'Odds Don't Look Good' For Somerville IKEA, Says Boston Biz Journal
An IKEA spokesperson said the Stoughton store "removed the urgency that may have existed in the mid 2000s" to open in Somerville, according to a Boston Business Journal Report on CBS Boston.
Perhaps the writing's been on the wall for a while when it comes to the long-awaited Somerville IKEA, but according to a report from CBS Boston and the Boston Business Journal, "The odds don't look good for a Somerville store."
The TV affiliate and newspaper note that IKEA still hasn't made a decision about whether or not to open in Somerville, but that lack of a decision may indicate the project is dead.
It points out that IKEA opened just one store in the United States last year, and it opened none in 2010.
IKEA, the Swedish flat-pack furniture giant, has been eyeing Somerville as a possible site for a store since the mid 1990s, and it owns land in Assembly Square, but over the years a land-swap deal with Federal Realty Investment Trust, developer of Assembly Row, a lawsuit involving residents and then the downturn in the economy have prevented the store from getting built.
Meanwhile, IKEA opened a store in Stoughton in 2005, and a spokesperson for IKEA told the Boston Business Journal, "We already have a store in Stoughton, Mass., and that removed the urgency that may have existed in the mid 2000s."
The CBS Boston/Boston Business Journal report also quotes Somerville Alderman William White as saying, "I am operating under the assumption they will not build it ... I can’t imagine a last-minute scenario that would green light the project given the state of the economy."
Taxes and land value in Assembly Square
While IKEA has been sitting on the sidelines, it's also been paying some of the most corporate taxes in the city, and it recently made the list of the city's top-ten taxpayers. In fiscal year 2012, it's land was assessed at $18,301,200 and it paid $399,881 in taxes.
Speaking on a Mayor's Report show on the city's cable station in March, Somerville Mayor Joseph Curtatone said about IKEA, "We want them here. If they come, that would be great. If they don't, well, we'll move forward."
He said, "We've created a lot of value in Assembly Square … we've created value for every land owner there, and we're absolutely positive and firm that, if it's not IKEA, we'll be able to develop that ten acres and be very successful at doing it."