Skip to content

Being reasonable in unreasonable times? It's worth a shot

Being reasonable in unreasonable times? It's worth a shot

Here’s your Need to Knows newsletter, one day early in advance of the upcoming July 4 holiday.

Good thing too, because I already have too much to tell you, including that we've just announced the date and location for our big annual summer networking event; July 20 on the gorgeous Wellesley College campus.

If you only attend one of our after hours events this year, we recommend this one.

RSVP before the weekend and you'll save $20.

Auburndale complex sells for half its purchase price

We now know the sale price of the once highly-anticipated life science center along Grove St. in Newton and it’s pretty revealing of just how challenging the market for both lab and office space is right now.

Boston-based developer Greatland Realty Partners just acquired the three-building, 510,00 SF Riverside Center from Alexandria Real Estate Equities for $117.5 million, exactly half the price Alexandria paid for the property three years ago, reports Greg Ryan at the BBJ.

Alexandria, which specializes in the biotech sector, had gone through the process of getting city approval for lab conversions before announcing it was stepping away.

Things could still workout however. Greatland is also active in the lab space, with facilities in Weston, Lexington and Cambridge, among others.

And Riverside Center is an amenity rich building just off I-95 in walking distance to the Green Line with a healthy mix of Newton employers, including Atrius Health’s administrative offices, Siemens Healthineers, Parexel and Regus.

Why we support expanding the bottle bill

I testified at a state Senate hearing yesterday in support of expanding the state's 40-year-old bottle redemption law to include bottled water and other non carbonated beverages.

But it wasn't for the reason many of our friends in the environmental circles also support Sen. Cindy Creem's bill.

Yes, we fully recognize the harm plastics create and the benefits of expanding recycling, as the bill would do.

But we're also worried about our small businesses, particularly our fast casual restaurants.

We're hoping that by adding a deposit on water bottles and other containers, Newton and other cities and towns will ditch pending plans to ban the sale of single serving water bottles.

Many of our smallest independent restaurants -- pizza places, burrito shops, sandwich joints, etc. -- depend on the sale of bottled water (which often has the highest markup of any item on their menus) to make ends meet.

Banning the sale of single use water bottles can mean a loss of thousands of dollars in revenue – sometimes many, many, thousands – for businesses that continue to battle the high costs of labor, inflation, rents, ultities, supply chain uncertainty and so on.

But adding a deposit will increase the likelihood that these containers are recycled, rather than tossed in the trash or onto our streets and woods and still allow our small businesses access to this essential revenue stream.

Read our statement here.

Soon you can own a piece of this Needham company

Shark Ninja

Needham’s SharkNinja is applying to list its shares on the New York Exchange.
The household appliance producer, a subsidiary of Hong Kong-based JS Global Lifestyle Company Ltd., filed the required documents this week, reports the BBJ's Lucia Maffei.

JS Global would remain listed on the stock exchange of Hong Kong, while SharkNinja intends to list on NYSE (ticker symbol "SN”) and focus on North America, Europe and other select international markets.

SharkNinja (chamber members, of course) sells vacuums, mops and air purifiers under the "Shark" brand and kitchen appliances including blenders, coffee makers and electric kettles under its "Ninja" brand.

Needham Street nighttime detours start next weekend 
MassDOT contractors will be reconstructing and repaving Needham Street in Newton from Winchester Street to Tower Road beginning Sunday night, July 9.

This work will be conducted weekly Sunday through Thursday nights, with work starting each night at 8 p.m. and finishing the next day by 6 a.m. All work is anticipated to be completed by July 31.

Today's grab bag 

  • Massachusetts is reducing the maximum length of time residents can receive unemployment benefits, from 30 weeks to 26 weeks. The change is due to the state law requiring the change whenever the unemployment rate falls below 5.1% in all eight of the state's designated metropolitan areas.. This last happened in 2019. (WBUR)

  • The Needham Observer explores what it takes and who’s responsible for Needham Fourth of July fireworks show (as always, on July 3) and why it’s bigger this year.

  • Ten One Tea House has opened at Arsenal Yards, offering bubble tea, milk tea, and slushes.

  • Amy Haelsen is Needham's new director of communications and community engagement. She had been the town’s economic development manager. (Needham Observer).

  • Whoops: I shared an outdated URL Tuesday for Watertown’s e-powered commuter shuttle running from the Mews on Pleasant Street to Watertown Square and Harvard Square. The shuttle runs every half hour during commuting hours, with three stops along Pleasant Street. Details

Hundreds show up to debate Newton village zoning

A crowd estimated at more than 600 showed up, either in person or virtually, Monday for the first of a series of public hearings on Newton's proposed Village Center Overlay Districts plan.

Fig City News’ Amy Sangiolo kept a tally of those testifying Monday: Of the approximately 56 people who were able to comment over the allotted three-plus hours, 34 spoke in favor, with the rest opposed.

More time will be scheduled for the hundreds who were unable to weigh in before an expected council vote sometime after the November city election.

Here's the slides the presentation that preceded the comments. As of last night the video was not yet posted but eventually it should be here. Earlier Globe story here.

Needham prepares for its MBTA Communities Plan

The Needham Observer looks at what the town is doing to comply with the MBTA Communities Law.

I particularly liked this quote from Select Board Chair Marianne Cooley:

“I listen all the time to people who say ‘Oh, I don’t want the character of the town to change.' I need to be clear: This town was founded in 1711. It has never stopped changing. We do not look like we looked in 1711.”

Being reasonable in unreasonable times? It's worth a shot

Finally, can Massachusetts’ reverse a staggering worker outmigration, at least in part, by playing up our values?

It's worth a shot.

The Globe reports this week that medical students and newly minted doctors prefer to study and serve their residencies in states that are more permissive of abortion, so they can be trained in the procedure and related care.
Some of our college campuses are enjoying a similar benefit, recruiting faculty who want to avoid states that are taking steps seen as limiting academic freedom.

The Globe's Yvonne Abraham recently shared a similar story about this transgender family from Florida.

And then there’s the Healey administration which just launched an ad campaign along highways in Texas and Florida touting legal protections for LGBTQ people as a selling point for moving here.

It make sense to tout our reasonableness in these unreasonable times.

As we pause to celebrate our nation's independence, it's something to be proud of and use to our benefit.

Told you I had a lot to share today!

That’s your need to knows for today, unless you need to know what not to do when in Rome or what not to do at work. 

Enjoy the weekend. 
Greg Reibman (he, him)
Powered By GrowthZone