Economic Development

Appropriate commercial development will be essential to create a thriving Somerville

Appropriate commercial development is essential to a thriving Somerville. It brings jobs to a city where 85% of us go elsewhere to work. It supports our existing small businesses, many of them immigrant-owned, with more daytime foot traffic. And the more people who both live and work here, the less congestion and pollution we all have to bear.

Just as important, a robust commercial property tax base provides the resources to pay for high-quality City services, affordable housing, job training programs, and much-needed green space. We should ensure that attractive sites for commercial development are zoned for high-value commercial uses, and require that 70% of new square footage in our “Transformative” districts are commercial. We must work to ensure that approval processes are, transparent and inclusive to ensure that new development will work for neighbors close by and that they will work for all of us in Somerville.

With its proximity and easy access to universities and the Kendall Square tech and life sciences hub, Somerville is very attractive to a wide range of cutting-edge companies, including biotechnology. These economic engines are especially valuable because they generate tax revenue at a relatively low cost. Somerville is currently a prime location for development, we need to seek out the right kind of development to complement and preserve our existing neighborhoods, residents, businesses, and institutions.

As Mayor, I will actively search for developers and new businesses that are the right fit to help us all to thrive here with good new jobs, and new revenue from new businesses so that residents won't have to pay for City services alone. I will make sure that commercial development proceeds through an open and transparent process that includes the participation of neighborhood residents and stakeholders–a process that ensures significant and lasting benefits to all of us.