No Swedish meatballs in Assembly Square, the Herald reports.
Zipcar just breathed a sigh of relief.....
I'm kind of scratching my head at this one. I mean I get their reasoning. Apparently low-cost Swedish crap isn't a lucrative biz in the US anymore if they aren't opening up any stores for a couple of years.
However, they really are missing a good opportunity. Just with the college kids alone it would be a very successful store since it would be right ON the T. (folks, IKEA does sell smaller, carry-able stuff that isn't in huge flat boxes)
*shrug* maybe they thought Stoughton would suffer too much.
Anyhow this is still a win on a few levels, if Federal buys the lot and plans another phase of that project. With the T station going in right next to it, it will look very attractive to developers (as the article stated) since it can be built as TOD
AND I am sure the Mystic View Task Force breathed a sign of relief today. A TOD-type extension of what's already going in would bring in far less traffic than IKEA would have (daily road traffic). Since one would hope residents and visitors would primarily use the new T station.
Small apartments & no car applies to a lot of the greater Boston area. how can you thing a store with affordable small furniture isn't a good fit?
the store would have brought massive vehicular traffic from a clientele composed largely of public transit users. This was just a power play by political NIMBY's flexing their muscles and in this case, the rope a dope worked. It also is evidence that this town emulates San Francisco at any cost. Personally, I think Austin or Raleigh-Durham would have been a better exemplar but that's just me.
Reading the letter Ikea sent to Mayor Curtatone yesterday, I didn't see any evidence that they were pulling out for anything other than economic realities. The above comment about cannibalizing sales from Stoughton is relevant to this point.
Here is what they wrote to the Hon. Mayor of Somerville:
and a WickedLocal piece regarding the pullout:
Wicked Local Somerville
What I read from that is the economic of the situation, combined with the pressures from the City to get going on a development project that has otherwise started full steam ahead was the blockage for the Swedes.
Just my 2¢
That's what's likely killing Ikea's business model of selling low-cost furniture to young adults who are just starting out in life. Unfortunately their core demographic has been graduating school with record levels of student-loan debt and can't find jobs. They're mostly moving back home to live with Mom and Dad rather than renting apartments. That translates to a sharp drop in sales of entry-level furniture.
they could stop building that pointless Assembly Square station and either 1. buy new Orange or Red Line cars already or 2. if they want to build a new station, put it where people will actually use it. I can think of a few off the top of my head, like Edgeworth between Malden and Wellington, a Neponset station on the Red Line between JFK and North Quincy. The 90 and 92 Assembly Square buses carry relatively low loads to that area, this station is going to be a huge dud, even with the development they are building there. Look at Station Landing and River's Edge by Wellington, all of those people have cars. I predict Assembly Square station will be in the bottom 3 stations by ridership on the Orange Line pretty much permanently.
They might have cars but it doesn't mean they don't use transit. I haven't checked the ridership book figures but whenever I go to Oak Grove (not that often), I usually see a sizeable chunk of traffic coming/going at Wellington. The biggest impediment I see to the station's usefulness is that damned bridge. For being so close to the stores, it still feels like you're miles away when you get off the train.
If there's anything that would benefit the Orange Line though, it'd be taking the line all the way out to Reading.
There's almost nothing there yet. Other than Planet Fitness. The 92 only extends to Assembly Square during mid-day. The 90 runs every hour or so. It'll be a lot different after construction.
The federal government will contribute $25M for the Orange Line stop which will be owned and operated by the MBTA. Federal Investment Realty Trust will contribute $10M and IKEA $5M.
Not sure what'll happen to IKEA's share. But the money for this station isn't coming from the MBTA anyway. Fed money from grants can't just be shifted to other uses.
There are only so many stores and buildings they can put there. The only residential area near Assembly Square is Ten Hills, and the amount of people who will be drawn to the new station from that part of Somerville is minuscule. This station is a dud, will be a dud, and the plan has always been a dud.
I hope one or two of the Sullivan bus routes from the west are extended into Assembly Square. Having to transfer between an infrequent bus to an infrequent Orange Line for one stop means nobody from Cambridge or Somerville would ever want to take mass transit to that area.
Bussing on weekends and weeknights after nine through the end of the year because of the signal work, several years after they bussed for months on weekends and weeknights after nine because of signal work. It is a real pain in the neck and curtails my activities in Boston.
"Swedish Furniture Store Borked"?
If you look at the history, Ikea has pulled out of Somerville more times than a Frat boy during his first trip to a South End drag bar.
Enjoy your glory, Slumerville! The 12+ years of discouraging anyone from building there keeps you as a city rivaled only by East St Louis.