Building Boom: What housing developments are on the way?

Photo: Design for the Northland development planned for Newton. Northland Investment Corp.

Newton is in the midst of a construction renaissance as the city builds and renovates public facilities across the city, replacing buildings that have outlived their usefulness and reimagining the city for the 21st century.

That Newton of the future is going to need more housing, so private developments are seeing a bit of a building boom, too.

There have been delays. And developers have gone to the City Council for delays, including Mark Development for their Crafts Street project. City officials have said developers are seeing financial delays related to interest rates and inflation, which is why so many projects have started and then paused construction.

But work pushes on, according to Peter Standish, senior vice president at Northland Investment Corp., which is building a development with 800 apartments as well as retail shops and restaurants on Oak Street.

“Over 500,000 square feet of above and below grade structures have been removed and the equivalent of over 11 miles of wet and dry utility infrastructure has been installed across the 22-acre site,” Standish continued. “A building permit has been secured and construction will soon commence on the project’s next component, a community playground and splash park.”

There are 19 multi-family housing projects either under construction, approved or in the application process, according to a tally by the Planning Department. And those 19 projects are set to bring 2,225 new housing units to the city.

Here’s a list of all the pending private housing developments on the way, both for rentals and for condos that will be available for ownership.


  • 39 Herrick St.
  • 9 units, 1 affordable, rentals
  • 15-21 Lexington St.
  • 24 units, 5 affordable, rentals
  • 156 Oak St. (Northland development)
  • 800 units, 140 affordable, rentals
  • 956 Walnut St.
  • 7 units, 1 affordable, ownership
  • 280 Newtonville Ave.
  • 18 units, 3 affordable, rentals (for seniors)
  • 114 Beacon St.
  • 34 units, 6 affordable, rentals
  • 1149-1151 Walnut St.
  • 25 units, 5 affordable, rentals
  • 777 Winchester St.
  • 174 units, 9 affordable, rentals (for seniors)
  • 967-969 Washington St.
  • 28 units, 5 affordable, rentals
  • 383 Boylston St.
  • 12 units, 2 affordable, ownership
  • 34 Crafts St.
  • 105 units, none affordable, rentals
  • 136-134 Hancock St.
  • 16 units, 2 affordable, ownership
  • 106 River St.
  • 9 units, none affordable, ownership
  • 1314 Washington St.
  • 50 units, 9 affordable, rentals
  • 1135 Washington St.
  • 43 units, 43 affordable, rentals
  • 160 Charlemont St.
  • 370 units, 93 affordable, rentals

Pending approval

  • 528 Boylston St.
  • 184 units, 46 affordable, rentals
  • 41 Washington St.
  • 16 units, 4 affordable, ownership
  • 78 Crafts St.
  • 307 units, 62 affordable, rentals

Clearly, private development in Newton leans toward rentals and not condominiums. Less than 3 percent of those more than 2,200 units will be for sale.

This chart created by the Newton Planning Department shows the percentages of incoming housing units that will be for rent and for purchase. City of Newton

And none of those developments count toward the city’s MBTA Communities Act compliance formula.

The Village Center Overlay District ordinance passed by the City Council in December to get the city into compliance with the MBTA Communities Act was about creating new rules to fit that compliance formula, not building new units.

The MBTA Communities Act requires higher density zoning near MBTA stations by-right, and the projects approved so far have done so with the regular permitting rules. The permitting of projects does not change the zoning rules, which is what the MBTA Communities Act requires.

Dunstan Residences

Mark Development has sold the Dunstan property in West Newton to Garden Homes, a residential development firm.

The property, formerly called Dunstan East and now called Dunstan Residences, was a Chapter 40B project approved by the city in 2021 and is set to have 234 units (59 of them “affordable” deed restricted) with retail on the ground floor.

Once those units are counted into the total, that brings the number of housing units to around 2,500.

What about Riverside?

The city has had transforming the Riverside MBTA Station area in Auburndale into a mixed-use, transit-focused development on its agenda for more than a decade. And a few years ago, NH Normandy, Mark Development’s business partner, had plans to build a mixed-use development.

Then in 2019, those plans changed, and the developers wanted to build something that focused more on housing and less on retail space.

That new version of the development would be almost twice as large as the original plan.

Neighbors pushed back hard. And now, the Riverside project remains a mystery.