Original Planning Process Frontloaded D2 & D3 Parcels
Somerville, MA—Union Square Station Associates (US2) announced today that its detailed planning and design efforts for two “gateway” development sites in Somerville’s Union Square would follow a more comprehensive planning effort on all seven blocks as part of the ongoing community-based planning process led by the City of Somerville. US2 is the City’s designated development partner for seven sites in Union Square.
Previously, planning for the two development sites adjacent to the MBTA’s Union Square Green Line station had been driven by the MBTA’s construction schedule, which targets an opening of the station for fare service in late 2017. Between December 2014 and March 2015, US2 collaborated with the City of Somerville in a series of ten community meetings to engage local stakeholders and build consensus around a vision for the future. Public feedback during this engagement process emphasized residents’ desire to ensure that the D2 and D3 gateway sites are planned and designed to reflect a big-picture vision for the future of Union Square.
“Since day one, US2 has expressed our commitment to working collaboratively with the Union Square community to carry out the goals set forth in SomerVision for the future of this special neighborhood,” said Greg Karczewski, president of US2. “When residents asked for more context about the plans for all seven parcels throughout the D2/D3 planning process, we listened.”
Residents and business owners will continue to have the opportunity to provide their feedback about the revitalization of Union Square through the City-led Somerville by Design neighborhood planning process. The process will develop a collaborative neighborhood plan for the future of all of Union Square, including the seven US2 development parcels.
“US2 welcomes the opportunity to develop community-driven plans for all seven parcels so that residents have the information they need to understand how each individual parcel contributes to fulfilling their vision for Union Square,” Karczewski said.
“This expanded approach to the planning and development of Union Square allows for a more comprehensive, deliberative approach and is a good first step in redefining the process moving forward,” said Ward 2 Alderman Maryann Heuston. “I commend US2 for listening to residents and responding to public feedback.”
“I applaud US2 for listening to the community and for earnestly engaging with residents and the city to move the Union Square process forward,” said Ward 3 Alderman Bob McWatters.
Union Square Station Associates (US2) has been selected by the Somerville Redevelopment Authority (SRA) as the master developer partner for the Union Square revitalization plan.
The development team is working in partnership with the City of Somerville, the Somerville Redevelopment Authority, the Civic Advisory Committee, residents, property owners and the entire Union Square community to design and implement the redevelopment of seven development blocks identified in the state-approved Union Square Revitalization Plan.
US2’s goal is to work to achieve the goals outlined by the community in SomerVision. Those goals include creating new jobs, public open spaces and housing opportunities for the broadest range of residents possible. The master developer is also charged with preserving and fostering the Square’s historical character and “funky vibe”.