Needham Crossing

The Needham Crossing section of the N-Squared Innovation District welcomes world-class businesses and complimentary retailers in a modern, connected, mixed-use urban layout that embraces contemporary architecture and urban design. Needham Crossing is unique in its mix of residential, office and other commercial uses (including retail, restaurant, and consumer services allowed on the first floor of multistory buildings), as well as the natural amenities which surround it—Cutler Lake Park and the Charles River. Already a high tech center with PTC, the future home of TripAdvisor and other companies, Needham Crossing is home to many life science companies including Verastem. Needham Crossing is serviced by infrastructure undergoing expansion and improvement through Add-A-Lane on Route 128 (adding a new Kendrick Street interchange to the existing and soon-to-be improved Highland Avenue one), MassWorks on Highland Avenue (widening and improvements fostering multimodal travel), widening of Second Avenue intersection, and new traffic signal at First Avenue. The 2011 rezoning of this area reflects the Town’s vision of an urban, real, ready, flexible and accessible modern environment. Existing infrastructure together with improvements already funded will support up to three million square feet of new development with visibility on and easy access from/to Route 128.

Amenities and Unique Qualities of Needham Crossing

  1. 1. Mix of Uses: residential (Riverside neighborhood and Charles River Landing), mix of commercial uses allowed in the district, and mix of allowed uses within multistory buildings (retail, restaurant, and consumer services, as well as other facilities) allowed on first floor of multistory buildings.
  2. Natural Amenities: Cutler Lake Park and Charles River
  3.   Zoning Amendments: recent amendments permit increased density and height in the NEBC and allow for discretionary waivers of up to 25% by special permit for all dimensional requirements except height. Recent amendments also expanded medical uses allowed in the NEBC.
  4. Use Determination Amendment: this amendment, while applicable to all business districts, permits the Planning Board to determine whether a use is within the same general use category as a use expressly called out in the Zoning By-Law and, if so, whether it is similar in impact and in kind to use allowed by special permit or by right. This permits new innovative businesses to come into Needham without necessitating zoning amendments.
  5. Service by 128 Business Council Shuttle: the Shuttle provides service from the MBTA Newton Highlands Green Line Station to the NEBC.
  6. Visibility Along Route 128: the NEBC contains significant developable acreage immediately abutting and visible from Route 128.
  7. Location: Needham’s NEBC is situated along Route 128’s inner core near the cross roads of Route 1, Route 95S, Route 9, Route 135, Route 16 and the MassPike; it is also minutes away from Amtrak Route 128 Station.
  8. Add-a-Lane Improvements: With the new Kendrick Street interchange designed and funded, NEBC will have its own interchange from Route 128. With the improvements for the Highland Avenue interchange, the NEBC can easily support an additional 2.5 Million square feet of development. Needham is pushing for the light at Highland Avenue and First Avenue in the NEBC to be included in this project.
  9. Highland Avenue/Needham Street Corridor: Newton and Needham are working together to obtain funding for the improvements to the corridor which are critical to the effective operation of the Highland Avenue 128 interchange.
  10. Increased employment and job opportunities: The increased capacity permitted by recent zoning amendments and by planned infrastructure improvements could provide over 10,000 jobs locally.