SOMERVILLE (CBS) – Somerville went orange Tuesday as the MBTA opened the Assembly Station in Somerville on the Orange Line. Assembly is the first new MBTA station to open in 27 years.
The Ford Motor Company had an assembly plant on the site that closed in the 1950’s. In the ‘60’s, the original building was used as the warehouse for the First National Stores supermarket chain.
Governor Deval Patrick was on hand for the orange ribbon cutting and rode a packed MBTA train back to Downtown Crossing Station. Orange pom poms were given out and waved by onlookers. Somerville Mayor Joseph Curtatone introduced the speakers and sported an orange tie.
Mayor Curtatone praised Governor Patrick as “The Transportation Governor.” Besides inner city upgrades of transportation service, the governor has been very active in bringing new air service to Logan Airport.
The Assembly Station is part of a large redevelopment in the area. Ground is expected to be broken next week next to the new station that will be the headquarters of Partners Healthcare that will bring nearly 5,000 jobs to the area.
September 2 was the hottest day of the vacation season and Somerville is as hot as any city in the Commonwealth. The city is also set for an expansion of the MBTA Green Line through Somerville to Medford from Cambridge in the next three or four years.
Assembly Square includes over 2.8 million square feet of office space; 635,000 square feet of retail; restaurant and entertainment uses and over 1,800 homes.
Former Somerville mayor and now U.S. Congressman, Mike Capuano, helped get $16 million dollars in federal funds to help start the development.
The daily ridership of Assembly station is expected to be over 5,000 people in the next decade. MBTA ridership is at all-time high.
State transportation funds have also been set aside to purchase new cars for the Orange and Red Line trains. Part of this program mandates the cars be built in Massachusetts.
In the dark days of the recession five years ago, Don Briggs, President of Federal Realty Boston, did not lose faith in his new Somerville neighborhood. But the man who put it all together was Governor Deval Patrick. Samantha Hooper of the governor’s office wore an orange dress to help make Somerville go orange.
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