SOMERVILLE, MA-Mayor Dorothy Kelly Gay rejected Ikea’s proposal for its building at Assembly Square. The mayor emphasized that the rejection was because the plan did not include sufficient mixed-use development.

“The footprint was too large,” Sean Fitzgerald, the mayor’s spokesperson, tells “It had limited mixed-use development, but not enough.” The Swedish furniture company’s plan included a 220,000-sf store and a small retail outlet or restaurant on its 16 acres of land. Fitzgerald says that the mayor’s office is looking for a footprint in the 150,000-sf range. “We’d still meet serious opposition from those opposed to big-box stores,” he adds.

Fitzgerald emphasizes that the Cecil Plan, which the mayor commissioned to recommend how to develop Assembly Square, states that big-box stores can exist with mixed-use development but, “we can’t have that large a footprint with no mixed use. We made that clear.”

According to Marty Marston, public relations manager for the North American branch of Ikea, the company is in the process “of resubmitting another proposal.”

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