How Can Newton Attract—and Keep—More Businesses?
Rent? Tax incentives? Better permitting? Share your ideas with us in the comments section below.
One of the most recent large-scale moves involves MicroChem, a Newton Upper Falls business that has plans to relocate nearly all of its operations to Westborough later this year.
MicroChem closed a deal on a 76,000-square-foot building in late December, paying $5.4 million for the site, according to the Boston Business Journal. The new site will allow the company to expand from its current 20,000-square-foot site on Oak Street in Newton.
However, MicroChem will retain about 5,000 square feet of space in Newton as backup, Westborough Patch reported.
According to Westborough Patch, voters at the Aug. 7 Westborough Special Town Meeting gave MicroChem a 15-year tax increment financing deal that, according to Westborough Town Manager Jim Malloy, will bring an estimated $1.3 million to $1.5 million in additional taxes, as well as 63 new jobs, to Westborough.
Late last year, Needham voted in a similar tax increment financing plan for TripAdvisor, which has plans to relocate to Needham from its current space on Needham Street in Newton. The move will bring 450 jobs to Needham from the Newton offices, with at least 50 jobs added per year for the next five years.
While large businesses may move out of Newton for expansion or tax reasons, Newton sees many small businesses and restaurants come and go, some of which reference high rent as one reason for closing up shop.
And as our Visions for Vacancies feature shows, there are still plenty of empty storefronts in the city.
Newton has is an attractive city for businesses -- but there's always room for improvement, right? How can Newton get more businesses to move in to its empty storefronts? More importantly, how can the city keep those businesses here? Larger office spaces? Tax incentives? Lower rents? Better permitting?
Share your ideas and opinions in the comments section below.