Somerville, MA -The Somerville Planning Board yesterday voted unanimously to support Union Square Station Associates’ (US2) Coordinated Development Plan (CDP), a plan that will propel Union Square into the future as an economic engine for the City. In another crucial step, the Board of Aldermen also voted to approve District Improvement Financing (DIF) for Union Square, setting in motion crucial upgrades to Union Square’s infrastructure.
“Last night’s votes to approve the DIF and the CDP are the culmination of decades of careful planning by residents, stakeholders, business and the city and will spark the creation of an employment center in Union Square,” said Greg Karczewski, president of US2. “We are proud to be creating a true economic hub and place where startups and entrepreneurs can grow, families can work and live and residents can enjoy new amenities and more open space. We look forward to working together to make that collective vision a reality.”
“The Somerville Planning Board and Board of Aldermen have secured a bright future for Union Square,” said Mayor Joseph Curtatone. “This is one more step in the progress we’ve made towards creating the employment center that we’ve been envisioning for so long. We’re eager to keep moving forward so that Somerville residents will have more job opportunities and new amenities within their community.”
The CDP is a blueprint that maps to the goals set by the Union Square Neighborhood Plan, which includes new commercial, housing, open and green space – each an important component that will contribute to a dense and diverse network of public spaces that serve a variety of people. Now, the stage has been set for growth and the evolution of a 2.4 million-square-foot mixed-use employment center in Union Square that will garner $11.3 million in annual tax revenue through commercial development.
At full build-out, the project will include 1.4 million square feet of new work spaces for companies that will generate 5,000 new permanent jobs, along with more than 4,000 new construction jobs and millions of dollars in job linkage payments to support local workforce development initiatives. Desperately needed housing and new open space and retail are also planned. This mixture of commercial and residential uses will activate Union Square during work hours and in evenings, bringing in significant new spending to neighborhood businesses. Community benefits include a $5.5 million contribution to the Green Line extension and millions in infrastructure improvements, better connecting Union Square and opening it up as a key driver of the regional economy.
With the approval of the CDP, design review of the first phase of the project will begin. Construction of the first development phase, a mix of commercial and residential uses, is slated to begin in 2018.