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Old 10-08-2013, 11:52 PM   #41
Matthew
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Re: Riverside Station development

I don't like seeing taxpayer money paying for the parking garage. That's sick. And a subsidy to the developers.

Please tell me that I'm wrong.
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Old 10-09-2013, 12:11 AM   #42
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Re: Riverside Station development

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I don't like seeing taxpayer money paying for the parking garage. That's sick. And a subsidy to the developers.

Please tell me that I'm wrong.
Partially wrong. I think in these deals (as with Woodland) the sale of the land offsets the cost of the parking garage construction.
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Old 10-09-2013, 05:40 AM   #43
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Re: Riverside Station development

290 apartments...that's it?
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Old 10-09-2013, 12:16 PM   #44
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Re: Riverside Station development

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Great! Not to be critical, but for residents to truly adopt a TOD lifestyle, the trip on the D Branch should probably be sped up a little bit. I've ridden from Riverside a few times (I usually use Waban, Newton Highlands and Newton Centre though) and if you are going past Hynes it's quite a long ride. Heck, just adding fare gates to Newton Centre would make this project more desirable by cutting peak travel time to Resevoir by as much as 10%.
Have trains returned to 50 MPH? Or that crash ended that return (I'm not even it really returned between the repairs and the crash, the times I rode it, I think it stayed at 40 MPH).
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Old 10-09-2013, 12:44 PM   #45
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Re: Riverside Station development

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Community rooms are the latest demand of nimbys. The new project in the Fenway will have one too. Don't forget to get one in your neighborhoods too.

Lol there is one in the new Logan ConRAC.
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Old 10-09-2013, 01:38 PM   #46
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Re: Riverside Station development

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Have trains returned to 50 MPH? Or that crash ended that return (I'm not even it really returned between the repairs and the crash, the times I rode it, I think it stayed at 40 MPH).
Nope. Still in the 40's. You won't see 50 MPH again until there is a stop enforcement signal system installed on the Green Line. At minimum on the grade-separated branches (D, GLX, E subway) if Central Subway throughput is too delicate to mess with. Post-accident investigation closely scrutinized signal visibility at low PM sun angle. The T's hedging on caution with D speeds and operator reflexes in case glare limits visibility of a red signal. Don't expect to see 50 MPH again this decade, or ever unless a new signal system is announced with considerable fanfare and years of lead time.
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Old 10-09-2013, 04:21 PM   #47
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Re: Riverside Station development

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Lol there is one in the new Logan ConRAC.
Actually, the "community center" in this project was the developer's idea, though one alderman did raise a silly stink about it. Newton can rent out the space for classes and such, or move voting there if the Williams School doesn't want the trouble anymore (and they don't). There's uses for it.

By the way, it's not a subsidy to the developers if the MBTA spends some of the millions they're getting from leasing the parking lot to replace the spaces. That's like saying that if you buy my house you also need to buy me another one to live in.
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Old 10-09-2013, 04:39 PM   #48
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Re: Riverside Station development

Some? It'll probably cost $30-40 million to build the garage.
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Old 10-09-2013, 05:09 PM   #49
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Re: Riverside Station development

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Some? It'll probably cost $30-40 million to build the garage.
...out of $217 million total: http://mbta.com/about_the_mbta/news_...5&month=&year=
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Old 10-10-2013, 12:09 PM   #50
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Re: Riverside Station development

Sure, over 85 years. But then the parking garage will probably cost over $100 million factoring depreciation and inflation. Presumably parking fees will cover op costs, but maybe not.

I guess I should be happy that it seems like the T isn't getting totally ripped off here.
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Old 11-06-2013, 05:21 PM   #51
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Re: Riverside Station development

...and here's the inevitable lawsuit. Filed on Election Day to keep it out of the headlines.

http://www.wickedlocal.com/newton/fe...special-permit

What's notable here is how few details are actually given. The group calls itself "abutters," which is kind of funny because the only people who actually abut the Riverside site are BH Normandy itself (the Hotel Indigo), whoever owns the Riverside Center these days, and the Woodland Country Club.

I suspect the folks behind this lawsuit live in the condo complex across Grove St. from the hotel - they've been pissed off the whole time about this development because it makes their street access even more FUBAR than it already is - it puts them on the corner of a roundabout and jacks up the traffic conflicting with their left turn. I'm sympathetic, but frankly they bought condos abutting a freeway off-ramp next to the largest developable plot of land in Newton.

In any case, I'm not sure what their claim is. The city followed its own processes to the letter and the committee discussions were open for the most part and widely advertised by neighborhood groups. The negotiations over this project took 3 years and the neighbors won concessions and reduced the overall size. I don't think this suit has a leg to stand on, really, but the people pushing it are almost certainly getting screwed.

Really, these abutters should have demanded that BH Normandy buy them out as part of the negotiations for the permit, at current market rates. BH really is probably stealing hundreds of thousands of dollars from these folks in reduced property values, and the extra land could have accommodated better roadway and bike/ped facilities. It's probably too late now, though.
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Old 11-11-2013, 03:35 PM   #52
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Re: Riverside Station development

More about the lawsuit from the BBJ:

Normandy faces Newton neighbors' lawsuit over project at Riverside MBTA station

By Thomas Grillo
Real Estate Editor, Boston Business Journal

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A group of neighbors from the Lower Falls and Auburndale villages of Newton, Mass., are challenging the special permit issued by Newton’s Board of Aldermen to Normandy Real Estate Partners to develop "The Station At Riverside," a mixed-use project on an 11-acre parcel at the MBTA’s Riverside Station.

The complaint, filed in state Land Court, seeks to have the special permit overturned, alleging the city’s public hearing process was “fatally flawed” and the development will have adverse impacts on the neighborhood. Named as defendants in the suit are the Newton Board of Aldermen, the MBTA and the developer, B.H. Normandy Riverside LLC.

Normandy was issued a special permit in October to construct a 580,000-square-foot mixed-use development. The $350 million project includes a 290-unit apartment building, 20,000 square feet of retail, a 10-story office building and a parking garage.

Filed on behalf of eight residents, the complaint alleges they were routinely denied the right to speak during public meetings, reducing them to “mere spectators.” The lawsuit argues if built, the project will overwhelm the area with more traffic and cause commuters to compete for limited parking spaces with residents. The lawsuit seeks to overturn the board’s decision to approve the development and asks that the public process be reopened, as well as cover the plaintiff's legal costs.

Construction is set to start next year, and the rest of the project was tentatively scheduled to begin July 2015 with a completion date of 2017.

In an email, MBTA spokeswoman Kelly Smith wrote, “MBTA staff participated in many project review meetings and hearings, and the T is confident that the city of Newton conducted a thorough and robust public permitting process regarding this important project.”

Normandy and Newton city officials could not immediately be reached for comment.
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Old 11-11-2013, 04:39 PM   #53
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Re: Riverside Station development

fingers crossed the state court tells them to stfu as well.
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Old 11-11-2013, 04:45 PM   #54
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Re: Riverside Station development

If the only compliant is they didnt get to bitch about an apartment building next to a train station long enough it should be a quick case.
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Old 11-11-2013, 10:14 PM   #55
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Re: Riverside Station development

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fingers crossed the state court tells them to stfu as well.
Dave, I'm supportive of this development and hope this lawsuit fails, but I also feel for these people. Each of them will personally lose (at least) tens of thousands of dollars personally over this, not to mention the headache of constant construction for most of a decade should they choose not to sell (during construction, their homes will be basically unsaleable). It's really an absolute nightmare for them.

Now, there should never have been zoning for condos there in the first place, and it's unreasonable to leave the site vacant in the name of some condo dwellers down the street, but they also deserve some respect. This project impacts them more than anyone else, and none of that impact is positive. If I were in their place, I'd be fighting to the last breath too.

BTW, Though I'm from the neighborhood, I don't know any of these folks personally.
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Old 11-11-2013, 10:36 PM   #56
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Re: Riverside Station development

Lose? When it's done, this development will boost their values tremendously.
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Old 11-12-2013, 12:50 AM   #57
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Re: Riverside Station development

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Lose? When it's done, this development will boost their values tremendously.
Absolutely not. It will boost values across the highway and up in Auburndale, where people can walk to the new amenities (or use the new bike trail to get there). The condos will have their access further complicated by a new roundabout and see significant new traffic going past their front door, not to mention the message sent by living next to a 10-story office building as opposed to a quiet train station on a somewhat overlooked street with dedicated highway access.

Remember, they already have the train. All this adds is a Starbucks and a bank branch. And a whole bunch of new cars.
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Old 11-12-2013, 07:29 AM   #58
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Re: Riverside Station development

^No one anywhere is entitled to a construction freeze after their condo building is completed.

I know that's not what you are advocating, but it's what these people want. I would also guarantee that no person selling a condo in Newton within .5 miles of a T station will lose money selling their place in the next 5 or 10 years.
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Old 11-12-2013, 11:21 AM   #59
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Re: Riverside Station development

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^No one anywhere is entitled to a construction freeze after their condo building is completed.

I know that's not what you are advocating, but it's what these people want. I would also guarantee that no person selling a condo in Newton within .5 miles of a T station will lose money selling their place in the next 5 or 10 years.
I don't disagree with you, Choo. Just because they aren't entitled, though, doesn't mean we can get all indignant and tell them to STFU when they act to preserve their investments and quality of life.

Everyone wants a construction freeze after they buy a house. My parents got really angry when another house went up on a rear lot behind us (really behind our neighbors). It still faces them with a 2.5 story blank gray wall right on their back fence. The guy who built it was wily about playing Newton's permitting system to tear out a bunch of old trees and build however big he wanted while the abutters got no say. He had the right to do it, and we had the right to be pissed about how much of a jerk he was.

I know it's not what you meant, but "the next 5 to 10 years" in this case will consist of a constant stream of large construction vehicles, noise, and very limited access by foot into the station - I doubt anyone would buy the condos at all, much less at a profit for the seller. After 10 years, who knows? At this point, a smart move by the condo residents might be to band together to sell to another developer who would put a larger building on that site in the same timeframe as the Riverside construction.
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Old 11-12-2013, 03:03 PM   #60
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Re: Riverside Station development

Couldnt the majority of the construction traffic be mitigated by having trucks use recreation road to get to and from the site from the north / west?

If I were these eight people fighting against a potential 200 something residents, I would be pushing for a Riverside commuter rail stop and changing Riverside Park from a DCR wasteland to a real recreation area. That's just me though, I favor extortion over prohibition.


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a smart move by the condo residents might be to band together to sell to another developer who would put a larger building on that site in the same timeframe as the Riverside construction.
Or this. Even better, they could do a Charlesview type thing. They get new units in the Riverside development in return for selling their old condos.
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