Assembly Square Self-Storage Reply

SSG Development wants to buy a truck storage depot at the foot of Foley Street to build a 6-story self-storage facility. Development requires change of zoning to allow use. City long-term plans include building a car, bike, and pedestrian passage under I-93 from Foley Street to near Stop & Shop.

Time Frame

  • Short term: 2 years
  • Long term: 10 years

Status

  • (4/21/11) Self-storage facility passed Special Permit with Site Plan Review, with conditions including cafe, bicycle storage unit, public process for use of community room, and public process for use of public art surfaces.
  • TKBOZO

Monitor

  • Public process for use of community room.
  • Public process for use of public art surfaces.
  • Quality of building design.
  • Handling large roadside sign at Foley Street end of building.
  • Urban design around Foley Street end.
  • Consistency with existing pedestrian passage under I-93 at Kensington Ave.
  • Consistency with plans for proposed Foley Street passage under I-93.

Risks

  • Old-fashioned design may brand site as backward-looking.
  • Self-storage is a static use and may deaden the foot of Foley Street.
  • Self-storage may brand Assembly Square as low-value use.
  • Connection to Assembly Square Orange Line T-Stop may be inadequate.

Mitigation

  • Promote lively, pedestrian-oriented urban design at Foley Street end.
  • Provide interesting building design features, including public art, to offset static use.
  • Thoroughly design connections between East Somerville and the T-Stop.

Background

History

  • (4/21/11) Self-storage facility design presented to the Planning Board as part of Special Permit with Site Plan Review.
  • (3/24/11) Revisions to self-storage facility design go before Somerville Design Review Committee.
  • (2/24/11) Self-storage facility design goes before Somerville Design Review Committee.
  • (11/4/10) Joint hearing on zoning change by Planning Board and Land Use Committee
  • (9/23/10) Self-storage ordinance filed by Bill Roche and referred to Land Use Committee.
  • Design discussions underway with Mystic View Task Force, East Somerville Main Streets, and other relevant organizations.

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