On Tuesday, aldermen in Somerville Mass. approved an urban renewal plan that calls for the use of eminent domain for private development in a 117-acre neighborhood over a 20-year period. The Union Square Revitalization Plan identifies seven blocks with 35 private properties to be acquired first.
Threatened properties include two homes; nine auto repair businesses; nine shops, warehouses, or offices; and a CrossFit gym. City planners envision moderate to high-density development on those blocks including retail, restaurants, residences, and office space—as well as a new transit station and public library.