A simple reform that could help address state’s housing crisis will finally get another shot before the House today.
Housing Choice would empower communities to approve mixed use development projects with a simple majority rather than the onerous two-thirds requirement
that exists now.
This means municipalities would still have final say in projects while preventing a minority of opponents from thwarting a proposal that has majority support;
something that happens all too often these days.
The housing shortage threatened region's economic vitality before COVID and the situation
has become even more dire
It forces employees to move further and further from jobs, contributing to the worst traffic in the nation and the warming of our planet.
The chamber supports passing Housing Choice without changes or exemptions
Keeping the law simple and unencumbered is critical towards its passage and, in turn, creating the housing we urgently need.
Restaurant relief up for debate too
Housing Choice is actually part of a larger jobs bill
that, among other things, features a proposal to legalize sports betting
with a provision to help restaurants.
The proposal would license mobile and in-person betting on professional and college athletic events.
“The bill provides for directing 30 percent of new sports-betting revenue to the restaurant fund. That translates to $15 million a year, assuming the Senate
approves this language. The money would be doled out in one-time grants, up to $15,000 per restaurant, to address the financial impact of COVID-19,
and could be used to cover rent, payroll, and insurance, among other expenses,” Chesto explains.
The gambling bill would put Massachusetts in the company of 22 other states, as well as the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico, in legalizing betting
US Chamber sues administration over immigration
The Newton-Needham Chamber is not affiliated the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. And there certainly have been times when positions taken by the USCC haven’t
aligned with our local business interests. But not always.
Last, week the USCC along with the National Association of Manufacturers, the National Retail Federation and TechNet, filed a joint lawsuit
in federal court opposing the administration’s proclamation suspending new non-immigrant visas.
“If you want businesses to grow and the economy to rebound, you allow skilled workers to come here legally to work and contribute to the well-being of
our nation; you don’t lock them out,” Thomas J. Donohue, the U.S. Chamber’s CEO wrote in a New York Times oped
“If you want the next revolutionary start-up to be founded in America, you welcome foreign students; you don’t threaten to upend their lives and send them
home during the middle of a pandemic. And if you want children to grow up to reach their potential and live their American dream, you give them the
tools and certainty to succeed; you don’t kick them out of the only country they’ve ever known.”
Crosspoint’s former HQ under redevelopment
Dallas-based Lincoln Property Company has begun work on a 140,000-square-foot building in Waltham expected to offer 35,000 square feet of rentable lab
space on each of its four floors, the BBJ reports
The building, at 300 Third Ave., was Crosspoint Associates’
former HQ before they moved across the street from Newton Nexus in Newton.
“The strong demand from life sciences tenants simply can’t be met with the existing inventory across Cambridge, Boston and inner suburbs,” said Lincoln’s
Jeff Moore. “There are several life sciences companies with large requirements in the market right now.”
Four events of note
- We’ve just announced a new chamber Zoominar for this Thursday at 10 a.m. looking at how COVID has impacted the local office and retail market. Learn what to expect when looking for new office or retail space, whether landlords are providing discounts or incentives and how space will be
different going forward.
- The SBA’s New England Regional Administrator Wendell Davis will lead a discussion on the Paycheck Protection Program and Loan Forgiveness, today (July
27) at 7 p.m. Details here.
- The Mass Restaurant Association has assembled a panel to discuss business interruption insurance on Thursday. July 30, 2 p.m. Even though you may have
been denied or discouraged from filing a claim, the panel will explain how there may in fact be coverage. Details here.
- The Pioneer Institute will host a virtual policy briefing, "Hard-Hit Industries: Rebuilding Restaurants, Retail, and Travel & Hospitality” on Weds.
July 29 at 3 p.m. featuring Mary Connaughton, the Institute’s Director of Government Transparency and Director of Finance and Administration.
New space for art in Newtonville
One of the amenities at Trio
(Mark Development’s mix use development in Newtonville, formerly Washington Place) will be an art gallery curated by the New Art Center
This is significant, given the scarcity of local art galleries.
Submissions are limited to New Art Center students and faculty, which sounds like another great reason to check out this Newton treasure’s classes
OK, this is terrifying
Nominations open tomorrow
We see this
as an opportunity to showcase the individuals and employers who are making a positive contribution to the economic and social fabric of our west suburban
businesses and nonprofits.
Look for a link to the nomination form in tomorrow’s newsletter.
President, Newton-Needham Regional Chamber