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Special Permit Granted for Riverside Development
at October 7th Board of Aldermen Meeting

With 21 aldermen voting "yes," and no dissenting votes, BH Normandy was granted a special permit for their proposed development at Riverside Station.  Three amendments to the draft Board Order were offered. 

One amendment requires all construction traffic to enter the site from the rear: Recreation Road or the C-D road.  This passed. 

A second amendment, to which the developer had previously agreed, requires the developer to place $3 million in escrow with the City to ensure that the promised Community Center be built in a timely manner.  Construction of the Community Center will need to commence within 6 months of the time an occupancy permit is issued for either of the two other buildings and be finished within 24 months of that time. The money will forfeit to the City otherwise.  This also passed.

The third amendment would have removed "fire and safety equipment" from the list of recommended uses of the $2 million fund established by the developer for additional mitigation and neighborhood improvements.  This was not approved with 12 aldermen voting "no" and 9 voting "yes."

There are still many steps and opportunities for our community to participate.  The RSNC will continue to keep our neighborhoods informed and involved.

The next major step in this process will be for the MBTA to design and construct a new parking garage, or intermodal transportation facility, as it is sometimes called.  The MBTA plans to meet with the community for feedback on this project.  We will provide that time and place when it's announced.

Board of Aldermen
Receive Special Permit Draft from Land Use Committee

Possible vote tonight!

BOA Meeting begins at 7:45 in City Hall, Monday, October 7, 2013.


To: Board of Aldermen
From: Ald. Ted Hess-Mahan, Chairman, Land Use Committee
Copies: Candace Havens, Director of Planning
Ouida Young Association City Solicitor
Linda Finucane, Committee Clerk
Stephen J. Buchbinder, Esq.
Re: The Station at Riverside Special Permit
Date: October 1, 2013

I am pleased to report that last night the Land Use Committee voted to recommend
approval of the Special Permit for The Station at Riverside and to rezone the Riverside
Parcel and adjacent Hotel Indigo parcel to allow access from the adjacent federally owned
roadway. This morning, I was advised by the developer’s counsel that after last night’s
meeting, the developer agreed to increase its contribution to the Neighborhood
Improvement Fund by $100,000, bringing the total amount of the fund up to $2M to cover
traffic mitigation, public safety equipment and various improvements to the neighborhoods
surrounding Riverside Station. Please note that the proposed improvements, mitigation and
fees associated with the project total approximately $74.4 million, including roadway and
MBTA station infrastructure improvements and water line relocation, I&I mitigation, the
Neighborhood Improvement Fund, a community center and building permit fees.

Attached please find a summary of the key provisions of the Special Permit Board Order, to
assist you in familiarizing yourself with the Project for tomorrow night’s special meeting of
the Board of Aldermen scheduled for Wednesday, October 2, 2013 at 7:00 p.m. in the
Aldermanic Chamber. The developer’s design team will present an overview of the project,
and the design team as well as staff from the planning department, law department,
engineering department and transportation department, and the City’s peer review
consultant will be available to answer questions about the project.
Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions.

Proposed Station at Riverside Project Background
  • The Station at Riverside ("Riverside") is a $350M proposed mixed-use/transit-oriented development consisting of 580,000 s.f. of office, residential, retail and community space, built on a 9.38 acre parcel on site of existing MBTA parking lot on Grove St.
  • Proposed 10 story office building ("Building A") will contain approx. 225,000 s.f. (excluding parking garage); 571 space garage.
  • Proposed 3 to 5 story residential building ("Building B") will contain: up to 290 apartments, incl. 15% affordable units required by inclusionary zoning; approx. 5,000 s.f. of retail space; 438 space garage.
  • Proposed 2 story retail/community building ("Building C") will contain approx. 15,000 s.f. of retail/restaurant space and an 11,000 s.f. basketball court/community center.
  • Prior to Developer starting construction of Riverside project, the MBTA will construct a new Intermodal Commuter Facility (“ICF”) containing 1,005 parking spaces to be attached to Building C, on a separate, adjacent parcel retained by the MBTA.
  • Project provides over 174,000 s.f. of open space, incl. outdoor plazas, community garden, recreation areas, off-leash dog park.
  • Proposed rezoning of Riverside parcel and portion of adjacent Hotel Indigo parcel to Mixed‐Use 3/Transit‐Oriented District would allow development of Riverside and access from Collector-Depositor (“C-D”) roadway across Hotel Indigo parcel.
  • Riverside was initially envisioned as a much larger project containing approx. 874,000 s.f. with 2 office buildings. Over the last 6 years, the project’s size was significantly reduced and 1 office building eliminated based largely on neighborhood input.
  • Developer applied for Special Permit (“S.P.”) in Sept., 2012; since Oct. 2012, the Land Use Committee has conducted 4 nights of public hearings and 12 working sessions to examine all aspects of the project and rezoning of Riverside and Hotel Indigo parcels.
  • On 9/30/2013, Land Use approved S.P. Board Order 6-0.
  • Proposed Improvements/Mitigation/Fees ($74.4M)
  • Riverside will include approx. $63M of improvements to roadways and the MBTA station plus $7.8M contribution from developer, incl. $6.1M mitigation/neighborhood improvement fund and $1.8M Basketball Court/Community Center.
  • Roadway Improvements include $18M for Grove Street roundabouts and new access off of C-D roadway plus $2M for widening and traffic signal at Grove Street entrance.
  • MBTA Station improvements include $38M ICF (parking garage, bus station, taxi stands, commuter drop-off/pick-up areas, bicycle corral), $5M onsite roadway/infrastructure/water line relocation improvements
  • Developer will build $1.8M, 11,000 s.f. basketball court/community center.
  • Developer will contribute $6.1M, incl. $4.1M for 8:1 reduction in I&I, plus $2M for neighborhood improvements including traffic mitigation, public safety equipment, trail studies, and upgrades for public parks & playgrounds.
  • In addition to proposed improvements and mitigation funds, Developer will pay City $3.5M in building permit fees
Additional Proposed Conditions
  • Roadway/Site improvements to support new structures must be completed prior to occupancy
  • City and Developer will jointly seek state and federal funding to construct roadway improvements and ICF
  • Off-site improvements include bike lanes, sidewalks, traffic calming, permanent pedestrian safety features, vegetation buffers in residential areas, integration of traffic calming in design of roundabouts on Grove St.
  • Any modification of preferred design for roadway improvements by governmental agencies requires S.P amendment
  • $6M fund to pay for I&I mitigation and neighborhood improvements, subject to Board of Aldermen approval
  • Police detail at Grove St. roundabout closest to Riverside while schools are in session
  • Organization of Owners, as Developer's successor, responsible for compliance with S.P. upon project completion
  • Developer will provide legal assistance to create non-profit entity to oversee Basketball Court/Community Center
  • Organization of Owners shall be responsible for snow/trash removal, maintain landscaping/open space, etc.
  • Undergrounding of all utilities serving Riverside
  • Developer will seek approval from state and local agencies for off-site trails, and overlook adjacent to Charles River
  • Prior to issuance of building permit, Developer must obtain federal, state & local approvals for roadway improvements, certify compliance with environmental laws and tree ordinance, obtain blasting permit, and submit Final Environmental Impact Report, engineering plans, landscaping plan, construction management plan, and site safety plan for emergency access/evacuation
  • Prior to occupancy, Developer must submit certified site plan, stormwater management plan, traffic and parking management plans designating on-site managers, Red Sox game day plans, transportation demand management plan
  • Developer must maintain landscaping and post bond covering 135% of cost for incomplete landscaping
  • Post-construction traffic studies and additional mitigation required if actual results exceed projections by >10%
  • Specific criteria for ISD approval of minor changes based upon finding of consistency with approved plans

Special Permit documentation provided to the Land Use committee may be found at
Scan down through the webpage to the sections labeled Riverside #258-12, and Grove Street - #272-12 (Hotel Indigo) for a list of links to documents.


Community Meeting
Sunday, July 21
7:30 pm - 9:00 pm

United Parish of Auburndale
54 Hancock Street

City Permitting for Riverside May Be Near!

The Special Permit Process Is Moving to a Conclusion
Plans Are Still Changing

There Is Still Time to Influence Our City Government!

The Land Use Committee is wrapping up its working sessions as it readies the conditions of a Special Permit to send on to the full Board of Alderman for a vote. Approval by the Aldermen requires 16 ‘yes’ votes.  Find out what’s what and let our city officials know how you feel about the project.

Pass the word and tell your friends and neighbors to join us!


Land Use Committee Status
Upcoming Meeting: July 16 at 7:00 pm

The Land Use committee of the Board of Aldermen has held six working sessions to discuss the Special Permit proposals for Riverside Station and the Hotel Indigo. The discussion areas for each meeting included:
  1. March 5: Transportation, site access and parking issues at Riverside Station.
  2. April 2: Internal site plan and signage.
  3. May 7: Engineering water & sewer infrastructure improvements, and fiscal impacts.
  4. May 21: Presentations by the Normandy development team, including project design changes, and the construction management plan.
  5. June 4: Updates on transportation & parking, open space & recreation, fiscal impacts, construction management, and organization of the community center.
  6. June 18: Hotel Indigo, update on site signage, and a brief presentation of the redesigned residential building.
The seventh Land Use meeting will be Tuesday, July 16th, 7pm, in the Aldermanic Chamber & Room 222, at City Hall. The Public Hearings on the zoning map changes for Riverside and Hotel Indigo will be continued, and after testimony is heard, will likely be closed. The committee will then meet in working session to discuss water & sewer infrastructure improvements, transportation mitigations, residential building design details, and perhaps discuss the Board Orders. Riverside and Hotel Indigo are the only items on the agenda.

The eighth Land Use working session for Riverside and Hotel Indigo is scheduled for Tuesday, July 23rd. The committee will discuss outstanding items from previous meetings, and begin to review the draft Board Orders. The Chair has reserved Tuesday, July 30th for a ninth working session, if that becomes necessary.

Land Use Chair Ted Hess-Mahan provided the RSNC with the following statement regarding the upcoming public hearings.
This memorandum responds to your request for information regarding the continuation of the public hearings in the Land Use Committee on the proposed zoning changes at the Riverside Station and Hotel Indigo sites. Please feel free to circulate this memorandum to any other interested persons.

On July 16, 2013, the Land Use Committee will hold public hearings in the Aldermanic Chamber at City Hall on the following items, which were opened on October 16, 2012 and October 9, 2012, respectively, and continued from time to time:

#258-12 BH NORMANDY RIVERSIDE, LLC/MASSACHUSETTS BAY TRANSPORTATION AUTHORITY petition for a change of zone to Mixed Use 3/Transit Oriented District for a portion of land located at 327 Grove Street, also identified as Section 42, Block 11, Lot 3A, currently zoned Public Use.

#272-12(2) BH NORMANDY OWNER, LLC petition for a change of zone to Mixed Use 3/Transit Oriented District for a portion of land located at 399 GROVE STREET, also identified as Section 42, Block 11, Lot 4, currently zoned Business 5.

The subject matter of the July 16 public hearings in the Land Use Committee relates to the issue of whether the Riverside Station and Hotel Indigo sites should be rezoned to the Mixed Use 3/Transit Oriented Development Zone. In accordance with the Land Use Committee’s policy regarding the conduct of public hearings, members of the public will have an opportunity to speak for up to 3 minutes. While time limits will be strictly adhered to, additional time to speak may be allowed if a representative wishes to speak on behalf of an organization or group of people. Please notify the Chairman in advance if you want additional time so you can speak on behalf of others.

A sign-in list will be provided for those who wish to speak. When your name is called, please come to the podium and state your name and address clearly into the microphone before providing your comments. In order to allow everyone who wants to speak an opportunity to do so, please be brief and concise, and confine your remarks to issues that are relevant to the proposed zoning changes and which are not duplicative of those given by previous speakers. Please also be courteous and respectful of other speakers.

Members of the public are also encouraged to submit written comments regarding the proposed zoning changes to the Clerk’s office at any time. The email address of the Committee Clerk, Linda Finucane, is lfinucane@newtonma.gov.

When all members of the public who are present and wish to be heard have spoken, I will entertain a motion to close the public hearings. Both items will be held until the next working session scheduled for July 23, 2013. Consistent with our past practice, the zoning changes will be discussed after the related special permits for both Riverside Station and Hotel Indigo have been voted on. After the zoning changes and special permits have been voted on by the Land Use Committee, they will be taken up by the full Board of Aldermen at its next regularly scheduled meeting.

Thank you for your attention to and interest in this matter. Please contact me by telephone at (508) 847-4855 or by email at thessmahan@newtonma.gov if you have any questions.

Here is a list of valuable links to city webpages where you will find detailed background information about this proposal.


Land Use Committee Status
Upcoming Meetings: Tuesdays- May 21 & June 4 at 7:00 pm


The Land Use committee of the Board of Aldermen has held three working sessions to discuss the Special Permit proposals for Riverside Station and the Hotel Indigo.

The first meeting (March 5th) featured transportation, site access and parking issues at Riverside Station. The second meeting (April 2nd) featured the internal site plan and signage. The third meeting (May 7th) featured engineering water & sewer infrastructure improvements, and fiscal impacts.

The next Land Use meeting will be Tuesday, May 21st, 7:00 pm, Room 222, at City Hall. The working session will feature a presentation from the development team highlighting the changes that have been made to the project as a result of comments from Aldermen, Planning staff, and the public. Discussion topics will include the developer’s presentation and Planning memo comments. There is one item on Tuesday’s agenda prior to the Riverside item, but it will be short.

The fifth Land Use working session for Riverside Station is tentatively scheduled for Tuesday, June 4th. Topics for discussion will likely be the Hotel Indigo proposal and possibly the drafting of special conditions for the Board Orders for the hotel and Riverside.

Here is a list of valuable links to city webpages where you will find detailed background information about this proposal.


Land Use Committee Meeting
Tuesday, May 7th at 7:00 pm

Q & A Session for Residents
6:00-7:00 pm

This Tuesday night, May 7th, there is a regularly scheduled Land Use meeting at City Hall at 7:00 pm and the second topic will be Riverside.  There is also an opportunity for Lower Falls and other interested residents to meet before the Land Use meeting, from 6-7 pm in Room 209.

Jay and Lenny have asked that you do your best to submit your questions to them in advance  of the meeting.
Jay Harney: jharney@newtonma.gov
Lenny Gentile: lgentile@newtonma.gov

The following link brings you to the most recent Planning memo which will be discussed during the working session: http://www.newtonma.gov/gov/aldermen/fridaypack.asp

The Land Use Committee will be discussing engineering, fiscal impact analysis, and outstanding traffic issues of the Riverside proposal.



Land Use Committee Working Sessions Begin
Tuesday, March 5 at 7:00 pm

It’s been 11 weeks since the Riverside and Hotel Indigo Special Permit Public Hearings were closed by the Land Use committee on December 18, 2012. Since that time the applicant, BH Normandy, has provided additional documentation requested by the City and Board of Aldermen. The Land Use committee is now ready to begin working sessions to review all aspects of the proposal. The first committee meeting will take place on Tuesday, March 5th, at 7:00 pm in Room 222 of City Hall.

Here is a list of valuable links to city webpages where you will find detailed background information about this proposal.

  • Special Permit documentation provided to the Land Use committee may be found at http://www.newtonma.gov/gov/aldermen/sppermits.asp. Scan down through the webpage to the sections labeled Riverside #258-12 and Grove Street - #272-12 (Hotel Indigo) for a list of links to documents.

According to Land Use Chairman Ted Hess-Mahan, working sessions will begin at 7pm and end no later than 11pm, with a brief break midway through. The RSNC anticipates that at least 4 working sessions during the next two months will be required for the committee to address all of the issues, and craft Board Orders for both Special Permit requests.

If you have a question, please contact us and we will do our best to get you an answer.



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