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Developers propose 209-unit senior housing development for Crafts Street in Newtonville

Mark Development and Solana Beach, Calif.-based Senior Resource Group are proposing a 209-unit senior living apartment development on Crafts Street in Newtonville.ELKUS MANFREDI ARCHITECTS

A proposed senior housing development would bring 209 rental units to Crafts Street in Newtonville, and offer a combination of independent living, assisted living, and memory care services.

Mark Development and Solana Beach, Calif.-based Senior Resource Group are proposing the nearly 225,000-square-foot development, which would be located on a roughly 3-acre property near Whole Foods and Marty’s Fine Wines on Washington Street.

The proposal calls for 129 age-restricted independent units, 52 assisted living units, and 28 memory care units, developers said. It would also feature an underground garage with about 135 to 140 parking spaces.

The project, which has not yet been filed with the city, would require City Council approval for a zoning change and a special permit, according to the developers, who met with residents and several city councilors during a virtual session in January.


Developers said 11 of the independent living units will be affordable. Rents for the apartments have not been set yet.

Robert Korff, the principal of Mark Development, said in a statement that his company was excited to partner with Senior Resource Group on a “robust and unique continuum of senior living options” on Crafts Street.

“In our conversations with residents across the city as part of our other projects, it is clear that there are a number of long-time residents of Newton who want to remain here in independent and supported living settings, but there are not a lot of choices,” Korff said. “This project is unique in Newton in offering independent apartments, assisted living and memory care, creating an opportunity to age in place.”

The project would include indoor and outdoor spaces for dining, gathering, and community activities, he said.

He said if the project is permitted by the city, developers could break ground in late 2023, and the development would take about two years to build.


The location currently includes a bus parking lot and a few small commercial buildings along Crafts Street. The location is just south of the city’s Public Works facility at 110 Crafts St.

The independent living units would occupy a five- to seven-story section of the building, while a five-story section would house the assisted living and memory care units. The two sections would be connected, and face a courtyard and driveway with access to Crafts Street, according to the proposal.

The independent living residents would have access to health and fitness classes, recreational programming, a pool, housekeeping, and dining services, according to developers. There would be a 24-hour emergency call system and onsite staff, and scheduled transportation services for appointments and shopping.

The assisted living units would feature what developers described as highly personalized care services, such as dining, housekeeping, laundry, and assistance with daily tasks.

Memory care would include specialized services for each resident, as well as facilities like custom-designed common areas and an outdoor courtyard, according to the proposal.

Mark Development has worked on several projects in Newton, including the mixed-use developments Trio, at the corner of Washington and Walnut streets; Dunstan East, at the corner of Washington and Dunstan streets; and near Route 128, at the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority’s Riverside station.

Newtonville’s Trio, a 140-unit development approved by the City Council in 2017, is now complete with residents living in the apartment building with stores and a restaurant on the ground floor.


In September, the City Council approved the Riverside development, which will include more than 500 apartment units and a pair of life sciences buildings. That same month, the city’s Zoning Board of Appeals approved the Dunstan East project, which was proposed under the state’s Chapter 40B affordable housing law. That project will include 302 units in West Newton.

The Crafts Street project would be the first in the Greater Boston area for Senior Resource Group, which develops, owns, and operates independent living, assisted living, and Alzheimer’s and dementia care communities in Arizona, California, Florida, Georgia, Oregon, Texas, and Washington, the company said in a statement. The company serves 5,000 residents in 32 communities nationwide.

“Since 1988, the company has championed the development and management of innovative retirement communities that provide older adults with the knowledge, programs, resources, and support to create one’s own blueprint for wellness and living a fully engaged life,” the statement said.

The Newtonville project is not the only senior housing development being considered in Newton; a proposal by 2Life Communities would create more than 100 units of senior housing near the city’s border with Needham.

The latest proposed development on Crafts Street would be located in the city’s Ward 2. One of the ward’s representatives, City Council President Susan Albright, said she reviewed the project, but hasn’t studied it in detail yet.

“As I understand it — the project will serve an older community with independent living, assisted living and memory care. I look forward to learning the details,” Albright said in an e-mail.


Another Ward 2 representative, Councilor Emily Norton, said she was pleased to see a proposal for more senior housing. Such housing is needed in Newton, she said in an e-mail, and “will be more needed over time as our population ages.”

Norton raised a concern about the proposed height of the development.

“The neighborhood presentation showed a height of 7 stories which is one story more than the Washington [Street] vision plan’s limit of 6 stories, so I would hope the developer will adjust their plan to be consistent with the vision plan approved by the City Council for this area,” Norton said.

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