Cambria Hotel | 515 Somerville Ave | Union Sq | Somerville

George_Apley

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Looks like the first substantial underground garage in the neighborhood. To be the first of many over the next five years I'd guess. Union Square is going to be a very different type of urban by the end of the decade.
 

Javier

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I see , That is a ramp for The car garage, cool
 

Javier

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I believe you are correct, looks like car turn around ramp For garage
 

maxdatabook

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I mention this construction in a humorous video I just made. I really don't get it. Hotel tax revenues have been declining in Cambridge for the past 3 years. I walk by this part of Somerville at least twice a week. The obstacles this hotel will face, from horrible traffic on Somerville Ave, to the train tracks and lack of direct route to Harvard. Anyway.

 

Ruairi

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I mention this construction in a humorous video I just made. I really don't get it. Hotel tax revenues have been declining in Cambridge for the past 3 years. I walk by this part of Somerville at least twice a week. The obstacles this hotel will face, from horrible traffic on Somerville Ave, to the train tracks and lack of direct route to Harvard. Anyway.

I agree, there's too many hotels being built.
But I'm happy to see something, anything get built on these sites.
If the hotels fail, maybe they can be converted to apartment buildings, I dunno, but it's better than a rat infested empty lot.
As for the park, that sucks but again, better to have this hotel contributing taxes to the city's coffers than not. Hopefully the tax from this building can help reopen the park.
It's not that difficult to get to Harvard and the tracks are a block away and not that busy (at least nowhere near as busy as urban tracks should be).
Also, there's a lot more cool stuff around that part of Somerville than in Porter square.
I'd imagine this hotel is aimed more at Greentown labs and the US2 development than tourists that want to walk around Harvard yard.
Sorry for poking holes in your video, please keep making them, despite my points, I enjoyed it!
Thanks.
 

maxdatabook

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I agree, there's too many hotels being built.
But I'm happy to see something, anything get built on these sites.
If the hotels fail, maybe they can be converted to apartment buildings, I dunno, but it's better than a rat infested empty lot.
As for the park, that sucks but again, better to have this hotel contributing taxes to the city's coffers than not. Hopefully the tax from this building can help reopen the park.
It's not that difficult to get to Harvard and the tracks are a block away and not that busy (at least nowhere near as busy as urban tracks should be).
Also, there's a lot more cool stuff around that part of Somerville than in Porter square.
I'd imagine this hotel is aimed more at Greentown labs and the US2 development than tourists that want to walk around Harvard yard.
Sorry for poking holes in your video, please keep making them, despite my points, I enjoyed it!
Thanks.
No worries, poke away ;) I agree, Union Square is way more interesting that Porter. Porter is nothing but a big ugly parking lot. What I meant about the train tracks is they make it difficult to walk, bike or drive to the Harvard part of Cambridge. They also limit the kind of development one can do along that side of Somerville Ave. In my mental map, Harvard is a million miles away when I'm in that neighborhood. Greentown labs is certainly nice, but what else is there really? I rent space in the Little India building. It's "all original" HAHA. I can't see them changing it because it abuts a graveyard. I can't see Market Basket getting replaced.

If they have the money to build there is money to clean up the park. There should be no excuses. It should have been now. Allow me to get cynical. This is all about putting money into property that will find its way into a REIT and then the blissfully ignorant 401K holder retirement account. UBS doesn't care if it ever rents a single room. They will be out long before. Introduce me to any business person who would put their own money into this project with a 5-year lockup. Thanks for watching the video!!!
 

Ruairi

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No worries, poke away ;) I agree, Union Square is way more interesting that Porter. Porter is nothing but a big ugly parking lot. What I meant about the train tracks is they make it difficult to walk, bike or drive to the Harvard part of Cambridge. They also limit the kind of development one can do along that side of Somerville Ave. In my mental map, Harvard is a million miles away when I'm in that neighborhood. Greentown labs is certainly nice, but what else is there really? I rent space in the Little India building. It's "all original" HAHA. I can't see them changing it because it abuts a graveyard. I can't see Market Basket getting replaced.

If they have the money to build there is money to clean up the park. There should be no excuses. It should have been now. Allow me to get cynical. This is all about putting money into property that will find its way into a REIT and then the blissfully ignorant 401K holder retirement account. UBS doesn't care if it ever rents a single room. They will be out long before. Introduce me to any business person who would put their own money into this project with a 5-year lockup. Thanks for watching the video!!!
To be honest I don't really understand all the financial loopholes when it comes to shuffling money around and building hotels. But for a long time the only thing around union was the holiday inn on washington and a bunch of air B'n'Bs. so, when covid clears, there might be the market for more beds. Eventually I think the US2 development will crush any remaining life out of the east side of Union and the bustling place will be from China Delight in to the square. There's already Artizans asylum, Aeronaut brewery, Brooklyn Boulders, Bow market and a few bars and venues that will hopefully rise again after all this. I think this area (bow st and Somerville Ave) will become the living end of Union and will become quite an attractive area to visit. The hotel will be a 10 minute walk through a lively square to the T down town. Why would anyone pick the holiday inn over it? I've no idea how it will be priced but if it's at all reasonable, I think it could be quite attractive for someone who can't afford a hotel in Harvard Square and doesn't really want to stay in Porter. I'd imagine those hotels in Porter are relying on Harvard and Lesley (visiting parents, faculty etc,). And the thing at the top of Beacon is probably scheduled to open in 2045 or something.
 

Texasian

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@maxdatabook - FWIW, Cambria is a chain. I think they're around the same level as Aloft, so trendy and modern, but not exactly luxury. I reckon the fact that a chain is going in probably explains why it doesn't seem to be stalling out like it's friend on Beacon.
 

maxdatabook

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To be honest I don't really understand all the financial loopholes when it comes to shuffling money around and building hotels. But for a long time the only thing around union was the holiday inn on washington and a bunch of air B'n'Bs. so, when covid clears, there might be the market for more beds. Eventually I think the US2 development will crush any remaining life out of the east side of Union and the bustling place will be from China Delight in to the square. There's already Artizans asylum, Aeronaut brewery, Brooklyn Boulders, Bow market and a few bars and venues that will hopefully rise again after all this. I think this area (bow st and Somerville Ave) will become the living end of Union and will become quite an attractive area to visit. The hotel will be a 10 minute walk through a lively square to the T down town. Why would anyone pick the holiday inn over it? I've no idea how it will be priced but if it's at all reasonable, I think it could be quite attractive for someone who can't afford a hotel in Harvard Square and doesn't really want to stay in Porter. I'd imagine those hotels in Porter are relying on Harvard and Lesley (visiting parents, faculty etc,). And the thing at the top of Beacon is probably scheduled to open in 2045 or something.
2045? HAHA. Unless the pandemic changed things, Artisans was not renewing its lease. Thanks for your analysis. Seems reasonable. Just a question of how much damage the pandemic does. I analyze some of it here, but it's all the "financial" stuff that would probably put you to sleep. Bottom line is I believe Massachusetts will not espaple this recession like it did in 2008. Indeed, it will be one of the worst sufferers (is that a word?). Anyway, if you have trouble sleeping tonight... https://maxdatabook.com/charting-unemployment/
 

maxdatabook

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@maxdatabook - FWIW, Cambria is a chain. I think they're around the same level as Aloft, so trendy and modern, but not exactly luxury. I reckon the fact that a chain is going in probably explains why it doesn't seem to be stalling out like it's friend on Beacon.
Thanks. We stay at the Aloft in Brooklyn when we visit our daughter. That hotel is also in a very crappy neighborhood. They seem to be succeeding. Thanks for info!
 

Ruairi

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2045? HAHA. Unless the pandemic changed things, Artisans was not renewing its lease. Thanks for your analysis. Seems reasonable. Just a question of how much damage the pandemic does. I analyze some of it here, but it's all the "financial" stuff that would probably put you to sleep. Bottom line is I believe Massachusetts will not espaple this recession like it did in 2008. Indeed, it will be one of the worst sufferers (is that a word?). Anyway, if you have trouble sleeping tonight... https://maxdatabook.com/charting-unemployment/
cool, thanks for the link, will check it out later.
I'm kinda relying on the juggernauts of Harvard and the big hospitals to pull us out of this mess again. Then I can get back to moaning about huge corporations!
In a weird way, the economic slowdown might prevent places like Union getting steamrolled by progress.
 

Vagabond

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Greentown labs is certainly nice, but what else is there really?
The US2 project is certainly going to upend Union, but Greentown across the street from the Cambria site is also promoting a lot of locally-sourced economic activity. Lots of investors come to Union. A hotel here is welcome.
1602015801649.png
 
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maxdatabook

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The US2 project is certainly going to upend Union, but Greentown across the street from the Cambria site is also promoting a lot of locally-sourced economic activity. Lots of investors come to Union. A hotel here is welcome.
View attachment 7648
Thanks, great graphic!!! Don't get me wrong, I'm all for all development near Union! I was cynical about Bow Street but it has been a great addition!!! But again, it should be in everyone's interest to get that park remediated ASAP.

Also, if you've never seen, this is a very interesting doc about the area's history. Most of it was taken up by "American Tube Works" https://www.somervillema.gov/sites/default/files/American Tube Works_with reports.pdf
 
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