Union Square Main Streets Director Mimi Graney outlines what's happening with plans for a large proposed housing development in Union Square.
Thursday, January 31, 2013
Tuesday, October 16, 2012
The suspect in the Saturday morning robbery of Citizens Bank in Union Square was arrested early Tuesday morning at a Red Roof Inn in Salem, N.H.
The suspect in the Saturday morning robbery of Citizens Bank in Union Square was arrested early Tuesday morning at a Red Roof Inn in Salem, N.H., Somerville Police announced Tuesday morning. The suspect had already served time in federal prison for a previous bank robbery, according to the U.S. Marshals Service. The suspect, Michael Tucker, 45, was identified from the Citizens Bank surveillance photo by Westwood Police—he had been caught on video allegedly stealing lottery tickets from a Shell gas station, according to Westwood Police. Tucker was located at the hotel overnight, and agents from the FBI Violent Crimes Task Force, U.S. Marshals Service, Somerville Police and Salem Police converged on the hotel. Tucker was charged with …
Wednesday, September 19, 2012
The plan, if adopted, could significantly change the look of Union Square.
Members of the public Wednesday night will weigh in on a major plan that, if adopted, could significantly change the shape of Union Square in upcoming years. The Union Square Revitalization Plan, which was presented to the Somerville Board of Aldermen in August, would turn much of Union Square into a "revitalization district." Within that district, the Somerville Revitalization Plan targets seven specific areas as "development blocks" that the city, over time, hopes to redevelop into office, research and development, housing above retail, and restaurant space. Most immediately, the city plans to convert the so-called "North Prospect Block," between Prospect Street, Somerville Avenue and Allen Street, into an MBTA Green Line station with …
Thursday, June 28, 2012
It's slowed driving speeds, made life better for bikers and pedestrians, and could lead to more business in the square, the city argues. Others have disagreed.
A new method of parking in Union Square, called back-in angled parking, is working, according to an announcement from the city sent Wednesday. With normal angled parking, drivers pull forward into diagonally situated parking spaces. With back-in angled parking, drivers reverse into the spots. It requires them to pull in front of the spot, stop, then back in—similar to parallel parking, but not as complicated to finish the job. This new method, which accompanied a new single-lane traffic configuration on Bow Street, debuted in Union Square at the end of May, and almost immediately there was a mixed reaction. A Boston Herald article panned the initiative. And on Somerville Patch, some readers agreed. "The worst," one person commented. "This …
Wednesday, June 13, 2012
A debate about an affordable housing development in Union Square centers on a fundamental disagreement about one question: Are high-density affordable housing buildings good or bad for neighborhoods? (See poll at bottom.)
Last week, a group of Union Square residents picketed a community meeting about a planned affordable housing development in the neighborhood. The development, proposed by Somerville Community Corporation, would convert the former Boys & Girls Club building at 181 Washington St. into 40 units of affordable rental housing. One of the fundamental disagreements about the project has to do with the nature of affordable housing. The Somerville Community Corporation, a non-profit, is dedicated to supporting affordable housing initiatives because it believes a diverse housing stock leads to a stronger community. Members of Union Square Rising, the opposition group, say affordable housing is fine, but in moderation. Too much of it, concentrated in …
Wednesday, May 9, 2012
Run by a 20-year-old who spent much of his childhood in Somerville, Fortissimo opened in late April.
Vinny Soares is only 20 years old, and Fortissimo Coffeehouse is his baby. The new Union Square coffee shop opened April 23, and Soares said business is getting better every day. Asked his vision for the place, Soares said he wanted "great coffee [and] awesome food." The menu features panini, and the espresso is made from Italian beans roasted locally, he said. Soares, and his family, are not strangers to Union Square. His parents bought the site of the coffee shop, at 365 Somerville Ave., about ten years ago, Soares said. The family ran it for years as International Market. Soares said his parents also run some other businesses, including branches of Global Money Remittance, a money transfer operation. The family moved to Somerville from …
Tuesday, March 6, 2012
The store sold quirky gifts and locally made items, and it contributed to Union Square's overall character as a hip and creative place.
Grand, a Union Square boutique that sold clothing, housewares and quirky gifts, often designed or made by local artists and artisans, has closed, according to the store's website and Facebook page. In a Facebook update posted on Feb. 23, co-owners Wendy Friedman and Jonathan O'Toole announced that "After 4+ years, your friends at Grand are calling it a day and sailing off into the sunset of Somerville Ave. It's been real, but we're ready to move on to new ventures." "We just want to sincerely thank all of you who have supported us over the past 4 years," the two wrote. Somerville Patch, whose editor was on vacation at the time, called the store on March 5, but the phone line was already disconnected. Grand was arguably one of the …
Friday, September 23, 2011
A big, gooey reason to visit Union Square this weekend.
The big event in Somerville this weekend is the sixth annual "What the Fluff?" festival in Union Square. Fluff Fest organizers have been keeping an eye on the weather, and Friday morning announced, via Twitter, the festival is a go-ahead for Saturday. The festival commemorates marshmallow fluff, invented in Union Square by Archibald Query in 1917. The festival includes performances, games, activities, artwork and tons of other fluff-related stuff. About 10,000 are expected to attend, and traffic will be diverted around Union Square on Saturday for the event. Susan Olsen, who played Cindy on the Brady Bunch, is a VIP guest at the Fluff Festival this year. She'll make appearances throught the festival, including at the festival's "Brady …
Monday, August 8, 2011
Fire twirlers, lanterns and a giant dragon were part of Saturday's Hungry Tiger Street Festival in Union Square.
Inspired by the night markets of Asia, Saturday's Hungry Tiger Street Festival in Union Square featured lanterns, ethnic food stands, live music, fire twirlers, a giant dragon and more.