Elected officials support building of Northland Newton project in Upper Falls

Twenty-seven current and former elected officials from Newton are endorsing the campaign supporting the Northland Newton project in the upcoming election on March 3rd. Mayor Ruthanne Fuller, City Council President Susan Albright, along with the majority of city councilors and school committee members believe this mixed-use project represents Newton’s progressive values. 

“The Northland Newton project will create new open space out of a wasteland of concrete,” said Albright. “These new parks and playgrounds will be there for all Newton residents to enjoy. And the addition of affordable housing will be more units than the city has created in more than a decade. This project deserves a “yes” vote on March 3rd.” 

Deb Crossley is a city councilor at-large for Ward 5, which is where the new project will be located. 

“I live at the eastern edge of Upper Falls. This project will virtually be in my backyard and I say YES in my backyard,” said Crossley. “I support this unique opportunity to realize an exciting master site plan that works because it integrates the key pillars of sustainability–social, economic and environmental–setting a new higher standard for development in Newton.” 

To help maintain a vibrant and inclusive city, the Northland Newton project on Needham Street will create 140 permanently affordable units, the largest introduction of affordable housing units in Newton’s recent history.

“This project will bring much needed affordable housing to our city and does it in a way that is very manageable for our schools,” said Ruth Goldman, a member of the Newton School Committee representing Ward 6. “Student enrollment in Newton’s elementary schools is decreasing, and is projected to continue to decline.  Secondary enrollment will begin to decline with fewer incoming kindergarten students than outgoing seniors. Demographically, the birth rate is going down, homeowners are staying in their homes longer, and young families are finding it difficult to afford homes in Newton. Our schools have room now and will have even more room for new students by the time this project is built. The Northland project will make it possible for new young families to join our community.”

This project will create and maintain an unprecedented amount of new public open space, including seven parks, 750 new trees, a splash park, community playground and a village green, all of which will be accessible to all Newton residents. 

Additionally, the Northland Newton project would be the most environmentally sustainable mixed-use project in Massachusetts. At least three of the residential buildings will meet “Passive House” certification, the most stringent energy standard currently in use.

“Residents of Newton, the city council, numerous community organizations and Northland worked together for over three years to shape this project as an integrated development that all of Newton can be proud of,” said Maria Scibelli Greenberg, Ward 1 city councilor. “Northland will be a vibrant, attractive live/work community that will energize the Needham Street corridor. It will offer an exciting variety of housing options, retail, restaurants, workspace and outdoor amenities. This will be a walkable, lively place to live, work and play. Northland is an innovative, forward-looking project that will be a model for future development in Newton.”

The project underwent an extensive review process by the Newton City Council before being approved by more than two thirds of the Council in December 2019. That vote represented the end of an 18-month intensive process that included dozens of public hearings and hundreds of Newton residents shared their thoughts, concerns, and questions.

These elected officials believe a “yes” vote on March 3rd will help positively shape the type of community Newton will be for years to come, and will send an important signal that Newton is a forward-thinking and welcoming community for all. Supporters include: 

Mayor Ruthanne Fuller

City Council President Susan Albright

City Councilor Jake Auchincloss

City Councilor Alicia Bowman

City Councilor Deb Crossley

City Councilor Vicki Danberg

City Councilor Andreae Downs

City Councilor Bill Humphrey

City Councilor Andrea Kelley

City Councilor Josh Krintzman

City Councilor Alison Leary

City Councilor Brenda Noel

City Councilor Maria Scibelli Greenberg

City Councilor Becky Walker Grossman

School Committee Chair Ruth Goldman

School Committee Matthew Miller

School Committee Tamika Olszewski

School Committee Emily Prenner

School Committee Bridget Ray Canada

School Committee Anping Shen

A number of former elected officials are also endorsing the project, including former mayors Setti Warren and David Cohen, and former city councilors Barbara Brousal-Glaser, Jim Cote, Ted Hess-Mahan, Cheryl Lappin, and John Rice.