This is not a trick. Our usual Friday newsletter is arriving one day early this week because we’re hosting our big annual Fall Business Breakfast bright and early tomorrow morning.
It's our first big indoor event since you-know-what and it's totally sold out. But it will be recorded in its entirety thanks to our friends at NewTV.
Meanwhile, I recommend you take a minute this morning to register for our year-end Economic and Real Estate Forecast, happening one week from today (Nov. 3, 9 a.m.) with Spencer Levy,global client strategist and senior economic advisor for CBRE.
Everyone who’s ever seen Levy’s presentations tells me we’re in for a treat. Register here.
The report card is in (and we’re still flunking)
Our suburban communities still aren’t doing our part to help address Greater Boston’s housing crisis.
The good news? New housing construction across Greater Boston has slowly increased. Around 15,000 new housing units were permitted in 2021, up about 2,000 units over the previous pace.
The bad news? That’s not enough and that's not the story in our suburbs. At the start of the decade, starts in the region’s “maturing suburbs,” were responsible for 34 percent of the permitting in the region. Last year, we dropped to an embarrassing 12 percent.
Greater Boston’s well-off suburbs also provide by far the fewest subsidized housing units for low-income families. About 1 in 20 homes in the burbs are subsidized, compared to Somerville and Cambridge where that number is more like 3 in 20, writes Andrew Brinker for the Globe.
Overall, about 45 percent of renters in Greater Boston spend more than 30 percent of their income on rent. Nearly one in four pays more than half their monthly income on housing.
Greater Boston has thousands of acres – more than 13.7 square miles, according a new analysis – of strip malls and similar commercial properties.
Many of these are underutilized, underperforming, or obsolete.
If the top 10 percent of sites in each municipality were retrofitted to new mixed-use development – an average of fewer than four sites per community – the Metropolitan Area Planning Council estimates it could create 125,000 housing units while adding or maintaining thousands of square feet of commercial or flex space, generating?an estimated?$481 million increase in?net tax revenue for the host municipalities.
? ULI Boston is hosting a webinar exploring this idea on Nov. 1 at 8:15 a.m. Details
Reporter helps save the planet in Wellesley -- but what about all the times there's no reporter available?
There’s at the an interesting story by Sabrina Shankman in the Globe this morning about Wellesley’s valiant efforts to build two new schools and renovate town hall completely free of fossil fuels.
But then along came National Grid offering about $1.5 million for cutting-edge electric heating and cooling equipment – but only if the town included gas lines to each of the new buildings.
Ultimately, National Grid withdrew the gas line requirement but only, it appears, after a Globe reporter called the utility ask about it.
This, of course, is great news for Wellesley's net zero goals and our planet.
But it begs the question: What's every municipality or private sector developer supposed to do if they don’t have a reporter calling utilities on their behalf?
You can win and so can our local restaurants
Want to a chance to win dinner at some of our region’s best restaurants?
The Rotary Club of Newton’s “Dinner On Us" fundraiser offers a chance to win a grand prize of 25 $100 gift cards to Newton restaurants. Proceeds support many community causes, including food insecurity, youth scholarships and programs and environmental sustainability. Our local restaurants are winners too since Rotary is buying all the gift cards. Enter
Wellesley Rotary is running a "Dinner on Us" sweepstakes too with a chance to also win gift cards to Wellesley restaurants. Enter.
Pleasant Street bio lab approved in Watertown
Saracen Properties proposed development of a life science and retail project at the former Russo’s site in Watertown was unanimously approved by the planning board after the developer responded to some requested modifications, according to the Watertown News.
Ted Sarecano, president of Sacacen Properties told the board he anticipates attracting a “mature” pharmaceutical company to the Pleasant Street site and already has a “world class food and beverage operator” for an adjacent retail building. There will also be a small retail space in the lab building.
Helpful to knows
The SBA is organizing a Veterans Business Support Workshop virtually Wednesday (Nov. 2) at 9 a.m. Learn about free support services available to help you start and grow your veteran-owned business.
The MBTA says it has made some changes to the draft proposal of its Better Bus Project draft after receiving more than 20,000 public comments. They’ll be presenting an update at a virtual meeting on Nov. 2 at 6 p.m. The updated map will be available in advance of the meeting.
Newton is looking at redesign changes aimed at enhancing Newton Highlands Village. A virtual meeting is scheduled for Wednesday, Nov. 2 at 6 p.m. Details.
Applications are due tomorrow (Oct. 28) for the Watertown Community Foundation's Healthy Watertown grant program. Grants support organizations as they develop new or continue existing health-focused programs. Details.
The Mass Restaurant Association has created a poster explaining the changes in minimum wage laws effective Jan. 1 2023 as it relates to restaurants.
State grant will compliment Northland, Needham Street projects
Newton has been awarded a $2 million grant from the MassWorks Infrastructure Program to improve the look, function, accessibility and safety of Pettee Square, located at the intersection of Chestnut and Oak Streets, writes Annie Sandoli at Newton Patch.
The city will contribute $1.1 million in ARPA funds to match the funds.
The planned intersection improvements should dovetail nicely with Northland's mixed-use project next door, as well as the Needham Street renovations.
Newton will also receive $235,000 from the Massachusetts Department of Housing & Community Development to begin the process of creating affordable housing directly adjacent to the Williams Elementary School in Auburndale on part of the former Walker Center for Ecumenical Exchange property.
Devaney called out for blocking
Finally this morning, a man is looking for an apology from Marilyn Petitto Devaney, the longtime District 3 governor’s councilor, former Watertown Town Councilor and curling iron and dime tosser, after he said she blocked access to the handicapped parking spaces in front of Mass Eye and Ear, according to News Link Live.
“How ignorant and self-important can you be?” wrote the man in an email.
The man was able to identify the vehicle as Devaney’s because it had a vanity plate that says “governor’s council 3."