WGBH Asks: "With No IKEA, What's Next for Somerville's Assembly Square?"
Somerville Mayor Joseph Curtatone and Ellin Reisner of the Somerville Transportation Equity Partnership talked on WGBH radio about what IKEA's decision means for the city.
Callie Crossley, host of Boston Public Radio on WGBH, spoke to Somerville Mayor Joseph Curtatone and neighborhood activist Ellin Reisner Monday about IKEA's decision not to build in Assembly Square.
The two also spoke about the type of development they'd like to see built on the furniture company's 12 acres of land instead of an IKEA store.
Curtatone said IKEA's decision to pull out of the neighborhood is an opportunity for the city to "create more jobs and more tax revenues than an IKEA would have ever brought in."
"That site will sell and develop fast," he said.
In fiscal year 2012, the city, for tax purposes, valued IKEA's land at $18,301,200, and the company paid $399,881 to the city in taxes. That was enough to put the company on the city's list of top ten taxpayers.
Reisner said "I'm very happy about this change."
IKEA's decisions presents "a tremendous opportunity for the city … it is infrastructure ready, there is a T station that is opening up there, it is an ideal location," she said.
She talked about bringing research and development and office space to the parcel and noted the area, once the new Orange Line station is complete, would be "less than a 10 minute ride from Downtown Crossing."