Seven years after Newton‘s Board of Alderman voted unanimously to transform Newtonville‘s Austin Street municipal parking lot into housing and retail space, 28 Austin has opened.
28 Austin has transformed the City of Newton’s aging Austin Street Municipal Parking Lot into 68 new transit-oriented, energy-efficient, modern apartments (including 23 affordable homes), two new retailers (Henry Bear’s Park, a toy store, and Caffé Nero, a bakery and café), a landscaped public plaza, and a public playground. Rooftop solar panels will provide 50% of the building’s electric. And in addition to providing 90 underground parking spaces for residents, the project maintains 123 surface level public parking spaces.
At 28 Austin’s grand opening ceremony, Scott Oran, principal of developer Austin Street Partners, thanked the assembled crowd for their support over the many years it took to bring the project to fruition.
“Thank you for showing up, repeatedly and with conviction, for years and years in many cases, to make this building a reality. If it takes a village to raise a child, it surely took a city to raise this building,” Oran said.
“This is a good day for the City of Newton,” said Newton Mayor Ruthanne Fuller. “This building is nestled nicely into the Village of Newtonville providing 68 homes with 23 set aside for people with tight incomes. 28 Austin is also adding a new coffee shop and toy store for residents to enjoy.”
28 Austin was supported by a broad array of Newton civic organizations including CAN-DO, Engine 6, Green Newton, JALSA, the League of Women Voters of Newton, New England Communities, the Newton Council on Aging, the Newton Fair Housing Committee, the Newton High Performance Buildings Coalition, the Newton Housing Authority, the Newton-Needham Regional Chamber, Newton Villages, Progressive Newton, The Second Step, the Transportation Advisory Group, U-CHAN and the Ward 2 Democratic Committee.
It took months of contentious meetings before Newton Aldermen ultimately approved the special permit application on 17 to 7 vote.
“Both 28 Austin Street and Washington Place across the street, faced substantial opposition during the permitting process but I believe will become welcome additions to fabric of Newtonville,” said Chamber President Greg Reibman. “I predict that within a few years everyone will be wondering what all the fuss was about.”
28 Austin is uniquely located in Newton’s Village of Newtonville, 15 minutes by car or commuter rail to Boston and across the street from the landmark “over the Pike” Star Market with a CVS pharmacy, village shops, and over a dozen restaurants in easy walking distance.
New residents will enjoy modern accessible apartments with 9’ tall ceilings, oversized high-efficiency windows,modern kitchens with energy star appliances including Fisher & Paykel refrigerators, Bosch dishwashers and washer/dryers, double bathroom vanities, and luxury plank floors.Resident amenities include a hotel-like lobby with secure package room, a resident fitness room with state of the art LifeFitness exercise equipment, a guest suite, a dog park, and a resident lounge featuring a living room, dining room, library, meeting space, and sky deck with fire pit and pergola.
Austin Street Partners is a joint venture of Dinosaur Capital Partners and Oaktree Greenstaxx. Dinosaur’s principals are Scott Oran and Mark Dufton. Oaktree’s principals are Art Klipfel and Gwen Noyes.
28 Austin is professionally managed and leased by the Nordblom Company.