US EDA grant and added fundraising will support competiveness study and marketing plan Newton, MA, August 6, 2015
The Newton-Needham Chamber has been awarded a federal grantdesigned to advance economic development in the section of Newton and Needham known as the N2 Innovation Corridor, U.S. Congressman Joseph P. Kennedy III announced today.
The $50,000 grant from the U.S. Economic Development Administration (EDA) has been matched with an additional $50,000 from local businesses and non-profits and from the City of Newton and Town of Needham. It will fund a year-long competitiveness study and create a marketing plan for the N2 Corridor as the Corridor enters a period of marked expansion and development.
“By partnering and promoting their shared assets, Newton and Needham are uniquely positioned to attract industry and drive development,” Kennedy said. “This N2 Initiative grant will help leverage the Corridor’s unique strengths and capitalize on our rapidly expanding innovation sector as we continue our efforts to expand access to economic opportunity throughout our Commonwealth.”
Comprised of nearly 500 acres of commercial, educational, retail and recreational land along the Newton-Needham line, the N2 Innovation Corridor is home to some of the nation’s fastest growing and most well-known innovation companies. In addition to being the new location of TripAdvisor’s world headquarters, which opened in July, it’s also home to PTC, Turbine, SharkNinja (formerly Europro), Verastem, CyberArk, Big Belly Solar and Karyopharm Therapeutics, among others, What lies ahead for the N2 Corridor has the power to transform the region. Earlier this year, Normandy Real Estate Partners purchased a 28-acre parcel in the Needham Crossing section of the Corridor with plans of large redevelopment.
The parcel is expected to be home to a 400-unit affordable housing complex, creative office space, restaurants and retail. Additionally, at the Wells Ave. office park in Newton, several significant property expansions are in the planning stage. Considerable roadway improvements -- including a new dedicated exit ramp off of I-95 at Kendrick Street leading to the two office parks -- are currently under construction. A renovation of Needham Street and Highland Ave. has just been funded. “This grant ensures that the early success we’ve enjoyed establishing the N2 Corridor as a work-live-learn-play destination will be relevant and sustainable over the long term,” said Newton-Needham Chamber President Greg Reibman.
“We are extremely grateful to the EDA, to our municipal partners in Newton and Needham and to the 18 businesses and non-profits who’ve contributed financially towards this project,” Reibman added. “The N² Corridor is a great example of how municipalities and private partners can work together to more effectively advocate for the resources needed to finance projects based on holistic plans that will have a big impact on the area,” said Newton Mayor Setti Warren.
“This grant will enable us to get the expertise needed to create the strongest, most effective plan to spur the economic development that will attract innovative companies, entrepreneurs, and high-paying jobs to Newton and Needham. “I am proud of the work we have done through this private-public partnership with the Town of Needham and the Newton-Needham Chamber and look forward to continuing to grow this initiative and see how we can apply our success here towards the creation of other innovation districts, such as the Charles River Mill District. I would like to thank Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Economic Development Jay Williams and the EDA for their support of the N² Corridor,” Warren added.
“This grant recognizes the value of both the N2 area and the constructive regional approach that Needham and Newton have taken together in partnership with the Newton-Needham Chamber and the businesses in both communities,” said Maurice Handel, chair of the Needham Board of Selectman. “We also recognize the key role played by the Metropolitan Area Planning Council and our elected representatives.”Kennedy announced the grant at a press conference at Karyopharm Therapeutics’ headquarters on Wells Ave. in Newton.
“I commend Mayor Warren, Selectman Handel and Greg Reibman on earning this grant and look forward to working together as we move this initiative forward.” Kennedy said. EDA grants are awarded through a competitive process based upon the application’s merit, the applicant’s eligibility, and the availability of funds, according to the U.S. Department of Commerce. In addition to the financial support from the EDA, the Chamber received financial contributions totaling $50,000 from City of Newton, the Town of Needham, financial contributions and the following Newton-Needham based businesses and non-profits:
Normandy Real Estate Partners
The Bulfinch Companies
Mount Ida College
Boston Realty Advisors
Cabot, Cabot and Forbes
Residence Inn Needham
New England Development
Dunn-Gaherins Food & Spirits
Fairway Independent Mortgage
RL Tennant Insurance
Jewish Community Centers of Greater Boston
Bakers’ Best Catering
The Chamber is now soliciting bids from consultants to work with the Chamber, the N2 Task Force and its municipal partners on the creation of a strategic business plan for development of the corridor. “None of this would have been possible without careful guidance and support from the Steven Winter, Economic Development Manager at the Metropolitan Area Planning Council (MAPC) in Boston and Chris Steele, COO and North America President at Investment Consulting Associates and a member of the N2 Task Force,” Reibman said. “I’m deeply grateful to have Steve, Chris and the support from the Chamber’s Board of Directors on this initiative,” Reibman said. “We at MAPC are thrilled to partner with Newton, Needham, and the Newton-Needham Chamber in announcing this economic development grant, which will help to promote the N2 Corridor as an attractive area for innovative businesses to locate and grow,” Winter said.
Contact Greg Reibman firstname.lastname@example.org 617-244-1688
Mayor Setti Warren announced today that Newton has reached agreement with MassChallenge, the world renowned Boston-based start-up accelerator, to create an innovation center in the former Newton Corner Library building in the Newton Corner area of Newton.
"The innovation sector is one of the major engines for sustainable jobs and opportunity for all workers in the 21st Century," Warren said. "This is a tremendous opportunity to work with MassChallenge to encourage entrepreneurship in Newton while also opening up access to the innovation economy to Newton residents of all backgrounds."
This move marks MassChallenge first expansion in Massachusetts outside of Boston's Innovation District. The non-profit will design programming for entrepreneurs as well as the community at large and will collaborate with Cambridge Innovation Center (CIC). These organizations are both locally and internationally recognized with proven track records in the innovation space.
MassChallenge has also agreed to host interns from the Mayor's summer high school internship program and to conduct workshops for both students and other community groups on business practices, some in conjunction with the Newton Free Library.
"We're thrilled that MassChallenge and the Cambridge Innovation Center recognized the value of setting up their first Massachusetts expansion in Newton," said Greg Reibman, president of the Newton-Needham Chamber. "Newton offers easy access to the Boston area but with our own unique amenities, access, affordability and talent.
"This is an extraordinary economic development opportunity for Newton and our efforts to establish the N2 Innovation Corridor and the Charles River Mill District as destinations for innovation-economy sector companies and support businesses. It also brings focus to Newton Corner which is already home to a number of growing companies as well as a small restaurant and bar scene," Reibman added.
MassChallenge runs startup accelerators designed to catalyze a global renaissance by connecting high-impact startups with the resources they need to launch and succeed. Anyone can apply to MassChallenge, with any early-stage startup, in any industry, from anywhere in the world. MassChallenge does not take equity or place any restrictions on the startups it supports.
With programs in Boston, Israel and the UK, MassChallenge provides entrepreneurs with mentorship, office space, education, access to a vast network, and other resources during four months of acceleration. MassChallenge awards over $2 million in non-dilutive grants to the startups demonstrating the highest impact and highest potential. A nonprofit organization, MassChallenge is funded by corporate, public and foundation partners. To date, the 617 MassChallenge alumni have raised over $947 million in funding, generated $485 million in revenue and created 5,105 jobs. For more information, visitwww.masschallenge.org.
"Mayor Warren and Newton are offering an excellent opportunity to help inspire and support more entrepreneurs," said Scott Bailey, Managing Director of MassChallenge Boston. "By engaging with the Newton community, we hope to forge more connections and help entrepreneurs launch and grow."
MassChallenge and the city previously discussed opening a branch in Newton Centre. This initiative replaces that prior plan.
Meredith Dunn, Laura Hasenfus, Greg Tormey and Seana Gaherin of Dunn-Gaherin’s Food & Spirits took first place in the chamber’s 24th Annual Children’s Charitable Golf Tournament Monday August 3 at Woodland Golf Club. Photo by Michelle DeSimone of Needham Bank.
Over one hundred golfers formed twenty-six teams to compete in the Newton-Needham Chamber’s 24th annual Children’s Charitable Golf Tournament Monday August 3 at Woodland Golf Club in Newton. In first place was a foursome from Dunn-Gaherin’s Food and Spirits: Seana Gaherin, Meredith Dunn, Laura Hasenfus and Greg Tormey. Walter & Lynn Tennant and Rick & Lauren Grisolia from R.L. Tennant Insurance captured the second place title. Rounding out the podium in third place was the foursome from JN Phillips Auto Glass: Steve Marino, Tom Dwyer, Dave Grich and Mike Gallahue.
Out of approximately 16 golfers who hit the green on the fourth hole, Noah Ehrenpreis, who played with the Ares Management foursome, was randomly selected to win $100 gift card to the Capital Grille in Chestnut Hill. Proceeds from the Hit the Green contest supplemented the chamber’s contribution to this year’s charity beneficiary, The Second Step, Inc., a Newton-based nonprofit providing support for adult and child victims of domestic violence. Sarah Perry, executive director of The Second Step, spoke briefly during the reception immediately following the tournament thanking participants for their support. A chamber member since its founding in 1992, The Second Step, Inc. provides a wide range of services including safety planning, advocacy, long-term transitional housing, children’s programs, legal case management, peer support groups, and outreach prevention services. Noah Ehrenpreis, who also won $500 in the event’s 50/50 raffle, generously donated a portion of his winnings to The Second Step, Inc.
The Village Bank returned as the title sponsor for this year’s tournament. Wingate Residences was the lunch sponsor for the event. Also sponsoring the tournament were R.L. Tennant Insurance Agency, Beth Israel Deaconess Needham, Rockland Trust, Century Bank, Newton-Wellesley Hospital and Needham Bank. Whole Foods Market and RCN provided snacks for golfers out on the course.
TripAdvisor officially opened in 282,000 square-foot state-of-the-art facility on July 21 and has already become an important economic driver in our efforts to establish the N2 Corridor as a destination for innovation-economy companies and supporting businesses, said Newton-Needham Chamber President Greg Reibman.
“This is a milestone event for our regional economy,” Reibman said. “Congratulations to TripAdvisor, Normandy Real Estate Partners and the Town of Needham on making this project happen in just short years.”
Trip’s jaw-dropping facility houses nearly 1,000 employees with room for an additional 500 new hires. It features dazzling large collaborative work spaces, an outdoor amphitheater, a game room, pub and fitness club.
“The Chamber is grateful to TripAdvisor president & CEO Steven Kaufer and Mark Roopenian, Principal at Normandy, for their ongoing support of the Chamber and our N2 collaboration with our partners at the Town of Needham and City of Newton,” Reibman said.
Six local businesses and one non-profit were recognized for taking a leadership role in the stewardship of the environment at the Newton-Needham Chamber’s annual Green Business Breakfast.
“The Green Business Breakfast is a chance to bring together local businesses, energy and environmental experts and policy makers to discuss challenges and opportunities related to preserving and protecting our environment,” said Greg Reibman, president of the Newton-Needham Chamber.
The annual event was held outdoors along the banks of the Charles River, at the Newton-Marriott Hotel. Rich Davey, CEO of Boston 2024, delivered the keynote address and Mike Wankum, meteorologist at WCVB-TV Channel 5 was the master of ceremonies.
All seven honorees were selected by the Newton-Needham Chamber’s Environment Committee based on an open nomination process, application review and site visits were conducted over a six week period.
Moe Handel, chair of the Needham Board of Selectman presented The Carpet Workroom and Reclamation Center, at 39 Highland Circle, with the Needham Green Business of the Year award.
Newton Mayor Setti Warren presented the Newton Green Business of the Year Award to Aircuity, an environmental science company located in Newton’s Charles River Mill District section.
The Chamber’s 2015 Green Tech Award was presented to Desalitech, a Newton Corner based start-up that is at the forefront of an industry that is rethinking outdated water purification technologies and helping our planet manage devastating drought and water shortages.
Chapman Construction and Design Company, winner of the Chamber’s first Green Business Award back in 2007, was recognized with the special Green Pacesetter Award for its continued commitment to the environment. Stacy’s Juicebar and The Bulfinch Companies, both of Needham, were presented with Green Initiative Awards. And Marcia Cooper, president of Green Newton, presented the Newton-based non-profit Silent Spring with a special Green Initiative award.
During the event’s keynote address, Davey, CEO of the group looking to bring the Olympic Games to Boston, described himself as an “Olympic skeptic” when he first heard of idea of bringing the Olympics to Boston. But he went on to describe the ways he believed the games would be good for the region.
Other speakers included George Bachrach, president of the Environmental League of Massachusetts, Needham Board of Selectman Chair Moe Handel, Newton Mayor Setti Warren and Seana Gaherin, chair of the Newton-Needham Chamber
The City of Newton is undertaking a comprehensive study of parking supply, utilization and management in Newton Centre. With continued retail success, proximity to the T, dense abutting residential neighborhoods, and a healthy employer environment, it is critical to have a sustainable parking strategy that meets the needs of all users for years to come.
“This assessment will allow us to use real data to make improvements to Newton Centre that will benefit not only commuters, but lead to improved economic development and an enhanced quality of life,” Mayor Warren said. “We are working to ensure that a plan is implemented to meet both our short and long term needs, and leads us to a data driven outcome.”
Public input is imperative to the success of this study and the team invites you to contribute to the parking study by:
. Participating in a Parking Pop-Up workshop on September 10th, 2015 (rain date: September 17th, 2015)
. Newton Centre Green 11:30am – 1:30pm
. Newton Centre T Stop at Union Street 4:30 pm – 6:30pm
. Completing a five-minute online survey at www.newtoncentreparkingsurvey.com
. Visiting www.newtonma.gov for study updates and announcements
Through this effort we intend to bring all elements together in the development of a comprehensive technical analysis and plan for parking management in the short and long term. The plan may include altered regulations and pricing, new technology, changes to employee parking, and parking information systems. Additional issues such as circulation patterns, public transportation, wayfinding, enforcement, and other initiatives will be assessed for their integration into the parking system.
This effort aims to secure the economy of the business area, ensure safety, improve mobility and address residents' concerns. The plan’s efforts will build upon findings from the June 2013 parking study and other related efforts. The study area includes all on-street spaces and all public and private lots within a quarter mile of the Centre.
After the September Parking Pop-Up, the team will hold another public input session in late October to present initial strategies and recommendations. A final report will be completed by December 2015.
Funding for the long-delayed upgrade of Needham Street and Highland Avenue in the N2 Corridor was approved today by the The Boston Region Metropolitan Planning Organization.
Today's vote means that funds for the project will be available for construction to begin starting in 2018.
"This is a really significant day for our communities," said Greg Reibman, president of the Newton-Needham Chamber. "Businesses and residents have been waiting decades for a solution to the traffic nightmares along Needham Street and Highland Ave."
The project would stretch roughly two miles, from Webster Street in Needham to Route 9 in Newton. It would widen Needham Street and Highland Avenue and their sidewalks, improve intersections, add bikes lanes and crossing signals, and rehabilitate the bridge over the Charles River.
The Boston MPO is the regional body that oversees federal and state transportation spending, including the region's share of the federal gasoline tax.
"We appreciate the Boston MPO decision to make this a priority," Reibman said. "We commend Newton Mayor Setti Warren, Needham Selectman Chair Moe Handel and their teams' coordinated efforts to finally make this happen."
The corridor project is estimated to cost $14 million. Last year, Newton and Needham received a $3.3 million state MassWorks grant for Needham to begin work between First and Second avenues and for Newton to reconfigure the intersection around Oak and Christina streets. Both of these developments have reduced the cost of the project.
Although money for the project has been secured the final design process as well as permitting and some land taking needs to be completed.
A message from Chamber President Greg Reibman
I'd like to share some thoughts related to three items in the news this week:
First, you may have seen recent national reports about the U.S. Chamber of Commerce's participation in a global lobbying campaign against antismoking laws. Please know that the Newton-Needham Chamber has no affiliation with the U.S. Chamber and no involvement with this program.
In fact, in 2011 the Newton-Needham Chamber's board of directors voted to sever ties with the U.S. Chamber, precisely because the board was not comfortable with many of the activities and actions taken by the national organization.
Second, an article in the Boston Globe's business section this weekend compared and contrasted some of the differences between Newton and Needham as it relates to zoning and attracting and retaining businesses in the N2 Innovation Corridor. As any owner of commercial property and many businesses owners know, those differences are substantive and promised streamlining of Newton's zoning and regulatory environment is taking too long.
I believe Mayor Warren, his administration and most of our aldermen are committed to meaningful reform and making Newton more business friendly. We also all know that there are many terrific reasons to do business here now. On Monday, the Chamber docketed an item with the Board of Alderman calling for a conversation about the Wells Ave. office park in light of our on-going concerns and following a release this spring of a city-commissioned marketing study of Wells Ave. I will let you know when that meeting is scheduled.
Finally, although it is not yet available on line, I hope you will take a look at an article in today's Newton TAB, which we also expect will appear in tomorrow's Needham Times, reflecting on your chamber's 100th year of advocacy.
The support and well wishes we have received from so many as we enter our second century is gratifying. Thank you to the 600-plus businesses and non-profits who have made us the fastest growing chamber in Massachusetts. And to those reading this who are not members, please support our programming and advocacy efforts by joining today.
The Massachusetts Wellness Tax Credit gives small businesses in Massachusetts a state tax credit for having an employee wellness program. Massachusetts businesses that employ 200 or fewer workers may qualify for the tax credit for up to 25% of the cost of implementing a certified wellness program.
To receive certification, businesses must:
- Check to see that the business and wellness program qualify.
- Certify the wellness plan by filling out an online application form by December 31, 2015 (http://webapps.ehs.state.ma.us/wellnessTaxCredit/Default.aspx).
- Apply for the tax credit when filing taxes.
Please use the links below and the materials attached to spread the word about this excellent opportunity for improving employee health. Consider promoting these materials in the following ways: forwarding it to your partners, writing an article, including it in a newsletter, placing information on your homepage or posting the flyer.
Find valuable links at www.mass.gov/wellnesstaxcredit, including:
- Program guidance for obtaining a Wellness Tax Credit Certificate
- The Wellness Tax Credit Certificate application
- A Model Wellness Guide
Feel free to adapt the attached materials to suit your needs:
- Template article for newsletters or webpages
- Template email message for correspondence with your partners
- Flyer for summarizing the information
*Sample tweets and Facebook posts for your social media are available upon request.
Thank you again for all your help in promoting the Wellness Tax Credit!
Businesses, employees and residents seeking relief along congested Needham Street and Highland Avenue in the N2 Corridor are urged to send emails or letters in support of funding a long-awaited redesign.
The Boston Region Metropolitan Planning Organization, the regional body that oversees federal and state transportation spending, must decide whether or not to fund the Newton-Needham corridor project.
"Our communities have been waiting decades for a solution to the traffic nightmares along Needham Street and Highland Ave.," said Greg Reibman, president of the Newton-Needham Chamber. "We hope every business, employee, resident and shopper in the area will contact the MPO and urge them to fund this much-needed project."
The project would stretch roughly two miles, from Webster Street in Needham to Route 9 in Newton. It would widen Needham Street and Highland Avenue and their sidewalks, improve intersections, add bikes lanes and crossing signals, and rehabilitate the bridge over the Charles River.
The corridor project is estimated to cost $14 million. Newton and Needham recently received a $3.3 million state MassWorks grant for Needham to begin work between First and Second avenues and for Newton to reconfigure the intersection around Oak and Christina streets. This request would be to provide the remaining funds for the project.
Write or email the Boston Region Metropolitan Planning Organization and ask them to fund the Newton-Needham corridor project. Letters should be sent to:
David Mohler, Chair, Boston Region Metropolitan Planning Organization
State Transportation Building
10 Park Plaza, Suite 2150
Boston, MA 02116-3968
Public comment can also be sent to Spfalzer@ctps.org
I/We are writing in support of advancing the Needham Street-Highland Avenue FFY 2018 TIP in Newton and Needham.
Comments must be received no later than July 30.
For questions contact Greg Reibman at the Chamber.
Even before Newton became one of the country’s first railroad suburbs, the town (which wasn’t incorporated as a city until 1874) housed many businesses that remain an important part of its historical fabric. Mills that sat on the Charles River at both Upper and Lower Falls date back to the late 17th century, and factories that manufactured candles, glue, furniture and chemicals began populating other parts of the city toward the end of the 18th century. In 1897, the Stanley Brothers, who lived in Newton Corner for many years, invented the Stanley steam-powered automobile.
Stories about some of these businesses--dating back to the founding of the town until present day--are now available to read in the newly released, Legendary Locals of Newton, by Gail Spector.
Legendary Locals of Newton, published by Arcadia Publishing, is a collection of profiles and photos of Newton residents and business owners who have dedicated their lives to making Newton – or the world – a better place. Spector shares interesting tidbits about business owners like the Stanley Brothers, who built 14,000 Stanley steam cars in the Stanley Motor Carriage Company of Newton; Seana Gaherin, owner of Dunn Gaherin’s Food and Spirits; Marshall Sloane, Century Bank Founder; and Paulette Harwood, founder of Paulette’s Ballet Studio.
The 128-page book contains profiles of people both well-known and obscure. Spector, who has lived in Newton for 31 years, wrote, “These pages hardly contain the number of legends I uncovered and would have liked to include. There is no shortage of stories to tell about our fine city; there was only a shortage of allotted words.”
Stories included in Legendary Locals of Newton feature the Prestejohn family and their acquisition of Cabot’s Ice Cream and Restaurant; O’Hara’s; and Boston Beer Company founder Jim Koch, who created the recipe for Sam Adams beer in his Newton kitchen. Readers will also learn about Toula Kourtis, owner and face of the Knotty Pine, and her journey from Greece to the United States as a 18-year-old bride with a husband she’d just met; Auburndale native and Village Bank Chairman of the Board Ken Brennan; and two of the men who brought fine dining to Newton: Jeff Fournier and Michael Leviton, owners and chefs at 51 Lincoln and Lumiere, respectively.
Gail Spector is a writer and journalist who covered Newton for 12 years as a Boston Globe correspondent and Newton TAB editor. She blogs at village14.com.
Legendary Locals of Newton is available at Newton bookstores and at amazon.com.
Since its inception 100 years ago, the Newton-Needham Chamber of Commerce has always included a number of nonprofit members. Currently, there are 70 nonprofit members representing various sectors who are actively involved in the Chamber from human services, healthcare and education, to arts, music and culture, each looking for innovative ways to connect with the business community.
To that end, the Chamber has created a forum where nonprofit organizations can share information and best business practices, develop common objectives, and explore possible collaborations and mutually beneficial strategic partnerships with for-profit members. Potential programming ideas could include: How to Build a Successful Board, Aligning Your Company with a Charitable Cause, Volunteer Recruitment, Marketing on a Shoestring Budget, among many more.
Our first order of business will be to distribute a survey to the Chamber membership to solicit feedback. If you have any thoughts on how non-profits can work more effectively with Chamber businesses, we welcome your input.
Rachel Kagno, Newton-Wellesley Hospital email@example.com
Josephine McNeil, Citizens for Affordable Housing in Newton (CAN-DO), firstname.lastname@example.org
Mark’s Northeastern Furniture Foundation will collect new and used furniture and household items from Mark’s Moving & Storage’s current customers as well as local merchants and manufacturers. The items will be delivered by the truckload to various organizations such as the United Way and Veteran Shelters. The Foundation’s mission is to provide furniture, bedding and kitchenware at no cost to families struggling with poverty and other severe life challenges.
Fairlane Properties is pleased to welcome Advance Systems to its Chapel Business Center located at 59-85 Chapel St. in Nonantum. About 10,000 square feet of beautiful and affordable brick & beam spaces are available for lease in the property in sizes ranging from 2,200 square feet to 5,300 square feet. In addition, the property’s co-working space, formerly Geek Offices, is now called Charles River Coworking Center.
The Butterfly Tree Boutique has opened a new location in Marstons Mills (86 Route 149/ Cotuit Road). As a newcomer to the Cape, the boutique continues to offer customers a distinct shopping experience with unique merchandise, friendly staff and cozy atmosphere.