Could Assembly Square Outlets Affect Rutherford Ave Redesign?
The Neighborhood Council has asked the city to look at whether the outlet store proposal will change traffic projections for the Rutherford Ave project.
Last week the Globe reported that dozens of outlet stores are on the horizon for Assembly Row -- a new development for the massive retail project in Somerville that could have an impact on the city's plans for redesigning Sullivan Square and Rutherford Avenue.
Mark Rosenshein, who heads up the development committee for the Charlestown Neighborhood Council, said he called city planners as soon as he read about the outlet store proposal.
"We know they've planned for a lot of retail all along, Rosenshein said. "But this is different retail. I want to know what the city's consultants can share with us," I'm sure [they] can tell us a regular retail store generates x number of cars per hour, but an outlet store generates x+y, for example."
In other words, outlet shops might bring a higher volume of traffic -- or at the very least, a different pattern than city planners anticipated when proposing the surface option for Rutherford Avenue and traffic light changes at Sullivan Square.
"The big question is, is there a difference between outlet traffic and regular retail traffic within the range of what we [anticipated]," Rosenshein said. "Even if the answer is no, that's great. Because we know about it today."
According to the Globe story, developers at Assembly Row (Federal Realty Investment Trust) said they expect to open as many as 50 outlet stores at the $1.5 billion complex. Assembly Row is designed to be a mixed-use neighborhood with offices, stores, hundreds of homes, a new MBTA station, and a park on the Mystic River.
Rosenshein said he it's likely the city will share new data related to the Assembly Square project at the next community meeting on Sullivan Square, which (as far as Patch knows) is not yet scheduled.