Home News Newton family offers city nearly 15 acres for $24 million

Newton family offers city nearly 15 acres for $24 million

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The Newtons have offered the city about 15 acres of land near Newton South High School for $24 million. An outline highlights the boundaries of the property in this photo illustration provided by LandVest Real Estate. You can see Brandeis Street and the high school at the bottom of the photo. Halsey Fulton, Fishhawk Films

The Newtons have offered the city an opportunity to purchase approximately 15 acres of undeveloped land for $24 million, and local officials are seeking proposals from developers to partner with the city on the deal.

The property is near Newton South High School and stretches between Dudley and Brandeis roads, and much of the lot is already zoned for single-family homes, according to Mayor Lusanne Fuller. , considering whether this land could be used for public squares, affordable housing, or schools.

Fuller said the city is exploring the possibility of partnering with developers to purchase properties.

“This approach has been used successfully here in Newton and elsewhere to achieve some of the City’s desired outcomes for properties while partnering with developers to submit competitive acquisition offers. ,” Fuller said in a statement.

The property is currently owned by Dr. Lois Slovic and Dr. David Slovic, longtime Dudley Road residents who have owned most of the land since 1979.

In addition to the undeveloped 13-acre parcel, the Slovic owned a colonial house at 85 Dudley Road in 1912 and an uplifted ranch at 132 Brandeis Road in 2011, purchased in 2011. I’m here. city.

The couple declined to be interviewed and asked to be represented by Landvest Real Estate, according to company chairman David A. Rosen.

Both have close ties to Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School.

Lois Slovik is a psychiatrist, emeritus director of the hospital’s couples and family therapy program, and assistant professor of psychiatry at the medical school.

David Slovik is a hospital endocrinologist and associate professor of medicine.

In a statement to The Globe, Rosen said the Sloviks knew the property had “great development potential.”

“They give the City of Newton and Newton Administrators the opportunity to purchase property before it is put on the market, so that the property can be used for open space expansion, school districts, recreation, according to Rosen, or for other municipal uses.

“They especially want this land to be used as an open space for public purposes,” says Rosen.

Undeveloped tracts of land rarely come on the market in Newton, and when they do, the city has to contend with the astronomical value of local real estate.

The median single-family home price in Garden City was about $1.6 million in September, up nearly 25% year-over-year, according to Redfin.By contrast, the median single-family home price in eastern Massachusetts is It rose to $900,000 earlier this year.

Under the city’s current zoning rules, 15 acres of land can be used to build about 20 single-family homes, Fuller said.

At Newton, the closest example of what this sort of arrangement might look like was the 2003 purchase of 40 acres of Kesseller Woods off Vine Street.

At the time, the city worked with the developer to offer a purchase price of about $15 million (with the city contributing about one-third of the cost), preserving about half of the land as open space. In 2015, the city approved 88 rental apartments on the remainder of the property.

The last time the city acquired a large piece of land was in 2019. When eminent domain was used to acquire approximately 15 acres of Webster Woods from Boston CollegeThe city has announced that it will pay the university $15.2 million for the Hammond Pond Parkway property. Fuller said the land will be preserved as open space.

However, the university opposed acquisition, Both sides have fought in the Middlesex Superior Court over the value of the land..

Fuller, on the other hand, argues that: $15 million tax increase to help fund city services, schools and school construction projects.

Fuller said the city has yet to decide how to finance the purchase from Slovic.

“We look forward to responding to your request for an expression of interest. [from developers] Before deciding how or whether the city will fund this potential project, we need to determine what the potential partnerships are,” Fuller said in a statement to The Globe. .

Developers have until December 1 to submit proposals to the city, and their concepts will be reviewed by a team of city housing, school, and environmental officials.

This group also includes Rick Lipof, Vice President of the City Council and Councilman for the 8th Ward where the property is located.

Lipov said even if the city and its developer partners eventually acquire the site, any potential development would be subject to the review of the city board and departments.

“Interest guides where we go. We can tell people what we want to see and what components we welcome. But we have to see what happens next,” Lipov said. .

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