USNC/DLJ Developer Agreement - Press Release

December 30, 2020

 
DLJ/Leggat McCall and Union Square Neighborhood Council 
execute a Community Benefits Agreement

Somerville, MA—December 29, 2020—After five months of discussions, Union Square Neighborhood Council Co-chairs Michèle Hansen and Ann Camara today announced that a Community Benefits Agreement has been signed in good faith with DLJ Capital Partners and Leggat McCall Properties, the joint venture development partners of the development of a 6.5-acre mixed-use development in Somerville’s Boynton Yards.

Executed on December 17th, the compact highlights cooperative principles relative to the Community Center Space; Parking and Traffic; Resilience and Sustainability; Connectivity; Diversity and Inclusion on the work site; Wages, Local Jobs and Internships; and Sustainable Employers.

The USNC will support the development team in its efforts to entitle a 1.4-million square-foot master-planned development that includes three life science buildings; a residential complex; and retail, arts, and creative enterprise space.  The first, 290,000 square-foot life sciences building—101 South Street—was topped off in September and will be completed this summer.

DLJ/Legatt McCall committed to collaborate with the city of Somerville, other area developers, human service providers,  and the USNC on the location and programming of a centralized multi-service community center for Union Square.  The approach would aggregate contributions of built community-center space by different developers in one central location. Other Union Square developers have already expressed interest in this approach, initiated and advocated by the USNC.

Above and beyond the parking requirements called for in the Boynton Yards Overlay District Zoning, commitments were made to work together to balance the parking needs of the Project with the mobility management needs/goals of the City and the community.

In addition, DLJ/Leggat McCall will explore the provision of green roof space on subsequent life science buildings, despite space limitations due to required mechanical systems. Each phase of the Project will build in ecosystem restoration.
Collaboration with the City and other community stakeholders on a pedestrian/bike connection over the Fitchburg Commuter Rail tracks will include the possibility that the south end of the bridge will be located on the Project site.

Shawmut Design and Construction, the Project’s general contractor, has agreed to hiring goals of thirty-five percent local residents, thirty-five percent minorities, and ten percent women. This is in keeping with the development team’s commitment to fostering a culture of diversity, inclusion, and equal opportunity employment.

DLJ/Leggat McCall will work with the City, Somerville First Source and future tenants to create internship and job opportunities for Somerville residents.  They will work with the USNC to develop a set of sustainable business practices that will be recommended to prospective commercial tenants.

Quarterly meetings between the parties will evaluate progress towards achieving the goals and commitments that have been agreed upon.

USNC board member Bill Cavellini called the agreement “an attempt to address the inevitable displacement that accompanies real estate developments of this size,” and “an historic moment when community and developer chose to exchange and negotiate without the acrimony that so often accompanies such interactions.”

John Fenton of DLJ added, “We are pleased that the USNC’s voice is strongly represented in every aspect of this agreement. We look forward to more collaboration as Boynton Yards continues to be poised as a key economic driver for Somerville due to the current demand for Class A lab space. "

The Somerville Planning Board will next discuss approval of the Master Plan for Boynton Yards on Thursday, January 7th, at 6:00 PM. A copy of the Community Benefits Agreement and more information regarding the USNC are available on its website at UnionSquareNeighborhoodCouncil.org.