Massive Union Square development advances with two key votes

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The Somerville Board of Aldermen and the city’s Planning Board have both signed off on construction of a 2.3 million-square-foot development in Union Square around a future Green Line stop.

The aldermen’s vote frees up key infrastructural spending for the area, and the Planning Board’s nod was one of support for the $1 billion project. 

The multi-block development, which an entity called US2 is overseeing, will include 1.38 million square feet of office, lab, retail, hotel, and arts space; and approximately 950 residences.

Twenty-five percent of the project is to be given over to public open space, including 2.5 acres of what US2 calls “high-quality civic spaces.”

And all of this is dropping near what will be the Union Square stop of the Green Line, which is supposed to open in 2021.

As for the development itself, construction on the first phase should commence in 2018 and wrap in 2020. That phase is due to include around 400 residential units and 175,000 square feet of either lab or office space as well as retail.

Construction of the whole shebang might take up to 20 years. Stay tuned.

Rebecca Rutenberg