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Nov 03, 2016

Northland eyes up to 950 units with ‘transformative’ project

Newton Tab
November 2, 2016

A Newton-based developer unveiled conceptual plans Wednesday to transform nearly 30 acres off Needham Street in Upper Falls into a mixed-use neighborhood with apartments, townhouses, offices and retail.

The project would dramatically redevelop multiple parcels between Needham and Chestnut streets, stretching from the former Clarks Shoes headquarters on Oak Street to the Marshalls Plaza.

Northland Investment Corp. is eyeing up to 950 units at the site – including some townhouses adjacent to the Upper Falls Greenway – and wants to connect Needham Street and the Upper Falls village center via a new “Main Street” cutting though the development.

Northland’s plans are preliminary, conceptual and lacking in many specific details for now. The developer is not expected to file formal plans with the City Council until 2017 at the earliest additional reading.

Mayor Setti Warren listed the site among the city’s top priorities in his recently released housing strategy calling for more affordable and diverse housing in Newton.

At an event in the Marshalls Plaza parking lot Wednesday, Warren called Northland’s initial vision “a really exciting concept.” He said community input would ensure the project met its full potential, imploring residents to engage in a civil debate.

“This is a really exciting day for us here in the city of Newton,” Warren said. “We are really pleased to have Northland present a concept that I believe could be transformational for this corridor.”

Northland’s initial concept envisions 175,000 square feet of office space and approximately 200,000 square feet of retail space, plus pocket parks and a “central square at the heart of the new neighborhood” for gatherings and events.

Peter Standish, Northland’s senior vice president of development and commercial, said the project would transform the area into “a truly integrated and transformative mixed-use neighborhood.”

“It will transform the outdated shopping center and obsolete industrial concept into a new mixed-use neighborhood,” Standish said.

More to come