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Development Projects

Assembly Square Mixed-Use Development Project
(see Assembly Square Mixed-Use)

Beacon Street Hotel Project

Summary: Proposed hotel at the corner of Beacon Street and Oxford Street, next to the Red Line right of way.

Time Frame: 1-2 years

Status: Controversy developing over lack of contact information on permit applications.

History:

On the docket at the 12/31/09 meeting of the Zoning Board of Appeals. Was first before the Zoning Board 1/21/09, with Planning Board conditional approval.

Monitor: This development is in a good place for transit-oriented development not only connecting to the Red Line, but also to a proposed Green Line extension from Union Square to Porter Square along the south side of Somerville.

Background: This development replaces a defunct gas station at the corner of Beacon Street and Oxford Street. It was described as accessed via car on Beacon Street. Little emphasis was originally placed on access to the Porter Square Red Line or to use by Harvard visitors.

See:

Risks: The development may move forward with car orientation.
Mitigation: Follow the development and advocate for transit orientation.

Broadway Redevelopment Project (see Broadway Redevelopment Project)

Combined Sewer Overflow Mitigation Project

Summary: Ongoing environmental remediation program required by Federal Court due to pollution of Boston Harbor by sewage being dumped untreated into rivers during storms.

Time Frame: 1-5 years

Status: Infrastructure improvements along Somerville Avenue almost complete.

Monitor:

  • Improvements as part of Assembly Square development
  • Improvements needed near Union Square and along Alewife Brook.

Background:

Risks:

  • Hot spots may be missed.
  • Solutions may be inadequate for new development proposals.

Mitigation:

  • Monitor stormwater at outflows.
  • Evaluate proposed mitigation efforts in the light of development proposals.

Davis Square Development Project (see Davis Square Redevelopment)

Inner Belt / Brickbottom Development Project (see Inner Belt / Brickbottom)
MaxPac Redevelopment Project

Summary: Large apartment development by KSS Realty in area once devoted to light industry. Brownfields cleanup required.

Time Frame: 1-3 years

Status:

  • (2/17/11) Public hearing on use of union labor at MaxPac site.

History:

  • (1/18/11) Petition submitted by 51 citizens asking for public hearing on use of union labor at MaxPac site.
  • (1/6/11) Passed Planning Board. Concerns raised about use of union labor.
  • (1/23/10) Concerns raised about possible contamination of the Community Path setaside, shots fired, release of animals.
  • (1/1/10) Demolition of train tracks on Community Path underway for truck access.

Monitor:

  • Provision of local jobs and union labor.
  • Possible contamination of the setaside for the Community Path.
  • Crime and animal issues during construction.
  • Connections between this development and the Lowell Street Green Line T-Stop.
  • Relationship between this development and other developments around the new T Stop.

Background:

  • Construction permitting finished.
  • Preliminary Master Plan approved April, 2008.
  • Special Permit with Site Plan Review (SPSR) approved December 2008.
  • Brownfields cleanup loan secured.

Risks:

  • Somerville already has plenty of residences. Development may crowd out office and small retail producing better tax revenues.
  • Development may not mesh well with new Lowell Street T-Stop.
Mitigation: Attend meetings and promote links with T-stop and alignment with office and small retail around T-stop.

Self-Storage in Assembly Square Project

Summary: SSG Development wants to buy a truck storage depot at the foot of Foley Street to build a 6-story self-storage facility. Development requires change of zoning to allow use. City long-term plans include building a car, bike, and pedestrian passage under I-93 from Foley Street to near Stop & Shop.

Time Frame:

  • Short term: 2 years
  • Long term: 10 years

Dates:

  • (8/25/12) Construction underway.
  • (4/21/11) Self-storage facility passed Special Permit with Site Plan Review, with conditions including cafe, bicycle storage unit, public process for use of community room, and public process for use of public art surfaces.

Status:

  • (4/21/11) Self-storage facility design presented to the Planning Board as part of Special Permit with Site Plan Review.
  • (3/24/11) Revisions to self-storage facility design go before Somerville Design Review Committee.
  • (2/24/11) Self-storage facility design goes before Somerville Design Review Committee.
  • (11/4/10) Joint hearing on zoning change by Planning Board and Land Use Committee
  • (9/23/10) Self-storage ordinance filed by Bill Roche and referred to Land Use Committee.
  • Design discussions underway with Mystic View Task Force, East Somerville Main Streets, and other relevant organizations.

Monitor:

  • Public process for use of community room.
  • Public process for use of public art surfaces.
  • Quality of building design.
  • Handling large roadside sign at Foley Street end of building.
  • Urban design around Foley Street end.
  • Consistency with existing pedestrian passage under I-93 at Kensington Ave.
  • Consistency with plans for proposed Foley Street passage under I-93.

Background:

Risks:

  • Old-fashioned design may brand site as backward-looking.
  • Self-storage is a static use and may deaden the foot of Foley Street.
  • Self-storage may brand Assembly Square as low-value use.
  • Connection to Assembly Square Orange Line T-Stop may be inadequate.

Mitigation:

  • Promote lively, pedestrian-oriented urban design at Foley Street end.
  • Provide interesting building design features, including public art, to offset static use.
  • Thoroughly design connections between East Somerville and the T-Stop.

Somerville Avenue Reconstruction Project

Summary: Development proposals following on Somerville Avenue street improvements as part of Combined Sewer Overflow mitigation project.

Time Frame: 1-2 years

Status:

  • Street improvements in construction, development proposals being discussed.

Monitor:

  • Quality of construction.
  • Quality of development proposals.
  • Integration with Green Line Extension

Background:

Risks:

  • Unsustainable development proposals.
  • Unsustainable zoning changes.
Mitigation: Analyze implications of development proposals and respond as necessary.

Union Square Redevelopment (see Union Square Redevelopment).

WalMart in Assembly Square Project

Summary: WalMart wants to start a grocery store at the old Circuit City location.

Time Frame: 1-2 years

Status:

  • Proposal floated in news media. Development requires Planning Board approval of variances.

Monitor:

  • Planning Board hearing
  • ZBA hearing
  • Expansion plans

Background:

Risks:

  • Possible expansion plans.
  • Too many big-box stores in Assembly Square already.
  • History of driving competing businesses out.
  • Not a large or employee-friendly employer.

Mitigation:

  • Attend Planning Board and ZBA hearings and speak out.
   

Current
Projects
City
Calendar
City
Agendas
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20-Apr-2014