Thursday, June 13, 2024

The Somerville Chamber of Commerce would like to commend US2 for the work it has done in Union Square and beyond. Years of public process and community input has shaped a redevelopment plan that not only delivers on key community goals such as jobs, housing and open space, but provides community benefits developed by and for the needs of local residents, workers and businesses. The transformation of Union Square into a vibrant, transit-oriented employment center has already begun to unlock wide-ranging community benefits valued at more than $100 million while producing more than $475 million in tax revenue over the next three decades.

Since it was designated as the city’s master development partner, US2 has dedicated time, resources and goodwill to our community. It opened an office in the middle of Union Square, activating an abandoned commercial space as a community workspace and offices. Today, 31 Union Square still plays home to US2 and its senior leadership. Residents are welcomed to view the full-scale model of the US2 project and can follow along as each parcel is developed.

US2’s Union Square redevelopment will be fully 60 percent commercial, shifting the city’s tax burden away from residents and more toward commercial tenants who are taxed at a higher rate and use less city services. Additionally, the project will create thousands of jobs for Somerville residents and residents throughout Greater Boston. US2 will also build 1,000 residential units, fully 20 percent of which will be affordable. The first units will come on line this year and provide the largest single infusion of affordable units in the city’s history.

US2 has partnered with Union Square Main Streets and the Somerville Community Corporation to fund new positions at both groups to bolster local businesses and provide residents access to construction and permanent jobs. US2 has also partnered with the Somerville Arts Council, the Somerville Learning Lab at Somerville High School, Bow Market, Somerville Homeless Coalition, the Fluff Festival, East Somerville Public Schools, Culture House and more. Finally, US2 stepped up when it was most needed and paid for and built the MBTA’s handicapped-accessible elevator at the Union Square train station.

In short, US2 has been a great partner for the city and for the residents of Union Square and beyond.

Stephen V. Mackey, president and chief executive of the Somerville Chamber of Commerce