Real estate developers Vincent and Douglas Beaudet are seeking to build a 14-unit condo building with ground-level retail at the corner of Prospect Street and Webster Avenue near Union Square—a parcel identified for redevelopment as part of the Union Square Revitalization Plan released in 2012.
It's a project that, if approved, could foreshadow broader changes in an industrial section of Union Square that's pegged to be home to a new Green Line station.
The site of the proposed condo building, at 70 Prospect St., is the current location of U-Save Auto & Truck Rental, which consists of a modest two-story office building and garage along with its accompanying car lot.
The new condo building would be a five-story structure with a somewhat modern design and a curved triangular facade, like that of New York's Flatiron Building, at the corner of Webster and Prospect.
It's a parcel that's part of the so-called West Prospect Block that's outlined in the Union Square Revitalization Plan, which seeks to outline major redevelopment efforts in Union Square over the next few decades.
The proposed condo building is also about half a block away from where the new MBTA station would be built as part of the Green Line Extension.
At a meeting held Monday night about the project, Somerville's director of planning, George Proakis, said, "It's an exciting time for Union Square because so much is about to happen."
That said, he acknowledged the challenge with the proposed condo building at 70 Prospect: figuring out "where it works in the existing context and [how] it will be a contribution in the future context" of a changing Union Square.
The building would have about 1,500 square feet of retail space on the ground level, possibly with a coffee shop, according to Richard DiGirolamo, a lawyer representing the developers.
On top of that would be four stories of condos, which would be two-bedroom units, each with about 1,100 square feet of space.
At Monday's meeting, some neighbors expressed concerns with parking at the building. With 14 condo units, it would have 14 parking spaces. Some neighbors thought that wouldn't be enough parking, and they feared cars would spill into nearby street spots.
Proakis noted the building would be near transit—assuming the Green Line eventually arrives—and said, "We don't want to create suburban style parking options" near transit because "you lose the walkability of the neighborhood."
Some neighbors also felt the building would add traffic to already busy Prospect Street.
Ward 2 Alderman Maryann Heuston said about that part of Union Square, "In about three to five years this place is going to look completely different." In the meantime, she said, "It's an inelegant period" for the neighborhood as potential new developments lead to construction.
Proakis said the project could be discussed by the Planning Board later this month, likely on Feb. 21.
DiGirolamo said developers are hoping to begin construction sometime in late spring and that the project would take about a year to build.