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Somerville's Union Square project attracting major developers

Posted by Brock Parker  February 6, 2014 05:00 PM

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Somerville is seeking a master developer to maximize the use of parcels identified in the city's Union Square Revitalization Plan.

Developers of some of the Greater Boston area's largest projects are showing interest in becoming the master developer for Union Square and Boynton Yards in Somerville.

Mayor Joseph Curtatone's office said Thursday that the city has received 10 responses to a request for qualifications released by the Somerville Redevelopment Authority in December to find partner to develop what could be more than two million square feet in the Union Square area.

The MBTA's Green Line Extension project is expected to build and open a new T stop in the square by late 2016 or early 2017, and the city has identified a number of parcels that could be redeveloped into new commercial, residential and retail space.

Among the developers who responded to the city's request for qualifications are The HYM Investment Group, which is developing North Point on the Somerville-Cambridge line and redeveloping the Government Center garage in Boston.

The Fallon Company, which was the master developer of Fan Pier in Boston's Fort Point neighborhood, has also responded, along with a development team of National Development and Federal Realty Investment Trust, which are separately developing the Ink Block in Boston;s South End and Assembly Row in Somerville.

Other developers include Chicago-based Magellan Development Group and Oregon-based Gerding Edlen, according to a press released from the city.

The Redevelopment Authority along with a Union Square Civic Advisory Committee and city staff will now begin reviewing the qualifications and will identify a short list of qualified candidates, according to the city. Finalists will then be interviewed and then invited to submit proposal for the project for a final evaluation.

"I'm encouraged that we received responses from renowned developers with impressive credentials and a proven track record in building exactly what the community seeks in Union Square--true-mixed use developments that create office, retail and community space and residences centered around public transportation , while blending with and existing neighborhood," Curtatone said in a statement released Thursday.

The city will require that the master developer chosen for the project work closely with property owners to explore opportunities and the joint development of designated parcels. The developer will also be expected to establish mutually agreed upon fair market value for any parcel that will be acquired.

Other developers who have responded to the city's request for qualifications are The Abbey Group, The Community Builders, KSS Realty Partners with RedGate Real Estate, Samuels and Associates and Trinity Financial, which has formed a development team with The Davis Companies.

--Brock.parker@globe.com

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