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Parcel near Route 128 rezoned in Needham


Needham votes to rezone land overlooking Route 128

Needham Town Meeting voters overwhelmingly approved a zoning change for 15 acres along Highland Avenue, overlooking Route 128. The change for the properties, currently home to two Muzi auto dealerships and the WCVB-TV studio, has been in the works for years. A previous version failed to receive the two-thirds majority it needed in 2019. This time, on Monday, Town Meeting voters resoundingly backed it, 168-37, The proponents scaled back what would be allowed there in terms of size, compared to the 2019 version, and also allowed for up to 240 residential units, a new addition. This new zoning would allow up to 870,000 square feet of development in total, with a maximum building height of four stories. The zoning would allow for apartments as well as a number of commercial uses but has been deliberately designed to exclude warehouses, which are allowed under the existing zoning, in response to the proliferation of Amazon warehouses in Greater Boston’s suburbs. Neither the owners of the car dealership site nor WCVB parent company Hearst have publicly said they might sell their respective parcels, but supporters said they want to better shape the future of the land if that time comes. — JON CHESTO



Flannery named managing director at Charlesbank Capital Partners

Private equity firm Charlesbank Capital Partners has appointed John Flannery to be managing director at the local private equity firm. Before joining Charlesbank in 2019 in an advisory role, Flannery spent 30-plus years in various executive roles at General Electric, most recently as its chief executive. Since joining Charlesbank, Flannery has been working with the executives at the firm’s portfolio companies to improve their operating performance, strategy, and governance. He will continue to serve as a board member at portfolio companies Sound United, Hearthside Foods, and Tecomet, while working with Charlesbank’s investment team on new transactions. Flannery will co-lead Charlesbank’s portfolio resources group with Sam Bartlett, another managing director. — JON CHESTO



Karyopharm Therapeutics has a new CEO

Karyopharm Therapeutics in Newton has tapped Richard Paulson to be the new chief executive of the cancer therapy developer. Paulson, who is already a member of Karyopharm’s board, will take over for Michael Kauffman, who will take on a new role at the 430-employee company as senior clinical advisor. Paulson most recently served as executive vice president at Ipsen Pharmaceuticals and chief executive of Ipsen’s North American operation from February 2018 until taking the Karyopharm job. He previously worked at Amgen for 10 years, holding various leadership positions there. — JON CHESTO


US trade gap hit a new record in March

The US trade deficit widened to a new record in March as the value of imports surged to a fresh high. The gap in trade of goods and services expanded to $74.4 billion in March from a revised $70.5 billion in February, according to Commerce Department data released Tuesday. Demand from American consumers stuck at home during COVID-19 has been sending US imports to highs. — BLOOMBERG NEWS


Pfizer sales of COVID vaccine could reach $26 billion

Pfizer said Tuesday that it expects global sales of its coronavirus vaccine to reach $26 billion in 2021, a milestone that would make it the biggest-selling pharmaceutical product in the world and helps illustrate why Pfizer is planning to expand use of mRNA technology for other vaccines and therapies. Sales of its mRNA vaccine are likely to eclipse those of Humira, the rheumatoid arthritis drug manufactured by AbbVie, with annual revenue around $20 billion, currently the world’s top seller. Pfizer had $3.5 billion in coronavirus vaccine sales in the first quarter. Pfizer, which is in partnership with Germany’s BioNTech for vaccine development and sales, has said it expects to manufacture 2.5 billion doses of the two-shot vaccine in 2021. It has agreements to sell 300 million doses to the United States by late summer. — WASHINGTON POST



Twitter to buy ad-blocking company

Twitter plans to acquire the subscription service Scroll, the social media company announced Tuesday, as it expands its plans for subscription offerings. The two companies declined to disclose the deal terms. Scroll charges its users a fee to block advertising on participating news websites, then distributes a cut of its earnings to its partner publishers, which include USA Today, Vox, and The Atlantic. Publishers can earn up to 50 percent more from the service than they do from advertising, Scroll contends. Twitter plans to integrate the service into its platform and use its technology to build other subscription services. — NEW YORK TIMES


Ads sales up for iconic Piccadilly Circus digital billboard as economy improves

Sales of advertising space on the giant digital billboard in London’s Piccadilly Circus are providing the latest evidence of a strengthening economy. Billboard advertiser Ocean Outdoor Ltd. was hit hard when lockdowns emptied the capital’s streets but now it’s reporting forward selling prices back at 2019 levels at some prestigious sites, like the landmark junction in the British capital. — BLOOMBERG NEWS



The EU says yes to bug food

Frog legs rolled in worm flour could be the next culinary delight for European haute cuisine after the European Union gave its blessing for the first time for an insect food. Dried yellow mealworm can now be sold across the 27-nation bloc after a Monday decision from EU governments and a food safety assessment, the European Commission said on Tuesday. EU officials suggest it could be used as a protein boost for cookies, pasta, or baked goods, as they try to reassure fussy eaters that millions of people around the world already eat insects. — BLOOMBERG NEWS


CVS had a good quarter, despite a lackluster flu season

CVS Health hiked its 2021 forecast and beat Wall Street’s first quarter as a growing insurance business countered hits the health care giant took from a weak cold and flu season. The company covered more people through Medicaid and Medicare Advantage, as adjusted operating earnings from health insurance jumped nearly 20 percent in the first quarter to $1.78 billion. But sales in both the company’s drugstores and from its pharmacy benefits management business were trimmed by the weak cough, cold, and flu season, which was brought on in part by mask wearing and social distancing during the COVID-19 pandemic. — ASSOCIATED PRESS



Uber to expand grocery deliveries by teaming up with GoPuff

Uber will vastly expand grocery delivery in the United States this summer through a partnership with GoPuff, a fast-growing delivery startup and the owner of the liquor store chain BevMo!, the companies announced Tuesday. GoPuff will make inventory of convenience store and grocery items available to Uber customers in 95 cities starting next month and nationwide by the end of the summer, the companies said. GoPuff will handle logistics and delivery for the orders, and Uber will take a percentage of each transaction made through its app. The coronavirus pandemic transformed Uber into a delivery company when demand abruptly shifted away from ride-hailing. Gross bookings from delivery more than doubled last year to $30.2 billion. Uber embraced the change by bolstering its food-delivery business with the $2.65 billion acquisition of Postmates and by adding groceries and other goods, including alcohol with the purchase of another startup, Drizly. — BLOOMBERG NEWS