Tagged, Towed, Patrolled & Plowed, Who’s Paying for It at Assembly Row Somerville?


By William Tauro

While visiting the new Assembly Row in Somerville Mass, has your vehicle ever been tagged or towed?

Did ever you feed the parking meters?

Or have you ever noticed the Somerville Police directing traffic outside or patrolling the area on a foot beat around the new buildings or how about any of the city snow plows and sanders equipment cleaning the streets of the new Assembly Row?

How about all the money that’s being dropped into those parking meters, who gets to keep it?

Well now the $64,000 question is, who’s paying for it and where does it go?

This past Wednesday evening at Somerville City Hall during a routine licensing hearing the question arose, ” Is Assembly Square’s streets public or private and who owns it?

The hearing room got so crowed with concerned residents, Assembly Square shopkeepers and a herd of attorneys and city officials that the meeting had to be moved midstream into the larger alderman chambers to accommodate the crowd.

According to the Somerville city solicitor, according to the assistant city solicitor, according to Somerville Traffic & Parking, according to some of the alderman that were there and according to the city clerk, nobody knows for sure?

So if it’s a city street that’s fine and dandy but if it’s not a city street and all these public services are being done between tagging and towing, cleaning, plowing, policing, taxes, who is paying the bill for that?

After a long debate and hours of discussion, the officials at the hearing that evening have sort of determined that it is private property still owned by The developer, Federal Realty.

So now if it is Federal Realty’s privately owned property and not our city streets as we all thought it was, shouldn’t Federal Realty be reimbursing the city for all the services that are being distributed as well as for all of the property taxes at Assembly Row?

Let us know what you think! Please feel free to post you thoughts and comments.




3 thoughts on “Tagged, Towed, Patrolled & Plowed, Who’s Paying for It at Assembly Row Somerville?”

  1. The city should’ve kept money in escrow while the building goes on, to make sure curb cuts etc are done correctly… Eventually the city would have to “accept” the streets down there, or no city services would be used down there to plow, tow, clean etc…. Apparently nobody was paying attention or more than likely” business as usual in Massachusetts ….. Who’s stockings are hanging by the assembly fireplace? Merry Christmas!!

  2. Terrific…………..another example of let’s use taxpayer money to help a private developer, then have the developer tie us up in court over the details that should have been nailed down years ago. Frustrating? Yes. Incompetence? Borderline.

    City officials negotiating the fine print with multi-billion dollar developers is like asking asking me to design, build, launch and land a lunar vehicle.

  3. If the property is private then why are the police giving tickets, towing, etc.? I’m confused about this.

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