Curtatone said the development is expected to bring in $17 million in tax revenue when finished. “And that number will go up,” he said.
Alderman at Large Bill White said Assembly Square’s value to the city is the growth in tax revenue from businesses.
“I think the key for the city is to have more commercial development for Assembly Square as opposed to residential development,” he said. “Commercial properties pay a higher tax rate and Somerville has a small commercial tax base. That would shift the tax burden off of residential homeowners.
“One way to do that is to have large office and research and development buildings. That brings office workers into the city.”
Included in the public investment is $29 million to build a new stop on the MBTA’s Orange Line next to Assembly Row, expected to open in 2014.
Work crews will spend most of next year building the station’s structure and station systems, including electrical, plumbing, and wiring, MBTA spokesman Joseph Pesaturo said. “There will be more traffic but the Orange Line stop and walking and biking can cut the traffic in half,” said Zamore. The original plans projected 100,000 car trips a day to the site, but the new plans indicate only 50,000, he said.
“Long-term, the more people that we have and employ in the urban core, the lower the total energy consumption and greenhouse gas consumption by the people of Massachusetts,” Zamore said. “Energy use, especially from transportation, gets cut in half when you have people living and working in the urban core.”
The new Orange Line station will be the conduit, White said.
“I think once the T stop is complete, it will make Assembly Square a much more attractive site for offices and research and development,” he said.
“It brings workers to Somerville and that means that they’re going to be spending money in the community. That generates a higher property tax revenue and places less demands on city services.”
Globe correspondent Liam O’Kennedy contributed to this story. Jarret Bencks can be reached at Bencks.Globe@gmail.com.