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Somerville Will Build the Housing Boston Won't or Can't

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Boston famously wants to construct 53,000 new units of housing in the next 15 years or so; at the same time, the city seems condemned to building only luxury fare unaffordable to most of its residents. Might smaller neighbor Somerville provide the antidote? Plans are afoot now to double the footprint of that city's already ginormous Assembly Row along the Mystic, according to Casey Ross in the Globe, with a lot of the new space turned over to new housing. The project's residential component, which includes the recently debuted AVA Somerville, is already slated to include more than 2,000 units, most much more affordable than similar properties in Boston. Take AVA Somerville, for instance. There, 1-BRs start at $2,060. The same developer, however, is offering 1-BRs at a Back Bay project for around $4,000 a month. See what we're saying?

Somerville is also planning to foment up to 9,000 new housing units over the next couple of decades as the Green Line extension introduces neighborhood after neighborhood to an easier T connection to the surrounding region. In fact, we're not aware of another city or town in the Greater Boston region planning so much new housing (certainly not neighboring Cambridge, where heaven and earth have to be moved to throw up two dozen or so units). And, again, these Somerville apartments and condos will likely be more affordable than what's going up in Boston, much of which is essentially morphing into a branch office of Manhattan.

Indeed, most of the approximately 8,000 apartments and condos under way or planned in Boston right now are on the luxury end (some are on the really luxury end). There doesn't appear to be an end in sight for this Boston trend, either. Meanwhile, here comes Somerville, a short distance away, sweeping aside dozens of acres for new housing and planning thousands more units elsewhere—all, again, likely to be cheaper than what's on offer in Boston. Stay tuned.
· Somerville Wants to Double Size of Assembly Row [Globe]
· Boston Housing Plan: Incentivize Developers, Cross Fingers [Curbed Boston]
· Somerville's Big New Assembly Row Focuses First on Small [Curbed Boston]
· Assembly Row's AVA Somerville Joins Free-Rent Bonanza [Curbed Boston]
· The Market Loves Avalon Exeter and Its $10K Apartments [Curbed Boston]
· Three Millennium Tower Penthouses Sell for Over $9M Each [Curbed Boston]
· Somerville Is Doomed to Be a More Desirable Place to Live [Curbed Boston]
· Sullivan Courthouse Fight: All This for 24 Apartments? [Curbed Boston]
· Manhattanization of Boston Real Estate Continues Unabated [Curbed Boston]