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Work can begin on Assembly Square T stop

City of Somerville press release: “Start-up Work for Assembly Sq. MBTA Station Gets Green Light From Feds”
FTA Designates Assembly Square Transit Station as Eligible to Apply Directly for Federal Funding; “Exempt” Status Expedites Preliminary Engineering, Environmental Work for New Orange Line Stop


Mayor Joseph A. Curtatone announced today that a recent Federal Transit Administration (FTA) decision will allow work to go forward quickly on plans to build a new Orange Line station at Assembly Square.
FTA officials have given their assurance to Congressman Michael E. Capuano that the $40-million project will not have to pre-qualify as eligible for the FTA’s “Small Starts” or “Very Small Starts” programs. Instead, the project has been given exempt status, which means that, although federal funding still depends on a formal application and review process, preliminary engineering and environmental review work can begin immediately. Congressman Capuano has already secured a congressional authorization for $25 million to help pay for the new station; Assembly Square’s lead developer, Federal Investment Realty Trust, and furniture retailer IKEA have pledged $10 million and $5 million respectively toward the cost of the new station.
“This ruling from the FTA clears the decks for work to get under way on this crucial element in the overall Assembly Square development plan,” Curtatone said. “It’s also a reminder that Assembly Square is the most exciting Smart Growth, transit-oriented development in the region – a model for the way urban development is supposed to work.”
“This designation represents an important step forward for Assembly Square and will allow work to proceed on the T station,” Congressman Capuano said, “ and I will continue working with local officials and the FTA to advance this project.”
Located on the banks of the Mystic River, and including an extensive new waterfront park, the 145 acre Assembly Square development district is slated to become home to over 2,100 new housing units, 1.75 million square feet of office space, 450,500 square feet of new retail and restaurant uses, a 62,000 sq. ft. cinema, a 200-room hotel and 310,000 sq. ft. IKEA store.
Construction of the IKEA store is slated to begin in the spring of 2008.

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