Joint Advisory Planning Group (JAPG) Next Meeting:
May 27, 2020 at 7:00 p.m. Zoom online meeting information to attend found in the below uploaded agenda.
The West Newton Armory has long been a fixture at its location on 1135 Washington Street. Built between 1910 – 1912, the Armory housed the Massachusetts State National Guard for over 100 years. Due to the changing needs of the National Guard over the past century, armories of this vintage are obsolete. Following the similar aged armories throughout the Commonwealth, the Massachusetts National Guard has decommissioned the West Newton Armory by transferring management control to the Commonwealth’s Division of Capital Asset Management and Maintenance (DCAMM).
Shortly after assuming management responsibilities of the West Newton Armory, DCAMM declared the Amory to be a surplus property as no other State agency expressed interest in its use. Following protocol, DCAMM then offered the City of Newton the right of first refusal to purchase the Armory under two separate options. First, DCAMM would offer the Armory to Newton for $1.00 if the City restricted its future use to 100% affordable housing. If the City decided against a future housing use, but desired the Armory for a municipal use (i.e. police station or library), DCAMM would offer an acquisition price based upon the Armory’s appraised value for that particular use. If the City chooses not to exercise its right to acquire the Armory, DCAMM has the option to sell the Armory via a bid process. The terms of this sale are authorized in Special Legislation currently pending in the Massachusetts State Legislature. Per this Special Legislation, the City must determine the use of the Armory and complete its purchase before June 30, 2020.
To ensure the City makes an informed decision on the future use of the Amory, City Ordinance directs the City Council to refer the issue to its Real Property Reuse Committee. On September 17, 2019 the Committee determined that the Armory be made available for sale or lease. In doing so, the Committee asked the Mayor and Council to create a Joint Advisory Planning Group (JAPG) and appoint its nine members. The JAPG works with the City’s Planning Department to identify a future use of the Armory through the submission of a written report to the Real Property Reuse Committee within six months of the formation of the JAPG. The Committee holds a public hearing and then makes its final recommendation on the future use of the Armory to the City Council where a full vote is held. The outcome of the City Council vote must be in alignment with the Mayor's vision for the Armory in order for the City to complete its purchase from DCAMM.
Project Resources1. The Mayor’s Memorandum on May 10, 2019 to the City Council regarding the West Newton Armory. 2. The Public Building Commissioners Assessment of the West Newton Armory.
Joint Advisory Planning Group Members
1. Barry Abramson
2. Lawrence Bauer
3. Kelley Brown
4. Mitchell Fischman
5. Jonathan Katz
6. David Koven
7. Anita Lichtblau
8. Ted Hess – Mahan
9. Sue Parsons
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