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Green Line Extension FINALLY Underway

National and local officials including U.S. Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao, Governor Charlie Baker and Somerville Mayor Joe Curtatone took part in the groundbreaking for the Green Line extension earlier this week.  The much anticipated project recently received a $225 million grant from the Federal Transit Administration to restart what appeared to be a stalled enterprise. This grant is the 2nd installment of a $996 million Full Funding Grant Agreement the FTA has signed with the MBTA to extend the Green line through Somerville into Medford.

Set to include seven new stations, replacement or rehab of eight bridges, and a new bike path, the nearly 5 miles of track will help cut down on daily vehicle travel by 25,728 miles and has also fostered transit oriented development throughout Somerville.  New projects like The Sphere in Ball Square and Union Square Apartments  have already opened in anticipation of this new service while other developers look for opportunities as the project progresses.

In total this expansion is expected to cost around $2.3 billion with hopes to have the service up and running by late 2021.

Below are BLDUP's most active* Boston-area new-construction multifamily buildings as of May 2018. All of these buildings are either approved,  under construction, or recently completed. Each building contains either apartments or condominiums; a number of buildings are mixed-use and contain retail space.

*Most active based on page traffic.

1. The Hub on Causeway

Bulfinch Triangle - Boston

Projected Opening: Late 2018 (Phase One)

The Hub on Causeway is a 1.87 million square foot mixed-use development featuring three towers with retail, office, hotel and residential uses. The Hub on Causeway will be constructed in three phases.Completion of Phase One of The Hub on Causeway is expected in late 2018. Phase Two will consist of a 38-story residential tower with approximately 440 units and a 10-story citizenM hotel tower with approximately 260 rooms. Phase Three will consist of a 21-story office tower totaling approximately 525,000 square feet. Learn more >>>

2. The Graphic


Projected Opening: TBD

The Graphic in Charlestown is an upcoming renovation of the existing Graphic Arts Building located in Sullivan Square steps to the MBTA Orange Line, and construction of a new four-story modular building on site. A total of approximately 171 residential apartments will be built at 32 Cambridge Street, including 46 apartments in the Graphic Arts Building and 125 in the new-construction building. Residential apartments at The Graphic will include studios, one-bedrooms, two-bedrooms and three-bedrooms. Learn more >>>

3. EchelonSeaport

Seaport District - Boston

Projected Opening: Late 2019

Echelon Seaport will be comprised of three mixed-use towers containing 1.3 million square-feet across 3.5-acres in the Seaport District. 717 residences and 125,000 square feet of retail and restaurant space will be built at EchelonSeaport. Two of the EchelonSeaport towers will contain 447 luxury condominium residences, and one tower will contain 270 luxury apartment residences. Resident amenities at EchelonSeaport will include two signature outdoor pools, an indoor pool, expansive sun decks, engaging courtyards and oversized private terraces. Learn more >>>

4. Xmbly

Assembly Row - Somerville

Projected Opening: TBD

Proposed four-phase, 1.9 million square foot development of a 9.4-acre Assembly Row parcel largely comprised of surface parking into a mixed-use complex with a hotel, lab, office, residential and retail uses. An existing 195,000 square foot office building (Block 24) would be retained. Phase 1 (Block 21): Five-story mixed-use building containing a 188-room hotel, 147 residential units and ground-floor retail. Phase 2 (Block 22): 20-story tower containing 14 stories and 480,000 square feet of Class A office/lab space above a six-story podium. Phase 3 (Block 23): Two 19-story, 1 million square foot office towers connected by a link. Phase 4 (Block 25): Five-story mixed-use building containing 72 residential units, 16,000 square feet of retail and a 100-car parking garage.  Learn more >>>

5. 115 Winthrop Square

Financial District - Boston

Projected Opening: 2022

115 Winthrop Square is a 53-story, 691-foot-tall tower that would replace a decrepit City-owned parking garage located in Winthrop Square in the heart of Downtown Boston. Across the $1.3 billion, 1.592-million-square-foot tower’s top 26 floors would be approximately 500 condominium residences, with approximately 750,000 square feet of commercial office space across 20 floors below. As part of the proposed project, 115,000 square feet of new affordable housing would be created, most likely in Boston’s Chinatown in collaboration with the Asian Community Development Corporation. Millennium would pay the City of Boston $166 million in order to acquire and develop the garage site. Learn more >>>

6. One Dalton

Back Bay - Boston

Projected Opening: 2018

One Dalton will consist of 712,500 square feet of residential, hotel and retail space. One Dalton's upper floors will contain 180 private luxury condominium residences. Underneath will be a Four Seasons luxury hotel with 215 rooms. Building amenities will include a lap pool, a fitness center, a salon with manicure, pedicure and hair styling services, a private yoga and pilates studio, a golf simulator room with a wet bar and a private theater room, and more. Learn more >>>

7. The Aberdeen


Projected Opening: 2018

The Aberdeen is an upcoming mixed-use development featuring 40 luxurious condominium residences and 2,400 square feet of ground-floor retail. Residences will include 12 one-bedrooms, 25 two-bedrooms and 3 three-bedrooms. Resident amenities will include a fitness center and 40 on-site parking spaces. 5 residences will be designated affordable. One-bedrooms are starting in the $600K range, two-bedrooms priced in the $800K range and three-bedroom penthouses starting at $1.2 million. Learn more >>>

8. Proto

Kendall Square - Cambridge

Projected Opening: 2018

Proto is a 22-story mixed-use tower located in the heart of Kendall Square opening in Summer 2018 featuring approximately 280 apartment residences and 16,000 square feet of retail. Residences will range from micro units to two-bedrooms, with luxurious appointments such as selectively exposed concrete ceilings and columns, Thermofoil kitchen cabinets, Silestone countertops, stainless steel moveable islands in larger residences and available Ori Systems robotic furniture. 36 residences at Proto will be designated affordable. Learn more >>>

9. Jefferson at Malden Center

Malden Center - Malden

Projected Opening: 2019

Jefferson at Malden Center is a mixed-use development that will transform Malden Center, replacing the city's former government center with three new buildings oriented about a walkable, 21st century streetscape. Jefferson at Malden Center will feature 320 market-rate apartment residences, over 22,500 square feet of ground-floor retail and a 45,000-square-foot office space that will serve as Malden's new City Hall. Jefferson at Malden Center will reconnect Pleasant Street to Commercial and Florence Streets for the first time since the former City Hall's construction in the early 1970s, restoring Malden Center's walkable, pedestrian streetscape, improving access to the Malden Center train station and creating new public parking. Learn more >>>

10. Vita JP

Jamaica Plain - Boston

Projected Opening: 2018

Vita JP is an 82 condominium development that sit above first floor retail providing additional services to residents including a state-of-the-art Planet Fitness. The building will feature 1, 2, and 3-bedroom units. The pet-friendly residences are sleek and stylish with custom cabinetry, quartz countertops, sleek baths with glass shower enclosures, and wood floors throughout the main living areas. Garage parking, secure bike storage, and a spacious roof deck with grills and a fire pit make coming home coming to life. Learn more >>>

By Matthew M. Robare


A map of the upcoming Green Line Extension.

After decades of delays and over a billion dollars worth of cost overruns, the Green Line Extension has $2.3 billion of necessary funding intact and can proceed with construction. Originally mandated as mitigation for increased emissions from the Big Dig, the Green Line Extension will provide Somerville and Medford with an important alternative to commuting by car, resulting in cleaner skies and enabling the development of sustainable, mixed-use developments. The Trump administration has shortlisted the Green Line Extension as an infrastructure project to prioritize, further emphasizing the Extension’s transformative potential. The Green Line Extension is currently expected to open in 2021.

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A Green Line trolley on the existing D Branch, which connects Newton and Brookline with Boston and Cambridge.

The first expansion of the rapid transit system since the Alewife extension of the Red Line opened in 1985, the Green Line Extension is planned in two branches from Lechmere Station in East Cambridge. One branch will follow the Fitchburg Line commuter rail tracks to Union Square in Somerville, while the other will follow the Lowell Line commuter rail tracks to Medford. In addition to Union Square’s stop at Prospect Street, stations are planned for East Somerville, Gilman Square, Magoun Square, Ball Square and Tufts University. A new Lechmere Station will also be built as part of the project. The Green Line Extension could one day extend further northward to Route 16/Mystic Valley Parkway.


A preliminary rendering of the future Green Line stop at Tufts University, above which Tufts would construct a new building.

The government’s commitment to building the Green Line Extension has already resulted in increased land values along the future route, and a number of new development projects. According to the Metropolitan Area Planning Council, the Green Line Extension is expected to generate nearly 5,500 new residences and six million square feet of commercial space. The first major development to unveil along the Green Line Extension, Windsor at Maxwell’s Green, opened in 2012 and is located next to the future Magoun Square station. Windsor at Maxwell's Green features 184 luxury apartment residences and cost approximately $52 million to develop.


Exterior view of Windsor at Maxwell’s Green.


A rendering of the Magoun Square station, with Windsor at Maxwell’s Green at left.

Perhaps the most anticipated Green Line Extension stop is Union Square. Already the home of beloved restaurants such as Union Square Donuts and The Independent, and located a short distance to Cambridge’s eclectic Inman Square, the area has developed into something of a startup hub. Clean technology incubator Greentown Labs is already located in the neighborhood and is planning on expanding. According to Greentown CEO Emily Reichert, the Green Line Extension is crucial towards the Union Square startup ecosystem’s continued success; “to unlock the next great Massachusetts innovation corridor, we need the Green Line extension work to continue,” Reichert wrote in CommonWealth Magazine.

Another sign of Union Square’s startup scene is Bow Market, a former warehouse being redeveloped for pop-up retail and restaurant uses. Bow Market, approved by the City of Somerville last winter and anticipated to open this Fall, will feature over 30 small storefronts available for short-term leases, catering to new small businesses.


An aerial rendering of Bow Market.

A wave of multi-family residential and retail development is also transforming Union Square. 70 Prospect Street, a 14-unit apartment building with ground-floor retail, is nearing completion steps from the future Union Square stop, and Columbia Court, a 35-unit residential building with ground-floor retail, is proposed nearby. The 35-unit Union Square Apartments and 30-unit 197 Union Square, both of which also include ground-floor retail, were recently completed.


A rendering of 70 Prospect Street, a 14-unit building with ground-floor retail under construction in Union Square.

The Ball Square station, located a short walk away from Somerville’s popular Davis Square, has also seen a recent development boost. The Sphere, a 42-unit apartment building, will open this summer in the heart of Ball Square. Powder House, an innovative adaptive reuse of a former school into a sustainable mixed-use development featuring 48 apartments, 11,300 square feet of commercial space and over 69,000 square feet of open green space, was recently approved by the City of Somerville.


A rendering of The Sphere Luxury Apartments in Medford, which will open this Summer in Ball Square.


A rendering of the recently approved Powder House development.

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