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 Synthesis Report

The City worked 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.

The synthesis report from that process has been completed and can be found here.


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 Synthesis Report

The City worked 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.

The synthesis report from that process has been completed and can be found here.


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.

  • October 2021: Block Party and Next Steps

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    It’s been a little while, but we are excited to share some updates about the Gilman Square Plan Implementation here and in person tomorrow at the Gilman Square Neighborhood Associations’ Block Partay.

    The Zoning Feasibility and Massing Study Synthesis Report was completed recently and is available on the website. At this point the Economic Development division will be taking the reins from Planning, Preservation, and Zoning team to move the redevelopment project forward to the next stage. Rachel Nadkarni, Senior Planner – Urban Revitalization Specialist, will be the new point of contact.

    A common question during the June public meeting was about the economics of these proposals. The City has engaged HR&A Advisors to conduct a market study to dig into the economic feasibility of the building types explored during the zoning feasibility phase and provide input to the developer selection process. Their process will be tied to the next public meeting series in the coming months.

    As a first step in preparing for the next round of meetings, the City will be forming a Civic Advisory Committee. This committee will bring together a diverse group of Gilman Square neighborhood leaders and connectors and will be tasked with helping bring as many voices into the process as possible and to synthesize community feedback. More information will be distributed in November.

    We are looking forward to connecting with all of you in this next phase and hope to see many of you at the Block Partay tomorrow.

  • Zoning Feasibility & Massing Study Synthesis Report

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    Following the conclusion of the second community meeting for the Zoning Feasibility & Massing Study, Staff synthesized the feedback received from community members throughout the process into a brief report. That report can be found here. In addition to providing an overview of the process and results of this effort, it also identifies the next step for continuing implementation of the Gilman Square Station Area Plan.

    The Economic Development Division is working to move forward with implementation of the Station Area Plan and will continue to collaborate with the community to achieve the goals identified in that plan.

  • June 2nd Meeting: Massing Study

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    Thank you to the approximately 40 people who joined us for the City’s virtual community meeting on June 2. We would also like to thank Councilors Clingan, Ewen-Campen, and McLaughlin for attending.

    This was the second of two meetings that the City held 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 incorporate feedback from the March 10th meeting and the related SomerVoice survey regarding the design schemes presented at that meeting. They presented the result of that work as three 3-D massing diagrams showing what potential buildings could look like on the site.

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

  • 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 ,
    supporting image

    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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Page last updated: 15 October 2021, 10:22