We start today with good news about three projects that have just been given the green light.
West Newton 40B approved
A dilapidated block in West Newton is getting a major upgrade.
Dunstan East project was approved last night 4-1 by Newton’s Zoning Board of Appeals.
It will provide 234 desperately-needed apartments (59 permanently affordable), 8,500 square feet of ground floor commercial and retail space and 290-underground
Mark Development has agreed to $3.4 million of community benefits, including a major clean up and other improvements (including a boardwalk) to Cheese
Cake Brook, an affordability subsidy, energy efficiency enhancements, bus shelters and other transportation improvements plus a sewer upgrade.
Watertown’s life sciences boom keeps booming
The company is developing the core and shell building to prepare for life science tenants, adding to the growing number of large-scale lab-focused projects
Earlier this week Alexandria Real Estate Equities and Newton’s National Development announced the purchase
of the 6.3 acres Mount Auburn Club
to also become a life sciences and office complex for $33 million.
which also designed Arsenal Yards
designed the four-story biotech-ready facility on Walnut Street.
Improvements to Comm. Ave. too
That not-so-bike and pedestrian friendly stretch of Commonwealth Ave. from the Marriott Hotel to Lyons Field in Auburndale is getting an upgrade, thanks
to a $5.9 million commitment from MassDOT.
The project (No. 610674 here
creates more green space and introduces a walking and bike path by rerouting vehicular traffic from north of the median to the south side of the road,
Mayor Fuller announced last night.
The project connects with Weston’s planned shared use path on the other side of the Charles River Bridge, running along Commonwealth Avenue from the Newton
to Natick borders. It also increases visibility and access to the Charles River at the historic boathouse while safety is improved for pedestrians
Lenders scarce for Fed’s Main Street lending program
The problem is not limited to the Bay State, the New York Times
reports. Only about 90 banks nationwide have agreed to publicly say they are willing to lend to new customers and were listed. California only has
seven too. There’s nine in New York.
The Fed says additional lenders are expected to be added.
Main Street will serve companies with 15,000 or fewer employees and annual revenue of $5 billion or less are eligible for the program. (The Paycheck Protection
Program is restricted to firms with 500 or fewer workers. Unlike PPP, Main Street does not include a forgiveness feature.) Loans must be paid back
over four years. Principal and interest payments are deferred for a year.
Main Street loans are made through banks. The Fed then buys 95 percent of each loan from the bank.
Will pro sports help restaurants?
If all goes well, the Red Sox begin their COVID-reduced 2020 season
on July 24, with the Celtics and Bruins returning about one week later.
While there won’t be any fans in the stands, some restaurateurs hope sports return to TV will help fill their seats.
"I would hope that sports on TV helps draw folks back inside our restaurants, as many are choosing to dine outside today. Obviously, we are still and will
still be constricted without seating directly at the bar, but in many establishments you can see TVs from across the dining room," Bob Luz of the Massachusetts
Restaurant Association told State House News.
Restaurants have been allowed to offer indoor service since June 8 under strict social distancing guidelines. But many operators say indoor business has
been sluggish with many diners seemingly not comfortable sitting inside.
Gov. Charlie Baker says bars won’t reopen until there’s either a COVID vaccine or therapeutics.
"Sports and our local teams were great enhancers of the dining experience, and I do believe it will be a great atmosphere addition that helps make it more
comfortable to get back to life the way we loved it pre-COVID. Most importantly, restaurants offer that experience safely!!" Luz said.
President, Newton-Needham Regional Chamber