Assembly Row Development | Assembly Square | Somerville

stefal

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They got all sorts of special funding and partnerships from Audi (I believe) and others experimenting how to design some of the garages to be later retrofitted into habitable office space.

I will admit, the 3-for-free parking payment structure is very attractive if you're looking for a short trip.. I also have never really noticed any garage being full (sometimes some of them have been nearly empty during peak/dinner, pre-pandemic). It's overkill, IMO.
 

DZH22

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I see both sides of the parking issue. Obviously, "less is more" pretty much applies all over the city. On the other hand, this area is still an island of development, and still driven as much by the strip mall as by the rest of it. It is virtually unconnected from the rest of the urban neighborhoods in Somerville and surrounding areas, but has extremely easy highway access. I know the Orange line added a stop, which is a huge step in the right direction, but it's tough when your best public transit is a single linear line into the city. I think it would be a tough place to live without a car, as the options are still very limited. Also, let's not forget that each development both adds to the existing demand, while also removing more surface parking to get there. This is kind of a different case from most other neighborhoods, mainly because it is not connected to the urban fabric.
 

George_Apley

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Re: parking; they may be anticipating the redevelopment of the surface lots in the next several years and building out replacement parking capacity in the garages when those go off-line.
 

Vagabond

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related: this is beyond fucked up. with a handful of friends working on these projects i am angry beyond words. 103 ordering members to cross a picket line is reprehensible.
Can you give more context? Not my industry, but to an outsider it's a different union on a different job. Isn't that what union leadership is in place to decide - when to organize and when to stand down? Also- are these contract bids to FRIT on a per-building basis or as part of an MSA?
 

Arlington

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Is the mall portion staying forever?
How about "it will be the last to go?" (I'm also hoping the state will redevelop its courthouse). The master plan still shows the mall and its lots un-replanned.

Last I saw FRIT had bought KMart out of its lease, making it free to do something different on that end of the mall (it is temporarily leased to Battelle Labs who reprocesses N95 masks for COVID)

AFAIK, the rest of the mall (Trader Joes, etc) is doing great, so they've got a lot of brownfield redev to do and demand to soak up before being tempted to touch the mall. But maybe they peel off he KMart end and build up there?
 

chrisbrat

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Can you give more context? Not my industry, but to an outsider it's a different union on a different job. Isn't that what union leadership is in place to decide - when to organize and when to stand down? Also- are these contract bids to FRIT on a per-building basis or as part of an MSA?
solidarity within the trades is what the whole damn thing is based upon. more to the point, the language in that letter - which should never haev been officially put in writing or out in public to be shared - is disgusting.
 

shmessy

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solidarity within the trades is what the whole damn thing is based upon. more to the point, the language in that letter - which should never haev been officially put in writing or out in public to be shared - is disgusting.
I have no dog in that fight, but throughout that letter, and particularly per point #6 - looks like 103 is pretty pissed 35 wasn't engaged at the onset 2 years ago. Seems to be a schism there. And a very intentionally public schism.
 
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Cortes

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Yes. Right next to the T station fence, for extra-symbolic cromulence.

I *get* at the superficial level that 'early' Assembly went with a higher parking ratio than we would've all preferred seeing. Means to an end for kickstarting it and blah blah blah. But now that we're a generation deep into the infilling some evolution on the matter should've been in order with site master plans to gradually take those ratios down on new construction now that transit is well-established here and about to get loads more frequent with the OLT service increases. Rather, they seem to be treating the early high bar for parking as the forever precedent. And that's really not how you complete a follow-through on densification.

I mean, it's not like they started off on the Alewife wrongest foot or anything. But these targets were never meant to be static, and were supposed to evolve to track with increasing density. So it's a little disappointing...[ ]"
I agree with you in principle. That said, the parking spaces are becoming more valuable as density increases. It will take years for the land value to increase enough that parking gets put underground. If ever.
 

kjdonovan

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This project is the densest, most urban-leaning project outside the city core in the entire region. Suffolk Downs, Cambridge Crossing, Alewife... they all go for a campus master plan that would look right at home in Cupertino. This is the only project that is trying to create multi-use, active city streets. The amount of parking is something they've no doubt debated long and hard as developers. Fact is, if Somerville had done like, say, Boston in the 70s and implemented a parking cap, we would not have this issue. It is beholden on the developer to make the most valuable return on investment within a reasonable period of time. It is beholden on the city to counterbalance that need with perpetual priorities of good stewardship--like best use of space and minimizing unintended environmental, social and economic side-effects.

In short, if we want less parking, it's the city's fault and not the developer's.
 

stick n move

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On a positive note the garages give lots of room for expansion in the future. Because its all being built in a short time period and masterplanned that makes the development all have very similar architectural styles and it gives it a masterplanned feel.

In 20 years when its all built out theyre going to be able to demo the garages and build new buildings in whatever the style is in 2040... Maybe really cool cross laminated timber structures or something. This in turn will give the neighborhood a much more diverse and organic look to it, vs just one big masterplanned neighborhood.
 

Ruairi

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yea, I can't see them changing the parking situation any time soon.
Most of the people I see shopping, eating, socializing here come from the northern suburbs as well as Everett, Malden, Medford etc.
This is where people go when they want to go in to the 'city'. Too much hassle to drive down town so they just go here, good enough.
Add in the covid fear with public transport and no one will be switching their car for public transit for a while.
It's funny, I live in Somerville and most of the people I know have kinda forgotten about Assembly. Maybe that's a covid thing but I think it was trending that way anyway.
I do think it's a success for what it is tho.
 

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