For Immediate Release - September 03, 2014

GOVERNOR PATRICK CELEBRATES OPENING OF NEW ASSEMBLY MBTA STATION

First New MBTA Subway Station in 27 Years

Assembly Station Opening

Governor Deval Patrick is joined by Somerville Mayor Joseph A. Curtatone, state and local officials and Somerville business owners at the opening ceremony of the new Assembly Orange Line MBTA station. Assembly is the first new MBTA station in 27 years and is a key element in the creation of a transit-oriented development at Assembly Row, providing a vital transit link between Assembly Row and Boston. (Photo: Eric Haynes / Governor’s Office)

SOMERVILLE – Tuesday, September 2, 2014 –  Governor Deval Patrick today joined state and local officials and Somerville business owners at the opening ceremony of the new Assembly Orange Line MBTA station. Assembly is the first new MBTA station in 27 years and is a key element in the creation of a transit-oriented development at Assembly Row, providing a vital transit link between Assembly Row and Boston.

“We invest in infrastructure to catalyze private development, revitalize urban neighborhoods and bolster growth and opportunity across the Commonwealth,” said Governor Patrick. “The new Assembly Orange Line station is a concrete reminder of what can be achieved through public-private partnership and investment in our communities.”

Assembly is the first new MBTA subway station to be opened since the southern portion of the Orange Line was moved from the Washington Street Elevated Line to the Southwest Corridor in 1987 (Tufts, Back Bay, Massachusetts Avenue, Ruggles, Roxbury Crossing, Jackson Square, Stony Brook, Green Street and Forest Hills all opened on May 4, 1987). The Assembly station design includes a glass two-story entrance building at the corner of Foley and G Streets, with stairs, escalators and elevators leading to a glazed glass bridge crossing G Street and the inbound track. The bridge connects to another glass 2-story building between the inbound and outbound tracks, where transit riders will pass through the fare array and travel down to platform level on another stair, escalator or elevators. The new station has integrated intuitive design and is fully accessible and compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). The daily projected ridership at the Assembly station is expected to be between 4,800 and 5,400 passengers by 2030.

“When I worked almost ten years ago to secure federal funding for a new Orange Line transit stop, this vibrant center of employment, retail and residential opportunities was very much a work in progress,” said Congressman Mike Capuano. “More than $16 million in federal tax dollars contributed to the construction of this station and I am thrilled to be here today celebrating the grand opening of Somerville’s newest T stop  in the heart of a transformed Assembly Square.”

“A demand for enhanced access to transit, for smart development centered on transportation access and for livable, workable communities has been heard loud and clear by this Administration,” said MassDOT Secretary & CEO Richard A. Davey. “The opening of the new Assembly station today is a direct response to that demand that will provide easy, affordable access to rapid transit in this new neighborhood of Somerville.”

“The first new MBTA station in 27 years is a testament to the key role that access to transportation plays in the growth and redevelopment of our cities and towns,” said MBTA General Manager Dr. Beverly Scott. “Assembly is a modern, fully accessible, environmentally-friendly Orange Line station that will serve this blossoming new neighborhood and the City of Somerville well for years to come.”

The station’s design also includes sustainable and environmentally-friendly elements such as extensive daylighting, storm water retention, and energy-conserving electrical power controls and lighting fixtures. The station features passive solar power design; which allows the building windows, walls, and floors to collect, store, and distribute solar energy in the form of heat in the winter and reject solar heat in the summer, without using electricity.

“Assembly Row is an excellent example of a well-rounded development project that aligns our jobs, housing and transportation needs to better serve our residents,” said Housing and Economic Development Secretary Greg Bialecki. “Through these types of collaborative efforts we are making our communities great places to live, work and play.”

The development will include more than 2.8 million square feet of office space, 635,000 square feet of retail, restaurant and entertainment uses, and 1,813 homes. It will feature public benefits like a waterfront park, open space, and new bike and pedestrian paths connecting existing neighborhoods with the new development. 

“The opening of the Orange Line Assembly Station is a win not only for Somerville but for the Commonwealth, and I want to especially thank Governor Patrick for his deep commitment to this project and to forward-looking transportation policy overall,” said Somerville Mayor Joseph A. Curtatone. “The smart, transit-oriented development taking place around this T-stop that our community outlined in our SomerVision plan will not only connect more workers and residents to sustainable and healthy transit. It represents tens of thousands of construction and permanent jobs, more than a billion dollars in private investment into our local economy, and a commitment to the infrastructure we need to thrive in a 21st century economy. As we get projects like this moving forward, we get the entire state moving forward.”

The Assembly Square site was initially developed as a Ford Motor assembly plant. After the plant closed in 1958, and other industrial uses there and nearby failed over the next 20 years, the area became an urban renewal site where a traditional retail mall was built. The City of Somerville then transformed the vision for the area into what eventually evolved into what is now “Assembly Row” with Federal Realty Investment Trust (FRIT) as the master developer. The new Orange Line station and other state infrastructure investments have been critical in triggering over $1.4 billion in private investment, and in making this a walkable, transit-oriented development.

“The new T station at Assembly Square is exactly the kind of public transportation investment that we need to continue to make to spur economic growth and provide transit options for residents, visitors and employees to reach commercial centers such as the redeveloped Assembly Row,” said Senator Thomas M. McGee. 

"It's gratifying that our long-held community vision of Assembly Square is becoming reality,” said Representative Denise Provost. “The new Orange Line station will now connect our vibrant new neighborhood and beautiful river with Greater Boston. I'm grateful for the role that MassDOT and MBTA have played in making this progress happen."

“The development of an Assembly Row T station has been a true public and private partnership as Federal Realty, the Commonwealth of Massachusetts and the City of Somerville have come together to improve a city’s economic future and connect a region through public transit investments,” said Don Briggs, President of Federal Realty Boston. “Assembly Row is a neighborhood unfolding that is now more accessible to all of Boston and beyond. From nationally known outlet retail to locally loved dining, interstate access to corporate campus amenities, Assembly Row is quickly becoming one of the region’s top destinations for the next-generation of work, live, shop, eat and play. ”

The new Assembly station is a true public-private partnership, funded through a combination of federal, state and private investment. The total cost of the station is $56 million with the Executive Office of Housing & Economic Development contributing $25 million through a MassWorks grant, $16 million in federal funds and a $15 million investment from Federal Realty Investment Trust, the developers of the Assembly Row project.

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