Assembly Row Development | Assembly Square | Somerville

vanshnookenraggen

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The soul missing from Assembly is Good Time Emporium. That was pretty much my favorite place ever. In my 20's it's where I would "go out" when I didn't feel like going out. So affordable, and so many entertainment options. Football games, March Madness, arcade, pool, ping pong, cheap pizza and pitchers of beer. I know it was a gritty dump but I minded my own business and never had an issue. I can't think of a single bigger loss to the Boston area in my lifetime (the Revere Beach rollercoasters predate me).
I think you just proved kjdonovan's point.
 

erom

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I almost said in my last post, that Assembly will have "soul" when the kids currently mobbing the playground by the mystic grow up. It IS to some extent generational. Retirees growing old in a place is another one of the important social glues that knit a neighborhood together. All the more reason to not worry about it now and give it the years/decades/generations it needs to develop.

But my point was also that now there ARE kids mobbing the playgrounds and families out walking and 5 years ago there wasn't. The process is up and running, it's just a slow one.
 

DZH22

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I think you just proved kjdonovan's point.
It's not just nostalgic. It was literally the only affordable place in the metro with all that entertainment under 1 roof. The pretenders like Dave and Busters will never be 1/10 of what Good Times was, and are substantially more expensive. Nothing has remotely filled the void wrought by that aborted Ikea store.
 

Ruairi

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No, creative people moved to a desirable well situated area and made it more desirable still. The locals who get no credit are largely just being priced out of places they actually protected and maintained back in the bad ole days like Davis Square.
I'm not really arguing about gentrification. I remember Davies in the 90's and I think Davis now has more soul. But I guess the question is "what is soul". Is it run down, gritty, probably dangerous, with some elements of underground culture because that's what Davis was. But when we're talking about Assembly now in comparison to other areas in Somerville, we have to talk about Davis now. Locals started the likes of Honk so I do give them credit but I also give credit to the newer residents who have embraced the likes of Honk and porchfest and are working on projects like Art Farm now.
 

Vagabond

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That sounds promising but if they hold onto the property, as it sounds like they might, it will remain a sad and depressing wasteland, even if they do eventually get around to taking down the unused smokestacks. I'll at least keep my fingers crossed for their removal, if not the sale of the property to be redeveloped. I'm sure it would be insanely expensive for a new owner to thoroughly clean up
Everett is already on this... they're already negotiating adjustments to the Master Plan such that the power plant parcels are used for specific uses. There are a few other property owners who are trying to avoid selling their now valuable properties, and fighting the updated plan.

"The amendment to the URP is one that focuses primarily on the Station Parcel, which is the unused, 40-acre parcel that the power plant once used, but no longer uses. The plan, according to Jamie Fay of Ft. Point Associates, would focus on redeveloping that parcel, as well as the three on Mystic Street – encouraging higher uses achieved through private deals and not Eminent Domain."

 

Bananarama

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Just adding one thing here. But a major barrier to Assembly feeling "soulful" to me is the over abundance of chain stores. It's a glorified outlet mall on some level. No mom & pop stores.
I feel like I'm walking through a corporate marketing bubble with big brands charading as mainstreet.
 

MrDee12345

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That sounds promising but if they hold onto the property, as it sounds like they might, it will remain a sad and depressing wasteland, even if they do eventually get around to taking down the unused smokestacks. I'll at least keep my fingers crossed for their removal, if not the sale of the property to be redeveloped. I'm sure it would be insanely expensive for a new owner to thoroughly clean up

It's because Somerville has become extremely blue while Billerica has gotten progressively redder. I hate to oversimplify it, but the bluer a town/city is, the more progressive and open to development it is, drawing in more younger, diverse professionals, who have more and pay more, bringing up the values of the homes, schools, neighborhood parks, shops, and restaurants. The more a town stagnates, the redder it gets.
Billerica (along with Tewksbury and Wilmington) have been "red" for as long as I remember. Growing up in Billerica (I was born in 78), I remember Republicans outnumbering Democrats by a significant margin. I also remember the last few elections went to the GOP presidential candidate. However, in 2020, Billerica went for Biden.
 

Hubman

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The soul missing from Assembly is Good Time Emporium. That was pretty much my favorite place ever. In my 20's it's where I would "go out" when I didn't feel like going out. So affordable, and so many entertainment options. Football games, March Madness, arcade, pool, ping pong, cheap pizza and pitchers of beer. I know it was a gritty dump but I minded my own business and never had an issue. I can't think of a single bigger loss to the Boston area in my lifetime (the Revere Beach rollercoasters predate me).
I remember an excess of headlines involving fights and shootings from that place, but I guess you have to take the good with the bad.
 

Equilibria

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It's not just nostalgic. It was literally the only affordable place in the metro with all that entertainment under 1 roof. The pretenders like Dave and Busters will never be 1/10 of what Good Times was, and are substantially more expensive. Nothing has remotely filled the void wrought by that aborted Ikea store.
I'm sentimental about it too, but didn't it go for the Home Depot, not IKEA? I'm not sure the loss of Good Time Emporium has much to do with Assembly Row and such.

And I know it's way more expensive, but I've always found it pleasantly ironic that Kings ended up right behind where GTE used to be.
 

gac108

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I'm sentimental about it too, but didn't it go for the Home Depot, not IKEA? I'm not sure the loss of Good Time Emporium has much to do with Assembly Row and such.

And I know it's way more expensive, but I've always found it pleasantly ironic that Kings ended up right behind where GTE used to be.
No, Home Depot was there too. Good Times was, I believe, where the Partners Healthcare building is to the left of the entrance, with Home Depot being on the right. I lived at the very beginning of Broadway next to The Mount Vernon restaurant back in the late 90s to early 00s and used to walk over to Good Times for cheap beer but it was rough, there were fights, and it definitely wasn't safe for me to walk back under the highway to my apartment late at night. I had someone try to rob me once around there but luckily a police car turned the corner at that moment and he let go of me and ran away. My car got stolen twice in that neighborhood. That area of Somerville was really shitty and there wasn't much to do pre-Assembly. My apartment there was pretty nice and big and had been renovated a few years before I moved in there '98, and I believe my rent was maybe 8 or 900/mo. I can't even imagine what it's renting for now, probably about $2800.
 

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