X

Thank you for sharing!

Your article was successfully shared with the contacts you provided.

SOMERVILLE, MA-A proposed land swap that could end a seven-year stalemate and bring a new Ikea store and a mixed-use development project to the city’s Assembly Square neighborhood is being ironed out between the Swedish furniture giant and another landowner, a city official tells GlobeSt.com.

Mark Horan, communication director for the City of Somerville, tells GlobeSt.com that the proposed swap between Ikea and Federal Realty Investment Trust would move the future Ikea store away from the banks of the Mystic River and allow Federal Realty to build more than 3,000 residential units, offices and ground-floor retail space on about17 acres Ikea currently owns along the river’s waterfront. In exchange, Ikea would get a similar-sized parcel in the Assembly Square area behind Circuit City and Home Depot, adjacent to Route 95.

A spokesman for the furniture retailer declined to confirm the proposed land swap, telling GlobeSt.com that “we have the land, we have the approvals and we no longer have an urgent need to open the store. We can wait it out. We are confident our position will prevail.” He says last week’s opening of the first Ikea store in the Boston area, located in Stoughton, has lessened the pressure on the firm to respond from pressure by several community groups in Somerville. He did, however, say that Ikea was “in discussions with some land brokers about opportunities.”

City officials and residents have been opposed the Swedish furniture chain’s plans to build on the waterfront land, arguing that the site should be saved for denser uses. Opponents to the project have filed three lawsuits against the Swedish furniture maker, holding up construction on the project for the past three years–ever since Ikea won city approval of the concept. One of those cases filed by a group called the Mystic View Task Force appealed the city’s decision to issue a building permit but the state’s land court recently dismissed that case. Two other lawsuits opposing the Ikea project on environmental grounds are still pending but could be dismissed if the land swap occurs.

“This is not about answering the Mystic View Task Force,” Horan says of the land swap proposal. “It has more to do with Federal Realty coming in, buying the property, taking a fresh look at it and talking to Ikea about making a shift.”

Maryland-based Federal Realty Investment Trust declined comment on the land swap proposal.

Want to continue reading?
Become a Free ALM Digital Reader.

Once you are an ALM digital member, you’ll receive:

  • Unlimited access to GlobeSt and other free ALM publications
  • Access to 15 years of GlobeSt archives
  • Your choice of GlobeSt digital newsletters and over 70 others from popular sister publications
  • 3 free articles* across the ALM subscription network every 30 days
  • Exclusive discounts on ALM events and publications

*May exclude premium content
Already have an account?

Dig Deeper

GlobeSt

Join GlobeSt

Don't miss crucial news and insights you need to make informed commercial real estate decisions. Join GlobeSt.com now!

  • Free unlimited access to GlobeSt.com's trusted and independent team of experts who provide commercial real estate owners, investors, developers, brokers and finance professionals with comprehensive coverage, analysis and best practices necessary to innovate and build business.
  • Exclusive discounts on ALM and GlobeSt events.
  • Access to other award-winning ALM websites including ThinkAdvisor.com and Law.com.

Already have an account? Sign In Now
Join GlobeSt

Copyright © 2020 ALM Media Properties, LLC. All Rights Reserved.