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Newton announces affordable condo ownership opportunities at The Eliot

Three deed-restricted affordable condominiums will be available for purchase at The Eliot, a new 14-unit development at 429 Cherry St. in West Newton.
Three deed-restricted affordable condominiums will be available for purchase at The Eliot, a new 14-unit development at 429 Cherry St. in West Newton.Leslie Anderson/Globe Staff

Newton has announced three deed-restricted affordable condominiums available for purchase as part of a new 14-unit development in West Newton.

The units, which are part of The Eliot at 429 Cherry St., will be available through an April 10 lottery for eligible buyers, according to the city.

Each of the three condo units is 1,040 square feet, has two bedrooms and two bathrooms, and includes a parking space, according to the city.

Two of the deed-restricted units are available at $301,000 for households earning up to 80 percent of the area median income for the city, which is determined by the US Department of Housing and Urban Development. In Newton, that limit is $96,250 for a household of four, according to the city.

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A third deed-restricted unit is available for $461,000, and is reserved for households earning up to 120 percent of the area median income, which is $142,800 for a four-person household, according to the city. The purchaser of a deed-restricted unit must intend to use it as a primary residence.

Condo fees for these units are between $132 and $203 per month, according to the city.

Prices for the market-rate condo units begin at $699,000, according to the project’s website, and range in size from 955 square feet to about 1,500 square feet.

The deed-restricted units will remain available only to income-eligible households in perpetuity, according to the city. Future sales of the deed-restricted condos will be limited to other eligible buyers, and the units have a limit on the amount for which they can be sold.

The city is seeing increased interest from developers for projects like The Eliot, including a 20-unit condo development on California Street that will offer three deed-restricted units, said Amanda Berman, the city’s director of housing and community development.

“The 429 Cherry Street project is an exciting one, the California [Street] project is exciting,” Berman said, adding that there appears to be an uptick in developer interest in other potential projects ranging in sizes from 13 to 30 units. “Clearly, there continues to be a lot of interest in housing development across the city.”

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The Cherry Street project, which was first proposed in 2013 and received City Council approval in 2019, included the deed-restricted units as a requirement of an earlier version of the city’s inclusionary zoning bylaw, according to Barney Heath, director of Newton’s Planning and Development Department.

That rule, which also was updated in 2019, requires developers of projects that meet certain conditions to reserve a percentage of units to be rented or sold as affordable, according to the city.

Heath said officials spent a lot of time looking at the financial feasibility of the inclusionary bylaw so that it wouldn’t discourage housing units from being built.

“That can be a really challenging task, but I think we landed in the right place,” Heath said.

Berman said more developers “are getting used to the idea” of operating within an inclusionary zoning ordinance.

“I think we’ve done a decent job of where we landed with our inclusionary zoning,” Berman said. “It was a sweet spot where we’re getting more units, but we’re really not deterring housing development.”



John Hilliard can be reached at john.hilliard@globe.com.