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Union Square Gym Members Rally Against Theoretical Eminent Domain Taking

Supporters of CrossFit Somerville and others spoke at a public hearing Wednesday about the proposed Union Square Revitalization Plan.

Members of CrossFit Somerville, a gym in Union Square, came out in force Wednesday night to tell members of the Somerville Board of Aldermen they don't want their gym taken by eminent domain.

The city has no immediate plans to do so, but the gym's building, 35 Prospect St., is identified as an "acquisition  parcel" in the Union Square Revitalization Plan, which the mayor's office released in August.

Approximately 15 members of the gym spoke at a public hearing about the revitalization plan held by the Board of Aldermen's Housing and Community Development Committee.

Other speakers included individuals representing the Somerville Chamber of Commerce, Union Square Main Streets and Somerville Local First.

A gym community speaks out

David Stark, a gym member, talked about "soulless retailers" and character-less condo developments moving into Union Square and changing the neighborhood.

J.T. Scott, owner of the gym, said, "I believe in the revitalization of Union Square. That's why I purchased the property."

He said it would be difficult to develop his business with "the threat of seizure hanging over our head."

In fact, most of the speakers at Wednesday's hearing supported CrossFit and asked the Board of Aldermen to amend the revitalization plan so the gym wouldn't be considered an acquisition property.

The plan

The plan targets seven specific areas in Union Square as "development blocks" that the city, over time, hopes to redevelop into office, research and development, housing above retail, and restaurant space.

Read more about the plan here, route: {:controller=>"articles", :action=>"show", :id=>"city-releases-major-plan-for-redevelopment-of-union-square"} -->

Elizabeth Rose September 20, 2012 at 12:49 PM
development, gentrification and growth are not always good things. I don't want a new library... I want to revitalize the historic one we already have. The plan is going to make Union new, generic and devoid of the charm that makes it interesting and attractive.
AHM September 23, 2012 at 07:23 PM
Having been through the eminent domain process in Somerville once, it is not a pleasant experience. Wait until you see how much help they are not once they got you. I agree with the previous poster but I know that it does not matter what the people want.
Aburel Viorica November 15, 2012 at 02:14 PM
I think that this article is more to inform us but we are not actualy able to do something about this. www.friv-town.com

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