Newton will be getting an 800-unit, 1.4-million-square-foot development on Needham Street after residents voted Tuesday 18,565 to 13,449 to approve the Northland mixed-use project, according to the city’s unofficial results.
Over many months, residents for and against the plan for the 22.6-acre site had been embroiled in an oftentimes contentious battle over the development’s future. Now that voters have had their say at the ballot box, the zoning change enacted by the City Council will remain and the Northland project, as approved in the special permit, will move forward.
“We’re moving forward with a great project,” said Mayor Ruthanne Fuller in a phone interview after the vote. “Northland meets so many of our needs and matches so many of our values.”
Now that the project has the green light, she said the company will do technical design work and site preparation simultaneously.
“Thank you to the thousands of Newton residents who voted in favor of bringing affordable housing, new open space, sustainable design, and smart growth to our city,” emailed Allison Sharma, chairwoman of the Yes for Newton’s Future ballot campaign in support of the Northland Newton project.
“Newton voters decisively voted in favor of the Northland Newton project Tuesday night, delivering a loud message that the city’s residents want to be a community that is more welcoming and part of the solution to the region’s housing crisis and climate change,” said Greg Reibman, president of the Newton-Needham Chamber of Commerce, in an email.
As the project moves into its next phase, residents who organized against Northland also reflected on the vote.
“The result of the vote, while disappointing, is understandable,” stated members of the Committee for Responsible Development in an email. “Northland and its PR machine spent many hundreds of thousands of dollars spreading misinformation about the proposed development and instilling fear about potential alternatives.”
The statement also said that members of RightSize Newton will monitor the Northland project and make any concerns known to elected and appointed officials.
According to the results, 32,933, or 53 percent of Newton’s 61,083 registered voters, cast ballots in Tuesday’s Presidential Primary.
Find more from our friends at The Newton Tab on the 2020 Super Tuesday vote in Newton at wickedlocal.newton.com