Today, one third of The Street’s tenants are independent, locally owned businesses (such as the just-opened Hummingbird Books, yes an actualnew independent book shop!), anchored at one end by the Star Market and Showcase SuperLux at the other.
But for too long now, there’s been one problem: That hulking, mostly windowless, monolith in the middle -- once the former General Cinema/AMC cineplex -- has sat empty for years, dividing the Street in two.
That’s about to change.
This morning WS is unveiling plans for an extensive renovation and reimagination of that middle building at 27 Boylston.
The new designpays a lot of attention to walkability with views of Hammond Pond (an asset the old center ignored), while creating opportunities for more specialty retailers, additional new and popular culinary concepts, fitness and other businesses, the company said.
Slated for completion in 2023, the project will add over 20 new shops and restaurants and office space. An elevated walkway will wrap around a second level of retail shops. A 64 ft. bridge will transport guests through tree canopies.
?Most importantly, the Street will finally feel complete.
Microbrewery proposal takes a hoppy step forward
Needham’s Select Board approved new regulations Tuesday that would allow for the establishment of microbreweries and brewpubs in town.
The next step is for the Planning Board to create a zoning amendment that would need Town Meeting's approval this fall.
Massachusetts electricity prices have increased by more than 14.5 percent compared to the increase in national electricity prices of just over 11.1 percent.
Gasoline is up 54 percent in Greater Boston, compared to up 48 percent nationally.
The cost of used cars and trucks is up 37 percent, versus the national average of 35.3 percent.
Natural gas has climbed 27 percent, compared to the national average of 21.6 percent.
Transportation costs are up 21 percent versus the national rate of 7.7 percent.
Alarms sounded (again) on housing shortage
Greater Boston area is among the worst performing regions in the United States for home production, according to a new report.
The national nonprofit called Up For Growth said Massachusetts needed to build 100,000 additional homes per year to keep up demand in recent years. It also found the shortfall doubled between 2012 and 2019, according to Simón Rios at WBUR
"If we're going to have a healthy economy and we're going to have life science companies, new tech jobs for kids coming out of college, we've got to find places for those people to live," Greg Vasil of the Greater Boston Real Estate Board tells Rios.
Other Need to Knows
The Massachusetts SBA and SCORE will host a free webinar Aug. 8 at noon designed to answer questions about the Employee Retention Credit program. Register
Interested in understanding the remarkable transformation taking place in Watertown? The city has just issued this baseline assessment report that summarizes current conditions and trends in Watertown. The report is the first phase of Watertown’s Comprehensive Plan update with a final report due in March.
Wellesley’s Land Use Departments have moved from Town Hall to 888 Worcester Street, Suite 160. This includes the Planning Department, Natural Resource Commission Office, Wetlands Administrator, Zoning Board of Appeals Office and the Building Department. Details.
Celebrate arts and culture at the Watertown Arts Market, Aug. 13, noon to 5 p.m. at Arsenal Park. The family-friendly outdoor features artists, authors, creatives, live music and other performers plus arts, food, cultural organizations and other businesses.
Hail to the chiefs: Tom Conroy was sworn in this week as the Needham’s new fire chief. He succeeds Dennis Condon, who retired earlier this month after 34 years with the town. Conroy joined the department in 1993. Greg Gentile, Newton’s fire chief, was sworn in last week. He’s been with the department since 2004, succeeding retired Chief Gino Lucchetti.
The SBA’s Restaurant Revitalization Fund program provided much-needed grants for over 101,000 restaurant owners last year.
Problem is another 177,000 applicants (including many in our communities) qualified for the program but never received a check before $28.6 billion federal program ran dry. (Repeated efforts to get Congress to provide more funding failed.)
Now it turns out the SBA is sitting on $180 million in unspent funds earmarked for the program.
The leftover funding comes from about $24 million the SBA had set aside for potential litigation and another $56 million comes from RRF grants that were subsequently returned, as well as additional money the Treasury Department administrative offset and returned to the SBA, reports Andy Medici for the BBJ.
This week industry officials asked the feds to distribute the money to some of the restaurants that qualified but never received their grant.