Boston Real Estate Law News - Find a MA Real Estate Attorney

Somerville Moves Forward With Union Square Redevelopment

Officials in Somerville originally threw out the idea of renewing the Union Square area. The redevelopment plans promised to renew the industrial scrap yards at Prospect Street and breathe new life into the area.

Now, the plans have been approved by the Somerville Redevelopment Authority, reports Wicked Local Somerville.

The long-term plan was approved on October 9.

The plan proposes to take up 117 acres of land in Union Square. Mayor Joe Curatone envisioned a vibrant neighborhood with businesses and residential developments.

The first step for approval of the plan was to submit it to the Board of Aldermen. The Board approved the plan earlier this month.

The next step would involve taking the plan to the state for approval.

The first phase of the plan, costing $8 million, would call for the purchase of several properties for the building of the future Union Square Green Line Stop. The MBTA and MassDOT approved the construction of the Green Line station earlier this year.

The area was rezoned back in 2009. Zoning is the first step in any planned redevelopment, large or small. In an area that was once industrial, zoning plays a critical role as the municipal laws dictate what types of properties can be erected on any given parcel.

Zoning is essential to city planning. But for developers, it can present a minefield. Nothing can be built unless zoning regulations permit it to be built. For example, if a developer wants to erect a housing development, the developer must check with local ordinances to ensure that the zoning allows for residential units.

The current zoning in Union Square permits for a mixed use development, with both commercial and residential units.

The Green Line station is expected to be completed in 2017.

Related Resources: