The Hamilton Company announces mixed-use One Union Square development in Somerville

Tim Talun (Photo: Elkus Manfredi website)

Boston– The Hamilton Company announced that it has initiated the process for obtaining approvals for One Union Square in Somerville, MA – a transformative development that will anchor new economic activity, create new civic and community spaces, and help realize Somerville’s long-term objective of strengthening Union Square as both a neighborhood and commercial center.

The mixed-use development will consist of a four-story office, lab, and R&D building with 200,000 sf of gross floor area and over 13,000 sf of green open space in a new publicly accessible park. New retail and restaurant spaces will be located along Somerville Avenue. Another 6,500 sf of indoor space facing the new park is designated for civic use, such as a branch library.  Together, these uses will make this site in the center of Union Square an inclusive destination for the surrounding community, while helping to meet Somerville’s public programming needs.

“Somerville’s remarkable history includes the evolving neighborhoods around its landmark city squares and business districts,” said Jameson Brown, Chairman and CEO of The Hamilton Company. “Union Square is a vibrant and exciting destination rich with culture and a diverse population. Our One Union Square will be a natural complement to the neighborhood, building on its strengths to create new activity and opportunities.”

The One Union Square development site encompasses an area dubbed the “Union Square South Block” bounded by Somerville Avenue and Prospect Street, and is 100 percent owned by The Hamilton Company and its limited partners.

Elkus Manfredi Architects is leading the design of One Union Square, which will integrate Class-A lab and office space, retail, interior and exterior civic spaces, streetscape improvements, and other public amenities into the overall project design. The firm portfolio includes significant buildings for the life sciences sector such as Pfizer at Six Ten Main, Vertex Pharmaceuticals’ headquarters building and the Broad Institute.  Elkus Manfredi has also led master planning processes rooted in place making including the urban innovation hub at Texas Medical Center, the first WELL-certified neighborhood in the world at Water Street Tampa, and the Volpe Center Redevelopment in Kendall Square.

“At One Union Square, we are not just designing a building. We are creating a vibrant, inclusive destination that will welcome the surrounding neighborhood and build on what makes Union Square such a special place today. Today’s best-in-class workplace is integrated into the community around it, which is why One Union Square will be truly mixed-use, providing public programming such as a branch library, a new public-facing public park, and tree-lined streets with active retail and dining options,” said Tim Talun, Senior Associate for Elkus Manfredi. “Somerville has set bold goals related to sustainability and the quality of the public realm, and we look forward to realizing these goals in a way that supports the well-being of all who experience One Union Square.”

One Union Square is also consistent and highly compatible with the principles and objectives of transit-oriented development, providing users with superior access to the MBTA’s Union Square Green Line Extension (GLX) station.

The development team projects the timetable for obtaining all city approvals and completing site plan review to be 12-18 months. Necessary approvals include a zoning amendment to allow a single building on the site by special permit. A single building allows the proposed neighborhood park to be located at Somerville Avenue and Prospect Street, where it will be most visible, active, and usable. Following approval of the proposed zoning amendment, the project will seek Site Plan Review and Special Permit approval.

“We are looking forward to engaging with residents, business owners, and other stakeholders during the robust community process that lays ahead,” said Brown. “No other project, plan, or vision for Union Square meets the City of Somerville’s established planning objectives better than One Union Square.”