10/26/13 MVTF 2013 Annual Meeting Announcement Reply

Dear MVTF Supporters,

Assembly Square is transforming.

The new Baxter State Park along the Mystic between Route 38 and Draw 7 Park has opened. The Orange Line T-Stop is framed in, and Federal Realty and Avalon Bay have walls up on mixed-use developments on the river side of the site. The new Burger Dive restaurant has opened on the edge of the mall parking lot, and SSG Development has finished its self-storage facility across from Foley Street.

In an encouraging development, the city tabled a zoning change that would allow a giant, one-story grocery store at the old IKEA site. We applaud this action, because developing one-story retail so close to the T-stop would waste a rare opportunity. To meet the goals of the Comprehensive Plan, we need to make sure that the rest of Assembly Square is built out with high-value real estate such as research and development.

In an exciting development, SSG Development has granted MVTF access to a new asset for the Somerville community, a Community Assembly Room at 50 Middlesex Avenue, on the ground floor of the new self-storage facility.

In addition to keeping an eye on Assembly Square:

  • We are monitoring the implementation of the City’s Comprehensive Plan rolled out early this year. Visioning meetings are being held for Davis Square and East Somerville, and discussion is continuing on zoning changes across the city.
  • We are monitoring progress on the Green Line Extension, due to complete in 2018. Bridge demolition is underway and stations are being designed. Efforts are underway to remove the McCarthy Overpass on Route 28 near Union Square.
  • We are posting selected public meetings on the Somerville Development Forum (SDF). To register as an SDF contributor or subscribe to the SDF RSS feed, go to mvtf.wordpress.com. To subscribe to the weekly email update, send an e-mail to dd@whyisthisimportant.net.

For more on our efforts, please come to our Annual Meeting:

Saturday, October 26, 2:00 to 4:00 PM
Community Assembly Room
50 Middlesex Avenue, Somerville
(at the corner of Foley Street and Middlesex Avenue)

In addition to electing board members and officers and reviewing the past year, the agenda will include a presentation on the Community Assembly Room and, weather permitting, a walk along Foley Street to view the ongoing transformation of Assembly Square.

We look forward to seeing you there.

Sincerely,

David Dahlbacka
President, Mystic View Task Force

10/10/12 MVTF Annual Meeting Reply

Dear MVTF Supporters,

In 2012, Assembly Square is waking up.

The new Assembly Square Drive is open, and the MBTA has begun building the Orange Line T-Stop at Assembly Square. Federal Realty Investment Trust (FRIT) and Avalon Bay are building mixed-use developments on blocks 1, 3, and 4 on the river side of the site.  SSG Development is building a self-storage facility with community amenities at 50 Middlesex Avenue, across from Foley Street. Another developer, FR Assembly Square, is building a restaurant at Block 10, on the edge of the mall parking lot.

Meanwhile, IKEA has decided not to build a store at Assembly Square, and the City is taking steps toward acquiring the IKEA site by eminent domain. This provides Somerville with a rare opportunity. To meet the goals of the Comprehensive Plan, we need to make sure that the rest of Assembly Square is built out with high-value real estate such as research and development.

In addition to keeping an eye on Assembly Square:

  • We are monitoring the implementation of the City’s Comprehensive Plan rolled out early this year. Zoning changes have been proposed in Union Square and Porter Square and planned for Winter Hill. Discussion is continuing.
  • We are monitoring progress on the Green Line Extension, due to complete in 2018. Bridge demolition is being planned and stations are being designed. Efforts are underway to remove the McCarthy Overpass on Route 28 near Union Square.
  • We are tracking selected public meetings and posting them on the Somerville Voices Beat Reporter blog.  If you would like to subscribe to the weekly emails, send an e-mail to dd@whyisthisimportant.net.You can also subscribe to the Beat Reporter RSS feed at http://www.somervillevoices.org/category/beat-reporter/.
  • We are undertaking a major revision of the MVTF web site to convert it into a community blog, tentatively named the Somerville Development Forum. Whereas the Beat Reporter blog tracks ongoing events, the Development Forum will be a place where the Somerville community can learn the principles of sustainable development and discuss how to apply them to our special requirements.

For more on our efforts, please come to our Annual Meeting, Wednesday, October 10, from 7:30 to 9:30 PM, at the Third Life Studio, 33 Union Square, Somerville.

We look forward to seeing you there.

Sincerely,

David Dahlbacka
President, Mystic View Task Force