New Developments Underway in and Around Somerville

Ed Greable Blogger April 15, 2019

Here is a look at some of the developments underway in and around Somerville.

Somerville’s Union Square Development Gets a New Breath of Life

A 2.4 million-square-foot Union Square development in Somerville may become a reality thanks to a new partnership. According to recent reports, Boston-based developer Skanska USA wants to co-develop a seven-story lab building on the 15-acre site with the project’s current developer, Chicago-based US2. Currently, US2 wants to open the first phase of the project in 2021, around the same time the new Green Line stop is expected to be open in Union Square. This phase would include three buildings, including a 450-unit apartment tower along with the lab building. The lab building, however, does still need the necessary approvals before moving forward.

Plans Moving Forward on East Cambridge Courthouse Redevelopment

After years of back and forth action, the East Cambridge courthouse redevelopment project is back to moving forward once more. Developer Leggat McCall recently released new plans that they hope will jumpstart the project. To get things moving forward, the developer plans to display models of the plans in the storefront area in nearby Cambridge Street. Current plans call for developing 430,000 square feet of office space along with 15,000-square-feet of ground-level retail space and two dozen apartments for lower- and moderate-income renters. Plans also call for open space and recladding the building’s façade with terra cotta and larger windows.

Leggat McCall already has the city approvals it needs to move forward with the project and has been victorious with its state legal battles, but it still needs City Council approval to lease 420 parking spaces in the city-owned First Street Garage located across the street. Gaining final approval for the parking space may be the last hurdle the developers need to finally move forward with the project.

Andrew Square Development May be in the Works

A subsidiary of National Development has been amassing a significant amount of space around South Boston’s Andrew Square, getting many to speculate that a new development project may be underway. In late February, the Newton-based developer purchased 285 Washington Street at the intersection of Dorchester and Old Colony avenues. The firm had previous purchased two contiguous plots at 663-365 and 345 Dorchester Avenue. These purchased combined with the 5.5 acres the firm already purchased brings the total to 10 acres of land. What the firm plans to do with the space, however, remains uncertain.

Forbes Park Redevelopment May be Moving Forward

The redevelopment of the former Forbes Park, which stretches along 17 acres of space along the Chelsea River, may be back on track after 15 years of on-again, off-again action.

Original plans for the former brownfield site called for developing 300 luxury lofts equipped with solar panels, a wind turbine and a plumbing system that recycled rainwater. Despite receiving federal funding under the 2009 stimulus package, the project never got off the ground. Currently, the space is being developed by a China-based company, which has already gained approval from Chelsea’s Zoning Board of Appeals to construct more than 500 residential units in the space. Current plans also call for developing several thousand square feet of retail and office space along with 963 parking spots. More than half of the proposed units would be condos, with 59 being designated as affordable.

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