Big re-do of Somerville’s Union Square gets a big investor

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A major re-do of Union Square in Somerville now has a deep-pocketed investor behind it.

Financial services giant USAA has signed on as an equity partner in the $1.5 billion project, which is being spearheaded by Chicago-based developer Union Square Station Associates. 

They’re aiming to start construction this year on a lab building and 25-story apartment tower on four acres at the corner of Somerville Avenue and Prospect Street, near the planned Union Square Green Line station. That first phase would open in 2021. At full buildout, the project would include 2.4 million square feet of lab and office space, housing and new retail across 16 buildings. Backers say it will bring more than 5,000 jobs and nearly 1,000 new homes to the neighborhood, transforming its tangle of low-rise blocks into a new economic hub of Somerville.

The Novus Group