Somerville Mayor Joseph Curtatone seemed to throw the town's lot in with the tech and life sciences industries during a speech this week to the Chamber of Commerce. The mayor said that Somerville has missed out on the tech boom that has powered so much of the economic development in Cambridge, Boston and beyond—and that had to change.
"We're less than a mile from Kendall Square, why have we been leapfrogged by 495?," Curtatone said. The mayor seems to have concluded, too, that the approaches of past administrations to developing the town's economic base simply didn't work. "We were a city of real trolley cars," he said. Then city fathers decided, "Let's be the off ramp for all of Boston."
That didn't quite pan out for a city that has only recently shed its Slummerville reputation. Now, to hear Curtatone tell it, it's time for Somerville to claim some of the techies that might already live there but who work in Cambridge or elsewhere. He held up the mega-development Assembly Row along the Mystic as a possible location for larger-scale tech and life-sciences companies, and reiterated that that Green Line has to happen. The latter is reminiscent of Boston Mayor Tom Menino's whatever-you-want-it-to-be Innovation District and micro-apartment efforts; and Cambridge's recent compromise to keep Google in Kendall Square. We guess you gotta want it.
· Mayor Touts Somerville's 'Hipsters,' Says Attracting Large Employers Is Challenge [Patch]
· 6 Things You Should Realize About the Innovation District [Curbed Boston]
· South Boston to Get Hundreds of Manhattan Apartments [Curbed Boston]
· Google Obviously Feeling Lucky in Kendall Square [Curbed Boston]
· Somerville's 'Best Brand-New Neighborhood' In Eastern U.S. [Curbed Boston]