RIVERSIDE VISION PLAN
Planning for the future of the Riverside site in Newton, MA
The Riverside site is an MBTA-owned parcel of land located at the end of the Green Line “D” Branch and at the interchange of I-95/Rte. 128 and the Mass Pike. This 14-acre site is a highly visible and accessible transit-oriented development (TOD) parcel that has been highlighted as a prime economic development opportunity in Newton. In addition to being adjacent to major transportation infrastructure, the site sits between two predominantly residential Newton villages, Lower Falls and Auburndale, making the decisions surrounding development, transportation, and uses at Riverside of particular importance as the City balances overall goals with the local residential context.
The Riverside site is currently the subject of private development efforts. While the City is encouraged to see interest at this location after many years and would like to see improvements, economic development, and housing here, officials understand that there continue to be diverse perspectives on how and what type of development might best occur. CivicMoxie was hired by the City of Newton to work with the Planning Department on the visioning process for the Riverside site and develop a plan that combined community input, City objectives, development feasibility, and best planning practices. The Riverside site is important to all of Newton, and the visioning process focused on what characteristics and components would be needed to make not just a suitable development but an advantageous one for the entire city and adjacent villages.
The City initiated the visioning process with the hypothesis that the existing 950-space surface parking lot at the Riverside site is not the best use of the site. Newton is optimistic that improvements to the site can provide many more benefits to the surrounding communities, the city, and the region. This Vision Plan builds upon past community efforts with an eye to the future. Serving as a resource for the Planning Department, City Council, and the public, the final Vision Plan presents a series of overarching principles for development and priorities for community benefits when considering the details of any proposed future development or zoning amendment.
Community engagement, real estate planning, urban design