Newton, MA Austin Street Partners, a joint venture between Oaktree Development and Dinosaur Capital Partners, has completed 28 Austin, a mixed-use development that transformed a time-worn municipal parking lot into 68 apartments and 5,000 s/f of retail. Located in the village of Newtonville, 28 Austin is the area’s first new multifamily housing north of Rte. 9 in more than a decade, and was created via a unique private-public partnership between the city and Austin Street Partners that designates 23 of the apartments as affordable.
“28 Austin provides much-needed housing options for the region’s thriving workforce as well as for residents wanting to remain in Newton as they downsize from their single-family homes,” said Gwendolen Noyes, COO of GreenStaxx and partner at Oaktree Development. 28 Austin is located across from Star Market and within easy walking distance to shops, service-oriented businesses and restaurants. The commuter rail is located two blocks away and there is access to MBTA bus transportation, including express-bus routes to downtown Boston.
Designed by Stantec and constructed by NEI General Contracting, 28 Austin was built using GreenStaxx modular building technology, a patented design system designed by Oaktree principal Arthur Klipfel, which uses pre-designed and pre-engineered units that can be assembled like Lego blocks to fit any site. In addition to the apartments and retail space, there are 90 underground parking spaces for residents as well as 123 surface level public parking spaces. A new public plaza and playground improve the former municipal parking lot. A rooftop solar array provides over 50% of the building’s electrical needs, and 28 Austin is LEED certifiable, utilizing efficient heating and ventilation systems, fixtures and lighting.
The fully accessible apartments feature 9’ ceilings, oversized high-efficiency windows, and modern kitchens with Energy Star appliances, including Fisher & Paykel refrigerators, Bosch dishwashers and washer/dryers, double bathroom vanities, and plank floors.
Resident amenities include a hotel-like lobby with a secure package room, resident fitness room with state of the art LifeFitness exercise equipment, a guest suite, a dog park, and a resident lounge featuring a living room, dining room, library, meeting space, and sky deck with fire pit and pergola.
Residents began moving in in September, and retailers Henry Bear’s Park, a toy store, will open for Christmas and Caffé Nero, the bakery and café, will open in early 2020. The residential portion of 28 Austin is professionally managed and leased by the Nordblom Company, and Avison Young is the exclusive leasing agent for the retail space.
At the grand opening ceremony held in late October, Scott Oran, principal of developer Austin Street Partners, thanked the broad array of Newton civic organizations and residents for their support over the many years it took to bring the project to fruition. “Thank you for showing up, repeatedly and with conviction, for years and years in many cases, to make this building a reality,” said Oran. “If it takes a village to raise a child, it surely took a city to raise this building.”