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Northland proposes 410 more apartments in Newton Upper Falls

Developer Northland has proposed a new residential building for Newton Upper Falls that would include 410 apartments and 10,000 square feet of commercial space for properties it owns at 160 Charlemont St., pictured above, and 56 Christina St.Suzanne Kreiter/Globe Staff

Northland is proposing to build 410 apartments in Newton Upper Falls across Needham Street from a site where the developer already won approval for a large mixed-use development.

The eight-story building would be located on about 7 acres of land behind Marshalls department store, with access from Charlemont and Christina streets, according to the developer.

The project would be proposed under the state’s Chapter 40B affordable housing law, with 103 apartments available to residents earning up to 80 percent of the area median income. Another 307 apartments would be market rate.

“Creating a diverse array of housing opportunities is central to Northland’s mission,” said Peter Standish, Northland’s senior vice president of development, in a statement to the Globe. “Our goal with this development is to transform an underutilized industrial site into a residential property that will also introduce much needed affordable housing, supporting the goals of the city.”

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In Newton, the median income level in fiscal 2021 was $120,800 for a family of four, according to the city.

Northland anticipates the apartments will range in size from studios to three-bedroom units, Standish said.

In addition to 410 apartments, the project would include 10,000 square feet of retail and commercial space on the ground floor and an underground parking garage with nearly 500 spaces, Standish said.

The site is currently occupied by a pair of commercial buildings that would be replaced by the new structure. The Marshalls property, also owned by Northland, would not be included in the project.

Chapter 40B eases local zoning regulations to support affordable housing development, and Northland’s proposal would be reviewed by Newton’s Zoning Board of Appeals.

The new proposal has not yet been filed with the city. Northland hopes to secure the zoning board’s approval for the project early next year, and anticipates construction to begin a few years after that, according to Standish. Construction would take about 24 to 30 months.

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The project was presented to the Newton Upper Falls Area Council during a meeting in February. Standish said the next community meeting on the proposal will likely take place within the next few months.

Newton Mayor Ruthanne Fuller told the Globe she looked forward to learning more about the proposal as it comes through the Zoning Board of Appeals process.

The new proposal comes a few years after the city allowed Northland’s project at the corner of Oak and Needham streets to proceed.

That earlier development was approved by the City Council in late 2019, and city voters later backed the zoning change needed for the project to move forward.

That project calls for 800 apartments, including 140 affordable units, roughly 200,000 square feet of office space, and about 100,000 square feet of retail and community space. The entire project includes more than a dozen buildings on about 22 acres.

Demolition of that site is slated to begin in the spring and construction is scheduled to start in the summer, according to Northland. Construction is expected to last a few years, with the final building completed in 2026.


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