Assembly Row Developers to Build Supermarket on IKEA Site

Federal Realty Investment Trust and IKEA have signed a purchase and sale agreement on 12 acres of land in Assembly Square, the developers announced.

the developers of Assembly Row, have agreed to purchase the 12 acres of land in Assembly Square owned by IKEA, and they plan to build a supermarket there along with office and residential space, according to an announcement from Federal Realty Investment Trust.

Although Assembly Row's developers and IKEA have signed an agreement, the deal will be not become final until after Federal Realty Investment Trust conducts due dilligence on the site and its development potential, a process that could take months, the announcement says.

The sale price was not disclosed according to the announcement and the Boston Globe.

The IKEA parcel will add land to Assembly Row's $1.5 billion development in Assembly Square, which will contain residential, retail, office and restaurant space. Among other things, Federal Realty Investment Trust plans to bring high-end outlet stores and a new movie theater to its development. The six-acre waterfront park along the Mystic River is getting a facelift, and the MBTA is building a new Orange Line stop in the neighbohood, which should be open in 2014.

As for the IKEA parcel, "The vision for the 12 acre parcel would include mixed use buildings including office, medical office, residential, and a regional grocer as a major element in the overall design plan," Don Briggs, Federal Realty Investment Trust's top executive at Assembly Row, said in a statement.

IKEA, which first purchased land in Somerville's Assembly Square in the 1990s and was long speculated to bring one of it's massive flat-pack furniture warehouse stores to the city, decided in July not to build there.

Somerville Mayor Joseph Curtatone, speaking in early December about the imminent sale of the IKEA parcel, said it would "open up opportunities" in the area.

In a statement issued about the purchase and sale agreement, Curtatone said, "I could not be more delighted about this announcement, including the grocery store component. We were sorry to lose IKEA, which has been a responsible development partner, but Federal’s plan will be even better for our city.”      

Sam Franklin December 11, 2012 at 05:36 PM
Great spot for a large Market Basket or a Wegman's to come in. Hope it's not another Whole Foods or Trader Joe.
AHM December 11, 2012 at 06:41 PM
Although they would be the stores most of us in Somerville would want the area is going to be upper end to most of us here in Somerville, at least many of us old timers here. SO I would expect some super Whole Foods just for the special people who will be living there. Anything affordable here is usually not welcome anymore.
BMS December 11, 2012 at 07:22 PM
There is a large Market Basket in Chelsea. BJ's just beyond Kappy's in Medford. Stop and Shop accross from Foss Park. I hope this is pure speculation. Another supermarket is the last thing Somerville needs.
Courtney O'Keefe December 11, 2012 at 08:27 PM
Somewhat sad that a Somerville-based news source has to get their information from the Boston Globe. Shouldn't the Somerville media be the first to know?
Rand Wilson December 11, 2012 at 09:55 PM
This is a great opportunity to re-visit the development process in Assembly Sq. and possibly win some important concessions for the community. If we are active during the permitting process, we have a good opportunity to raise questions about the quality of the jobs that will be created and if they will be union, local hiring, training opportunities, transportation and other community concerns.
AHM December 12, 2012 at 01:12 AM
This whole development is really a city in it's own. It should have it own mayor and city hall and whatever else it needs. The long time residents of Somerville have nothing here for them. It will be a community of it's own. The more it progresses the more obvious it becomes that most of us will have little or no reason to go there or have anything to do with it. They are talking high end shopping and restaurants most of us have no intrest in or can afford it. The average blue collar worker and retired person here will not be able to afford anything there which makes up a good part of the population here in Somerville. But for a select few they will be happy with it. And we kicked out some great long time businesses for this. Shame.
Paul Lowenstein December 12, 2012 at 12:23 PM
BJ's you have to pay to join (and is not for everyone, especially those without families) and Chelsea is just too far and too much trouble to get to from Somerville (plus the roads and traffic are awful). Seeing as Stop and Shop is the only player (especially since Star Market left Broadway) for those nearby, anew supermarket makes sense. But I agree, although I love TJs, a more affordable market should go there. MB would be perfect!
kevin thomas crowley December 12, 2012 at 12:35 PM
i do not know why we keep calling unassembled square " somerville's newest neighborhood." the owner's call their land "boston's newest neighborhood." we should respect their wishes. AHM you are probably right that there will be little reason for the average somervillian to visit boston's newest neighborhood. and you are probably right that whatever ends up there will be upper-end-expensive.but i got an alternative right here in the heart of the city. if you need to move, you can RENT a 2 bedroom apartment for a mere $4,000.00 a month at Maxwells Green( emphasis on green). too much you say? well they got a deal for you. for only $2,000.00 a month you can rent a 500 sq. ft. apartment.
Joe Beckmann December 12, 2012 at 01:55 PM
Ahh, so finally this is where they'll put the Walmart grocer! Ha! Upscale is whatever they can get from whomever they can get it from.
cp kostos December 12, 2012 at 02:38 PM
Think jobs people! We have ,within 3-4 miles of this site, some of the world's best think tanks and bio companies. Why does this plan call for 1 story brick and mortar retail. The skyline is the limit here. Cap the building heights at 12 stories and go underground with parking garages. Create Somerville's own "SKYLINE". We'd have plenty of jobs, no new schools for the occupants, a direct link to MIT, and the world's largest biotech industry, R&D, clean environment, no pollution or manufacturing, all overlooking the waterfront. The rents would be cheaper than Cambridge, the 9-5 employees will bring spendable cash and tax dollars to the city. WE WOULD CREATE A HUGE PROPERTY TAX BASE!!!! and JOBS JOBS JOBS! Come on City Hall don't screw up this opportunity! Just thinking out loud. What do I know I've only experienced 40 years in the real estate business.
AHM December 12, 2012 at 04:29 PM
$4000 a month. They take section 8?(I would like to make $2000 a month)
AHM December 12, 2012 at 04:33 PM
Market Basket could make another problem. If they are the ones to build there will they kill off the Somerville Ave one and then we will have another Winter Hill, Alwife problem for the elderly who need a store within walking distance. BUt then we don't know for sure who they have in mind yet for the spot.
steve andrews December 12, 2012 at 09:15 PM
steve andrews December 12, 2012 at 09:24 PM
shaws would be great since winter hill was good when we had it it is now an eyesore a assebly eow super shaws open 24/7 like the prudential store liquor fine wine wine tastings (free booze in somerville!) and a dd. no pharmacy but thats a possibility like twin city. shaws assebly row - live all night! just think about it! but the homeless go into the pru store at all hours - i know the manager there - brian - he said - your not gonna believe the shit i see in here. one guy was jying down on the floor! but it would be a convienence to me and others and of corse ass row crowdd when avalon ass.. row is finished..
Somerville Home Owner December 12, 2012 at 10:53 PM
AHM: You might be right that development might be geared towards higher income folks, but it's not about "affordable not being welcome anymore". It's about business people trying to make the biggest profit, and the climate right now in the Boston metro is that there is large demand for urban living by people with money.
Somerville Home Owner December 12, 2012 at 10:57 PM
AHM: The idea is to develop the Somerville economy by building density that supports more businesses. The type of businesses that survive there are yet to be seen. They may be high end, they may not be. But if businesses thrive, that's a good thing for everyone in Somerville.
Somerville Home Owner December 12, 2012 at 11:03 PM
I agree. It's a big opportunity, but we are competing with South Boston waterfront that already has a head start. I think we can still create something great here, but I'm concerned that suburban style parking restrictions, etc will screw things up. I hope not.
Somerville Home Owner December 12, 2012 at 11:04 PM
please proof read your comments. I have no clue what you are saying.
AHM December 12, 2012 at 11:38 PM
Home owner, I have accepted the way this city is changing and the so called progress thing. I have been here over 60 years and it is clear to myself and many others that we have to change. Others like myself are looking into where to move to. I have been carefully looking around myself. Almost all of my friends and family are now out of here. I know I can't spend the rest of my life here like I expected. I blame Curatone for this but it may have not been any different with anyone else. But mostly because of the direction the city is taking. I do know a lot of people in Somerville both personal and business which is why I sort of know what many people want and would like. We lost a lot of business here because of the anti business nature of the city for several years. It worked out great for many years until that started and businesses were forced out of Somerville. This is quickly becoming a place for higher income younger people. It's obviously geared in that direction. My goal is to be out of here within the next 10 years. Would be sooner but I have parents to take care of and I don't want to put them through that. My income no longer will support this city. I have to go to city hall after the first of the year and see what happens if I stop paying my taxes until such time I can leave. I am not alone with this problem here.
Somerville Home Owner December 13, 2012 at 12:39 AM
AHM: I understand what you are saying. I don't think Curtatone is to blame for this trend. I think it's the change in demographics of the region with more high paying jobs in Boston & Cambridge, and the shift in attitudes of the younger generation that want to live in urban areas. With that said, to me it seems that Somerville is still accommodating to people earning less than upper-middle class. Those with money are still in the minority. But I guess my perspective is skewed. I've only been here for 6 years.
Tammey Potter December 13, 2012 at 02:46 AM
People are saying that these stores will bring employment to our community...well as a renter we will all need SECOND jobs soon because the rental amounts are ridiculous and the rent in my neighborhood has been heights (including my building , with 3 rent increases in a year for my whole building ) because of the lanlord saying the property taxes have been going higher and higher ....all these glamorous new businesses are going to kill the people struggling to work , pay rent and raise our children!!! These upscale outlets are going to push many families in the area to move to other cities which makes me sad because Somerville is my childrens home !!!
steve andrews December 13, 2012 at 05:40 AM
it would ve nice to see a shaws there
AHM December 13, 2012 at 11:30 AM
It will get worse here. Sorry to say. Even as a homeowner I am not in the right tax bracket to afford it here anymore myself. But from what I see the jobs there are not going to support living here in Somerville. I hope I am wrong about that but I don't see anything but maybe slightly above minimum wage jobs there so far. There are 2 more tax increases coming in soon
AHM December 13, 2012 at 11:33 AM
I don't think so. They said local grocery store. Roche Bros., and Market Basket would seem to be the choices by that statement. I haven't seen the McKinnons grocery store yet so I don't know how large they are in comparison. Maybe that's another choice.
steve andrews December 13, 2012 at 07:15 PM
allright - market basket then..


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