Gilman Square Plan Implementation

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Photo from July 2019 Gilman Square meeting.

The Gilman Square Station Area Plan was finalized in February of 2014. Since then, a lot has changed: the Green Line station design has evolved, we have received better information about the subsurface infrastructure that affects the intersection design, and the Somerville Zoning Overhaul has everyone thinking about zoning.

In addition, the Gilman Square Neighborhood Association (GSNA) formed in 2018. This group of residents and business owners meets regularly and hosts block parties, neighborly gatherings, and advocates for the neighborhood. In 2019, GSNA and the City signed an agreement to work collaboratively on the implementation of the neighborhood plan in Gilman Square. Since then, GSNA and the City have co-hosted community events together, discussed proposed developments in the area, and planned for future development projects like the Homans Building.

Now, GSNA and the City are working together to implement the neighborhood plan. We're strategizing around important sites like the Homans Building and working together to ensure we get broad participation in creating the future of Gilman Square.


Happening Now: Zoning Analysis & Massing Study

The City is currently working with a consultant to explore different conforming building schemes and massings for the Homans and Mobil sites. This is an important next step in the implementation of the Gilman Square Neighborhood Plan because it will guide the development of a future Request for Proposals (RFPs) for development on the site.

We held a community meeting on March 12th and the City's consultants are working to incorporate that feedback before holding another community meeting to discuss massing options on the site.


Kreyòl Ayisyen: Pwojè sa se yon fason pou aplike plan ki genyen pou katye Gilman Square a. Pou entèpretasyon sou pwojè sa, tanpri kontakte 617-666-3311 oubyen voye on email nan: SomerViv@SomervilleMA.gov.

Português: Este projeto trata da implementação do Plano de Vizinhança da Gilman Square. Para tradução em português sobre este projeto, entre em contato com 617-666-3311 ou por e-mail SomerVivaPort@SomervilleMA.gov.

Español: Este proyecto se trata de implementar el Plan Vecinal de Gilman Square. Para obtener información sobre este proyecto, comuníquese con 617-666-3311 o por correo electrónico SomerVivaEspanol@SomervilleMA.gov.

The Gilman Square Station Area Plan was finalized in February of 2014. Since then, a lot has changed: the Green Line station design has evolved, we have received better information about the subsurface infrastructure that affects the intersection design, and the Somerville Zoning Overhaul has everyone thinking about zoning.

In addition, the Gilman Square Neighborhood Association (GSNA) formed in 2018. This group of residents and business owners meets regularly and hosts block parties, neighborly gatherings, and advocates for the neighborhood. In 2019, GSNA and the City signed an agreement to work collaboratively on the implementation of the neighborhood plan in Gilman Square. Since then, GSNA and the City have co-hosted community events together, discussed proposed developments in the area, and planned for future development projects like the Homans Building.

Now, GSNA and the City are working together to implement the neighborhood plan. We're strategizing around important sites like the Homans Building and working together to ensure we get broad participation in creating the future of Gilman Square.


Happening Now: Zoning Analysis & Massing Study

The City is currently working with a consultant to explore different conforming building schemes and massings for the Homans and Mobil sites. This is an important next step in the implementation of the Gilman Square Neighborhood Plan because it will guide the development of a future Request for Proposals (RFPs) for development on the site.

We held a community meeting on March 12th and the City's consultants are working to incorporate that feedback before holding another community meeting to discuss massing options on the site.


Kreyòl Ayisyen: Pwojè sa se yon fason pou aplike plan ki genyen pou katye Gilman Square a. Pou entèpretasyon sou pwojè sa, tanpri kontakte 617-666-3311 oubyen voye on email nan: SomerViv@SomervilleMA.gov.

Português: Este projeto trata da implementação do Plano de Vizinhança da Gilman Square. Para tradução em português sobre este projeto, entre em contato com 617-666-3311 ou por e-mail SomerVivaPort@SomervilleMA.gov.

Español: Este proyecto se trata de implementar el Plan Vecinal de Gilman Square. Para obtener información sobre este proyecto, comuníquese con 617-666-3311 o por correo electrónico SomerVivaEspanol@SomervilleMA.gov.

  • Notes from the March 10 Gilman Square Implementation Update Meeting

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    Thank you to the approximately 70 people who joined us for the City’s virtual community meeting on March 10. We would like to thank Councilors Clingan, Ewen-Campen, McLaughlin, Niedergang, and Strezo for attending.

    This was the first of two meetings that the City will hold as part of the Gilman Square Implementation Update: Zoning Feasibility & Massing Study. The City’s consultant for this project, NBBJ, presented on the work they’ve been doing to explore different designs to achieve the goals of past planning work done in Gilman Square while accounting for zoning requirements and recent changes in nearby projects including the Gilman Square Station design, the Central Hill Campus Plan, and the redesign of Medford Street.

    You can watch the video recording of the meeting here and view the slides here.

    We will be posting a survey to gather additional feedback soon. If you registered for the meeting or have signed up for through SomerVoice updates on this project you will receive an email notifying you when the survey is available.

    This feedback will be valuable as we work through refining the designs presented at the March 10th meeting and developing massing diagrams of the preferred options.

  • Notes from the October 7, 2020 Meeting

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    by Lauren ,

    On Wednesday, October 7, the Ward Councilors, Gilman Square Neighborhood Association (GSNA) and City staff hosted a virtual meeting to share updates on the conceptual streetscape designs and roadway improvements. This included the unveiling of an updated "20% Design. In addition, staff discussed how to implement the development goals of the Neighborhood Plan to "Bring Back the Square." The slides are available here, and a recording will be posted shortly.

    Residents are encouraged to provide feedback:

    • Survey about the intersection design: Let us know what you think about the revised intersection design.
    • Amenities in Gilman Square: We've added the many great ideas we've heard about what amenities you would like in your neighborhood. Add your own, or comment on the ones that have already been shared.
  • Notes from the February 12 Streetscape and Intersection Design Meeting

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    by Lauren ,
    supporting image

    Thank you to the approximately 55 people who joined us for the City and the Gilman Square Neighborhood Association’s co-hosted Community Meeting on February 12 at the Winter Hill Community School. We also would like to thank Councilors Clingan and Ewen-Campen for attending.
    Viola Augustin, a City staff member, explained that the City is currently working with a consultant to explore different designs for Gilman Square intersections and streetscape. This is an important next step in the implementation of the Gilman Square Neighborhood Plan because it will identify where public space can be located and affect the shape of parcels which could be used for redevelopment.
    Viola introduced the two concepts, and then participants broke into small groups to discuss each concept's merits and challenges.

    You can see the slides from the meeting here, and the concepts here.
    We are still gathering feedback about these two initial concepts; community members are welcome to submit their feedback online until February 23. The City will share the feedback on this site by the end of February.

    After February 23, the City's consultants will:
    • Conduct traffic analysis to determine how possible changes to the roadway will affect vehicular traffic.
    • Tweak the concepts based on feedback and the results of the traffic study.
    By June, the City will have a "25% design" (a concept that is well-researched and reflects community feedback but is not the full technical document set necessary to begin construction). At this time, we will have a public meeting to share this design. Now is the time to to weigh in! We are gathering feedback until February 23.

  • Update on the 7/15/2019 Gilman Square Community Meeting

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    by Lauren ,
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    Thank you to the approximately 70 people who joined us for the City and the Gilman Square Neighborhood Association’s co-hosted Community Meeting on July 15 at 6pm at the Winter Hill Community School. We also would like to thank Councilors Clingan, Ewen-Campen, Mbah, Rossetti, and White for attending.
    Ward 5 Councilor Ben Ewen-Campen introduced the event, and then we heard from several City of Somerville OSPCD staff members about a variety of topics:
    • Sue Thomas (Economic Development) discussed the neighborhood plan and explained the partnership between the City and the Gilman Square Neighborhood Association (GSNA).
    • Cortney Kirk (Public Space and Urban Forestry) discussed the Central Hill planning process, park accessibility, trees, and the streetscape research currently happening at the Gilman Square intersection.
    • Viola Augustin (Transportation and Infrastructure) shared updates about the Green Line Extension and community path.
    • Tom Galligani (Economic Development) shared information about development opportunities in the Gilman Square, and Sue Thomas discussed the processes these developments involve.
    The complete slides are available here, and the handout we provided is available here. After the presentation, staff answered questions from the audience about the GLX station, open space, trees, and other topics.
    GSNA, represented by Christine Carlino, then lead the feedback exercise session at the end of the meeting with the attendees. Different easel pads throughout the room displayed different values from SomerVision 2030. Participants wrote down what they'd like to see in the square under the different categories. You can review what people contributed here.

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