One of the last large, privately owned pieces of open space in Newton, Kesseler Woods was threatened with development in 2003. At the urging of the Newton Conservators and other open space advocates, the City of Newton was successful in protecting a majority of this property through an innovative partnership with a private developer, Cornerstone Corporation.
The city paid about one third of the $15 million purchase price, using city and state Community Preservation Act funds, with the developer paying the rest. About two thirds of the land will be permanently protected as open space, and the developer also agreed to include 12 affordable homes among the apartments it will build.
By connecting the existing 20-acre Saw Mill Brook Conservation Area with the 5-acre Baldpate Meadow Conservation Area, this new property will create a 50-plus-acre swath of green in this part of the city. In addition to recreational opportunities, this area will preserve much-needed wildlife habitat, enhance groundwater recharge, and provide other environmental benefits.
Development of a trail system is scheduled to begin in 2021.
Size: about 16 acres Longest Walk: trail system not yet open Acquired: 2004
From the Charles River to Newton Centre
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Boston Edison acquires land for possible future utility use
Massachusetts Attorney General orders Boston Edison’s successor, NStar, to dispose of surplus land holdings
NStar announces Kesseler Woods will be sold, and files preliminary subdivision plan for 68 single-family houses on large lots.
City of Newton determines that city cannot afford to buy entire 42-acre property, even with CPA funds. City enters into successful joint bid with Cornerstone Development.
Purchase is completed. Cornerstone begins work on single-family houses near Brookline Street.
Planning continues for construction of multi-family housing, including affordable units, off LaGrange Street.
Construction begins on the multi-family housing, called Hancock Estates
Newton Assessor’s Map ID: 82037 0003 and other parcels
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