STATE ISSUES $10 MILLION IN I-CUBED NOTES FOR ASSEMBLY SQUARE IN SOMERVILLE, THE FIRST USE OF THIS INNOVATIVE ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT PROGRAM
Mixed use project will create thousands of jobs and result in a regional employment hub through the leveraging of state and federal resources
The Massachusetts Development Finance Agency has issued a $10 million note on behalf of the Assembly Square Project in Somerville, the first to receive funding through the I-Cubed program. The I-Cubed funds will support the first phase of public infrastructure improvements at Assembly Square, primarily roadway infrastructure to facilitate construction of an IKEA store. The first phase in development of this key site is expected to create 500 new jobs. By final build-out, the project is expected to create thousands of permanent jobs and spur long-term growth.
"Assembly Square is a great project for the Commonwealth, and I am excited to see it moving forward," said Governor Patrick. "This project will put people to work and deliver a host of economic, housing and community benefits to the region."
The "Assembly on the Mystic" project, located within one of the Patrick-Murray Administration's Growth Districts, will revitalize a 66.5 acre neglected industrial site in Somerville. In addition to supporting IKEA, the first phase of construction will create roadway infrastructure improvements that will also assist the new MBTA Orange Line station at Assembly Square, public parks, and public roadways to serve the full scale of the project. Once completed, Assembly Square will be a mixed-use, transit-oriented development with 18 buildings, 2,100 residential units, 1.8 million square feet of office space, 1.1 million square feet of retail space that includes restaurants and a cinema, and a 160-200 room hotel. The Administration, MassDevelopment, the City of Somerville and FR Sturtevant Street LLC, the project's developer and a subsidiary of Federal Realty Investment Trust, have been working collaboratively together to move this project forward.
"Particularly in these challenging economic times, targeted investments like the Assembly Square Project are vital to the Commonwealth," said Administration and Finance Secretary Jay Gonzalez. "I am happy to see that our innovative I-Cubed program is working to help create new jobs and set Massachusetts on course for growth."
Governor Patrick announced in July that more than $65 million in state bond and federal stimulus funding commitments will support public infrastructure improvements at Assembly Square, which are necessary to accelerate the project. I-Cubed, a bond-funded program designed to generate private investment and economic growth, creates a partnership among a developer, a host community and the Commonwealth. This tool helps municipalities and developers fund street, sidewalk, water, sewer and other infrastructure projects that ignite private development and stimulate the economy. I-Cubed financings are paid from the new state tax revenues generated from the related private development.
"The Assembly Square investment, coupled with the millions of federal dollars we've pumped into it, will help Somerville attract new businesses and investments, create thousands of new jobs and deliver housing, dining and shopping. Carpenters, painters, architects and engineers will build a modern space, and a cleaner Mystic River," said Senator John Kerry.
"I am a strong supporter of the Assembly Square project and am pleased that progress is being made on this initiative, which will help create jobs and provide other economic opportunities for the region," said Congressman Michael Capuano.
"These funds will allow the City of Somerville to reclaim its waterfront along the Mystic River," said Somerville Mayor Joseph A. Curtatone. "The Assembly Square project is critical to the continued growth and vitalization of our community, placing housing, offices and retail along a stretch of river long blocked off to our residents by highways and heavy industry."
"This puts us one step closer to transforming this underused industrial site into a revenue generator for the Commonwealth," said MassDevelopment President and CEO Robert L. Culver. "More jobs, more transportation and more smart-growth development are arriving in Somerville."
MassDevelopment, the state's finance and development authority, works with businesses, financial institutions, and communities to stimulate economic growth across the Commonwealth. During FY2009, MassDevelopment financed or managed 229 projects statewide representing the investment of nearly $1.2 billion in the Massachusetts economy. These projects are supporting the creation of 1,488 new housing units and 8,232 jobs: 3,362 permanent and 4,870 construction-related.
"This is exactly the sort of investment that the state needs to be making in economic development," said Senator Patricia Jehlen. "This funding will go toward necessary investment in infrastructure, from roadways to water and sewer and utilities, in a way that is accountable and transparent. The Assembly Square project is a great thing for Somerville and the region. It will create jobs and spur growth with an environmentally friendly, transit oriented development."
"This announcement represents a major step forward for one of the most exciting current development projects in the state. The success of the Assembly Square project to-date is a testament to the hard work and collaboration of leaders from a wide spectrum of public and private interests on the local, state and federal level from community groups to Mayor Curtatone to our federal delegation. I am particularly thankful to Governor Patrick for committing to support the project with targeted public infrastructure investments through I-Cubed, which will help significantly to ensure the long-term success of the development," said Representative Timothy J. Toomey Jr.
"It's excellent timing to have this funding become available now. I'm hopefully that the redevelopment of Assembly Square will mean good jobs for Somerville residents this summer, and I'm grateful to the Patrick Administration for prioritizing this important project," said Representative Denise Provost.