IKEA, which owns a large parcel of land in Assembly Square, will "make an announcement very soon about who they're selling to," Somerville Mayor Joseph Curtatone said Wednesday night at a Ward 4 ResiStat meeting.
IKEA first bought land in Assembly Square in the 1990s, and the Swedish company's plans for the location were a longstanding subject of speculation in Somerville until July, when the furniture giant announced it was not building in the city.
Curtatone, speaking after the meeting, did not know when IKEA would make the announcement, but said it would be very soon, very likely before Christmas and possibly within days.
In terms of who would be taking over the parcel and what would be built there, the mayor said, "I expect an extension of the neighborhood" currently under construction in Assembly Square, referring to the new Assembly Row. "It may be part of a mixed-use plan," he said.
The mayor said a large retailer would likely be part of any plans at the site as part of broader development. "I expect anything to have a major anchor there," he said.
"It will not be a 35,000 square-foot box store," he stressed.
In terms of speculation, an "extension of the neighborhood" could mean that Federal Realty Investment Trust, the developers of Assembly Row, snatched up the IKEA parcel. Again, that's speculation.
The mayor said the new owners of the land will "open up opportunities" in the area.