Newton-Wellesley Hospital and Needham Bank. Whole Foods Market and RCN provided snacks for golfers out on the course.
John Harthorne, founder and CEO of the world-renowned start-up accelerator MassChallenge, will deliver the keynote address at the Newton-Needham Chamber's 100th Annual Achievement Breakfast on Thursday, Nov. 5, at the Newton Marriott.
7:30-9:30 a.m. (Program begins at 8 a.m.)
Newton Marriott, 2345 Commonwealth Ave.
Individual Tickets: Chamber members: $50, Non-Members $60
Day of event: $65 for all
$600 for a table of 10 (includes logo display on table and mention in program book)
The Massachusetts Office of Consumer Affairs and Business Regulation has partnered with law enforcement and security experts to present an overview of cyber threats to businesses and corporations in Massachusetts as well as practical learning experience and resources to manage these evolving threats. Addressing cyber threats requires priority and focus from the executive leadership team at not only the largest corporations but the smallest businesses as well. This event is designed for CEOs and senior management of a wide range of businesses to help them address one of today’s most challenging aspects of risk management. Abreakfast and lunch will be provided.
WHO SHOULD ATTEND:
CEOs, partners, directors, managers, and executive staff are encouraged to attend to learn about threats that exist and the steps they can take to manage those threats and to bring that knowledge back to their businesses to strengthen risk management and cybersecurity in an actionable way.
Tuesday, November 3, 2015 8:30am to 3:45pm
Holiday Inn Hotel & Suites Marlborough
265 Lakeside Avenue
Marlborough, MA 01752
NOTE ON ACCOMMODATIONS: Please contact Robin Putnam if you require accommodations or have allergies or special food requirements by Tuesday, October 13, 2015 to ensure that we will be able to address your accommodation needs. We will make every effort to make accommodations for notices received after that date. Presented by: The Massachusetts Office of Consumer Affairs and Business Regulation and its Division of Banks.
We're inviting you to Executive Leadership Conference on CybersecurityOur mailing address is:
Massachusetts Office of Consumer Affairs and Business Regulation
Ten Park Plaza, Suite 5170
Boston, MA 02116
Add us to your address book
The Toxics Use Reduction Institute at UMass/Lowell is offering grants to small businesses who are looking to start reducing the use of toxic chemicals within their facilities. Eligible business sectors include, but are not limited to: dry cleaners, nail salons, hair salons, auto repair shops, auto body shops, car or truck washes, mortuaries, bathtub or furniture refinishers, restaurants, janitorial companies, gymnasiums, child care facilities, and microbreweries. Non-profits are also eligible.
Who may apply:
- Small community-based businesses providing services direct to consumers
- Businesses prepared to purchase and install new equipment or materials to reduce the use of toxic chemicals
- Businesses willing to allow TURI to collect data on their materials usage or processes to create case studies to teach others in the sector about alternatives
The deadline to apply is Oct. 30, 2015. View the application here.
Beginning at 8:00PM on Friday, September 11, 2015 the Needham-Wellesley I-95 Add-A-Lane project team will implement ramp changes at the Route 9/I-95 interchange. In case of inclement weather, operations will be shifted to Saturday, September 12th at 8:00PM.
At 8:00PM on Sept. 11, new pavement markings, barrier, and temporary traffic control signage to support the new configuration will be finalized and implemented. Variable message sign (VMS) boards will alert drivers to the new traffic pattern. The new traffic pattern includes the following:
- Drivers traveling eastbound (toward Boston) on Route 9 and seeking to access I-95 northbound (toward the Massachusetts Turnpike) will exit Route 9 via a new signalized left-turn lane connecting them to a temporary ramp to I-95 northbound.
- Drivers traveling westbound (toward Natick) on Route 9 and seeking to access I-95 southbound (toward Route 1) will exit Route 9 via a new signalized left-turn lane connecting them to a temporary ramp to I-95 southbound.
All other movements associated with the Route 9/I-95 interchange will remain as they currently are.
Motorists should note that while the configuration set for implementation on Sept. 11 is temporary, the configuration of left turns described above represents the permanent traffic pattern associated with the I-95 Add-A-Lane project at this location.
As an additional aide to drivers, message boards will be placed on Route 9 alerting motorists to the upcoming change
For more information about this project, please visit the MassDOT website
The City of Newton is undertaking a comprehensive study of parking supply, utilization and management in Newton Centre. With continued retail success, proximity to the T, dense abutting residential neighborhoods, and a healthy employer environment, it is critical to have a sustainable parking strategy that meets the needs of all users for years to come.
“This assessment will allow us to use real data to make improvements to Newton Centre that will benefit not only commuters, but lead to improved economic development and an enhanced quality of life,” Mayor Warren said. “We are working to ensure that a plan is implemented to meet both our short and long term needs, and leads us to a data driven outcome.”
Public input is imperative to the success of this study and the team invites you to contribute to the parking study by:
. Participating in a Parking Pop-Up workshop on September 10th, 2015 (rain date: September 17th, 2015)
. Newton Centre Green 11:30am – 1:30pm
. Newton Centre T Stop at Union Street 4:30 pm – 6:30pm
. Completing a five-minute online survey at www.newtoncentreparkingsurvey.com
. Visiting www.newtonma.gov for study updates and announcements
Through this effort we intend to bring all elements together in the development of a comprehensive technical analysis and plan for parking management in the short and long term. The plan may include altered regulations and pricing, new technology, changes to employee parking, and parking information systems. Additional issues such as circulation patterns, public transportation, wayfinding, enforcement, and other initiatives will be assessed for their integration into the parking system.
This effort aims to secure the economy of the business area, ensure safety, improve mobility and address residents' concerns. The plan’s efforts will build upon findings from the June 2013 parking study and other related efforts. The study area includes all on-street spaces and all public and private lots within a quarter mile of the Centre.
After the September Parking Pop-Up, the team will hold another public input session in late October to present initial strategies and recommendations. A final report will be completed by December 2015.
Funding for the long-delayed upgrade of Needham Street and Highland Avenue in the N2 Corridor was approved today by the The Boston Region Metropolitan Planning Organization.
Today's vote means that funds for the project will be available for construction to begin starting in 2018.
"This is a really significant day for our communities," said Greg Reibman, president of the Newton-Needham Chamber. "Businesses and residents have been waiting decades for a solution to the traffic nightmares along Needham Street and Highland Ave."
The project would stretch roughly two miles, from Webster Street in Needham to Route 9 in Newton. It would widen Needham Street and Highland Avenue and their sidewalks, improve intersections, add bikes lanes and crossing signals, and rehabilitate the bridge over the Charles River.
The Boston MPO is the regional body that oversees federal and state transportation spending, including the region's share of the federal gasoline tax.
"We appreciate the Boston MPO decision to make this a priority," Reibman said. "We commend Newton Mayor Setti Warren, Needham Selectman Chair Moe Handel and their teams' coordinated efforts to finally make this happen."
The corridor project is estimated to cost $14 million. Last year, Newton and Needham received a $3.3 million state MassWorks grant for Needham to begin work between First and Second avenues and for Newton to reconfigure the intersection around Oak and Christina streets. Both of these developments have reduced the cost of the project.
Although money for the project has been secured the final design process as well as permitting and some land taking needs to be completed.
A message from Chamber President Greg Reibman
I'd like to share some thoughts related to three items in the news this week:
First, you may have seen recent national reports about the U.S. Chamber of Commerce's participation in a global lobbying campaign against antismoking laws. Please know that the Newton-Needham Chamber has no affiliation with the U.S. Chamber and no involvement with this program.
In fact, in 2011 the Newton-Needham Chamber's board of directors voted to sever ties with the U.S. Chamber, precisely because the board was not comfortable with many of the activities and actions taken by the national organization.
Second, an article in the Boston Globe's business section this weekend compared and contrasted some of the differences between Newton and Needham as it relates to zoning and attracting and retaining businesses in the N2 Innovation Corridor. As any owner of commercial property and many businesses owners know, those differences are substantive and promised streamlining of Newton's zoning and regulatory environment is taking too long.
I believe Mayor Warren, his administration and most of our aldermen are committed to meaningful reform and making Newton more business friendly. We also all know that there are many terrific reasons to do business here now. On Monday, the Chamber docketed an item with the Board of Alderman calling for a conversation about the Wells Ave. office park in light of our on-going concerns and following a release this spring of a city-commissioned marketing study of Wells Ave. I will let you know when that meeting is scheduled.
Finally, although it is not yet available on line, I hope you will take a look at an article in today's Newton TAB, which we also expect will appear in tomorrow's Needham Times, reflecting on your chamber's 100th year of advocacy.
The support and well wishes we have received from so many as we enter our second century is gratifying. Thank you to the 600-plus businesses and non-profits who have made us the fastest growing chamber in Massachusetts. And to those reading this who are not members, please support our programming and advocacy efforts by joining today.
The Massachusetts Wellness Tax Credit gives small businesses in Massachusetts a state tax credit for having an employee wellness program. Massachusetts businesses that employ 200 or fewer workers may qualify for the tax credit for up to 25% of the cost of implementing a certified wellness program.
To receive certification, businesses must:
- Check to see that the business and wellness program qualify.
- Certify the wellness plan by filling out an online application form by December 31, 2015 (http://webapps.ehs.state.ma.us/wellnessTaxCredit/Default.aspx).
- Apply for the tax credit when filing taxes.
Please use the links below and the materials attached to spread the word about this excellent opportunity for improving employee health. Consider promoting these materials in the following ways: forwarding it to your partners, writing an article, including it in a newsletter, placing information on your homepage or posting the flyer.
Find valuable links at www.mass.gov/wellnesstaxcredit, including:
- Program guidance for obtaining a Wellness Tax Credit Certificate
- The Wellness Tax Credit Certificate application
- A Model Wellness Guide
Feel free to adapt the attached materials to suit your needs:
- Template article for newsletters or webpages
- Template email message for correspondence with your partners
- Flyer for summarizing the information
*Sample tweets and Facebook posts for your social media are available upon request.
Thank you again for all your help in promoting the Wellness Tax Credit!
Businesses, employees and residents seeking relief along congested Needham Street and Highland Avenue in the N2 Corridor are urged to send emails or letters in support of funding a long-awaited redesign.
The Boston Region Metropolitan Planning Organization, the regional body that oversees federal and state transportation spending, must decide whether or not to fund the Newton-Needham corridor project.
"Our communities have been waiting decades for a solution to the traffic nightmares along Needham Street and Highland Ave.," said Greg Reibman, president of the Newton-Needham Chamber. "We hope every business, employee, resident and shopper in the area will contact the MPO and urge them to fund this much-needed project."
The project would stretch roughly two miles, from Webster Street in Needham to Route 9 in Newton. It would widen Needham Street and Highland Avenue and their sidewalks, improve intersections, add bikes lanes and crossing signals, and rehabilitate the bridge over the Charles River.
The corridor project is estimated to cost $14 million. Newton and Needham recently received a $3.3 million state MassWorks grant for Needham to begin work between First and Second avenues and for Newton to reconfigure the intersection around Oak and Christina streets. This request would be to provide the remaining funds for the project.
Write or email the Boston Region Metropolitan Planning Organization and ask them to fund the Newton-Needham corridor project. Letters should be sent to:
David Mohler, Chair, Boston Region Metropolitan Planning Organization
State Transportation Building
10 Park Plaza, Suite 2150
Boston, MA 02116-3968
Public comment can also be sent to Spfalzer@ctps.org
I/We are writing in support of advancing the Needham Street-Highland Avenue FFY 2018 TIP in Newton and Needham.
Comments must be received no later than July 30.
For questions contact Greg Reibman at the Chamber.
Even before Newton became one of the country’s first railroad suburbs, the town (which wasn’t incorporated as a city until 1874) housed many businesses that remain an important part of its historical fabric. Mills that sat on the Charles River at both Upper and Lower Falls date back to the late 17th century, and factories that manufactured candles, glue, furniture and chemicals began populating other parts of the city toward the end of the 18th century. In 1897, the Stanley Brothers, who lived in Newton Corner for many years, invented the Stanley steam-powered automobile.
Stories about some of these businesses--dating back to the founding of the town until present day--are now available to read in the newly released, Legendary Locals of Newton, by Gail Spector.
Legendary Locals of Newton, published by Arcadia Publishing, is a collection of profiles and photos of Newton residents and business owners who have dedicated their lives to making Newton – or the world – a better place. Spector shares interesting tidbits about business owners like the Stanley Brothers, who built 14,000 Stanley steam cars in the Stanley Motor Carriage Company of Newton; Seana Gaherin, owner of Dunn Gaherin’s Food and Spirits; Marshall Sloane, Century Bank Founder; and Paulette Harwood, founder of Paulette’s Ballet Studio.
The 128-page book contains profiles of people both well-known and obscure. Spector, who has lived in Newton for 31 years, wrote, “These pages hardly contain the number of legends I uncovered and would have liked to include. There is no shortage of stories to tell about our fine city; there was only a shortage of allotted words.”
Stories included in Legendary Locals of Newton feature the Prestejohn family and their acquisition of Cabot’s Ice Cream and Restaurant; O’Hara’s; and Boston Beer Company founder Jim Koch, who created the recipe for Sam Adams beer in his Newton kitchen. Readers will also learn about Toula Kourtis, owner and face of the Knotty Pine, and her journey from Greece to the United States as a 18-year-old bride with a husband she’d just met; Auburndale native and Village Bank Chairman of the Board Ken Brennan; and two of the men who brought fine dining to Newton: Jeff Fournier and Michael Leviton, owners and chefs at 51 Lincoln and Lumiere, respectively.
Gail Spector is a writer and journalist who covered Newton for 12 years as a Boston Globe correspondent and Newton TAB editor. She blogs at village14.com.
Legendary Locals of Newton is available at Newton bookstores and at amazon.com.
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