90 Washington Street Redevelopment

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Next Steps

Thank you to the 100+ community members who joined the virtual kickoff to envision a new 90 Washington Street. Attendees provided input on the Public Safety Building (PSB) project and shared ideas about the opportunities on the Washington Street Redevelopment Parcels (WSRP). Based on the feedback heard in December, we've decided on the following next steps.

1. An internal design workshop to try and incorporate the feedback heard in December into the PSB project.

2. February 2nd at 6:00 - PSB Building Committee Meeting. The goal for this meeting is to present the PSB program, floor plans, and


Next Steps

Thank you to the 100+ community members who joined the virtual kickoff to envision a new 90 Washington Street. Attendees provided input on the Public Safety Building (PSB) project and shared ideas about the opportunities on the Washington Street Redevelopment Parcels (WSRP). Based on the feedback heard in December, we've decided on the following next steps.

1. An internal design workshop to try and incorporate the feedback heard in December into the PSB project.

2. February 2nd at 6:00 - PSB Building Committee Meeting. The goal for this meeting is to present the PSB program, floor plans, and design drivers in greater detail than what was possible at the December meeting. Attendees will be able to ask questions and provide comment. Register here.

3. February 16th at 6:00 - Community Meeting. The goal for this meeting is to show visual representation on how the feedback on 'uses' and 'considerations for development' from the December meeting could be implemented on the site. This meeting will be available in closed captioning, Portuguese, Spanish, Haitian Creole, Nepali, and Mandarin. Register here.

Project Information

The Capital Projects and Economic Development divisions are working together to implement a community vision for 90 Washington Street. Capital Projects is managing the development of the new Public Safety Building. Economic Development is overseeing the development of the community vision on the remainder of the site.

Project Site

The 90 Washington Street site is a 4 acre site a stones throw from the East Somerville GLX station. Based on good urban design principles and PSB project requirements, the site has been subdivided into four areas: the new realignment of New Washington Street, the Washington Street Redevelopment Parcels (Parcels A & C), and the PSB project site.

Project Timeline

Capital Project and Economic Development are working closely to implement the community vision for this site. The PSB project is expected to be completed in 2023. The visioning process for the remainder of the project site started in December '21 and will continue through the first part of 2022. After documentation of the shared vision, Economic Development will quickly pivot to implementation.

  • PSB Schematic Design

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    The PSB has finished the second phase of design called schematic design. The project team has a program for the building which itemizes all the types of spaces that need to be in the building and their square footage and the schematic design phase explores options for how these spaces can be pieced together to form the building. That building has taken shape over schematic design and culminated in the rendering above. The building committee has been critical in helping us inform the design and get the project to the end of this phase.

    The PSB will be a new home to police, fire administration, and Engine 3. The 70,0000 square foot building is 4 stories with a 3-level parking garage. The exterior design is intended to look like two buildings, Engine 3 and the fire administration design inspiration is a traditional fire house. The police program and public amenities design inspiration is a modern, open, and transparent building to convey a department that goes beyond protecting and serving but that continues to work with the community to solve complex problems both now and in the future.

    There will several community benefits as part of this project – a pocket plaza in the front of the building at the bend in New Washington Street, a community meeting room, and a south facing park fronting the existing alignment of New Washington Street. The community meeting room is placed to be a jewel box on the front of the building overlooking the pocket plaza. There will be new pedestrian and cyclist facilities on New Washington Street and, when the project is complete, this will be one of two new municipal buildings in decades.

    In Spring 2022, there will be some work at the site preparing it for construction including soil remidiation and utility trenching for the new roadway. Building construction will start in earnest in later next year and be completed in the Fall of 2024. The next project phase is design development. This is where the chosen design schemes from schematic design get refined and coordinated with structural, mechanical, and electrical systems. At this time, the project is taking a pause to check in with the community on December 13th at a community meeting. We will review the decisions made thus far and get feedback from the community at the meeting.


  • PSB Project Goals

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    The public safety building project goals are:

    • Deliver a modern building that can change and adapt to policing and fire administration day-to-day operations over the course of generations
    • Help us achieve Somerville’s sustainability goals by being net zero ready
    • Use design to be welcoming to all members of the community
  • 90 Washington Street Project History

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    The SPD and Engine 3 moved into the current public safety facility at 220 Washington Street in the 1980’s. It was a former MBTA bus barn that the city acquired from the state and renovated for the use. Forty years later and the building is functionally obsolete and requires replacement. The building is inadequate for current public safety operations and, furthermore, has been plagued with structural issues that have led to flooding and leaks.

    Knowing the building needed to be replaced, the City included 220 Washington Street in the 2012 Union Square Revitalization Plan which was adopted by the Board of Alderman (now City Council) and Somerville Redevelopment Authority. This designated 220 Washington Street as part of a redevelopment parcel called D1. After an extensive process, the SRA selected US2 as the City’s partner for redevelopment in Union Square. The planning board adopted a neighborhood plan and the subsequent zoning change has culminated in an entitlement at the existing public safety site that includes commercial uses and a publicly accessible park.

    To find a new home for public safety, a thorough space needs assessment was conducted and the City initiated a site search process to identify potential sites for a new complex. The 90 Washington Street site was deemed to be the most viable option in Somerville after an analysis that identified six potential sites. The Somerville Redevelopment Authority acted to acquire the site in 2019 using the demonstration project plan approach. A Demonstration Project provides an opportunity to not only eliminate blight, but to meet a public need for a new public safety building and provide the opportunity for economic development at a transformative scale. The Capital Projects and Economic Development divisions are now working together to create a shared community vision for the site that will be the home to a new Public Safety Building and fulfill community needs identified through the public process.

  • CM Funding Approved

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    The City Council approved a request for $725,000 for construction manager funding for the Public Safety Building Project on October 28, 2021. This allows the Capital Projects division to hire a construction manager for the project.

Page last updated: 27 January 2022, 15:46