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Produced by:

Daniel Camilletti
Lucas Conwell
Rayn Riel

Green Urban Design


Christine Cousineau
UEP 264 Fall 2015
Tufts University

Table of Contents
List of Figures and Tables

Executive Summary

I.

Introduction

II.

Site Description

Existing Conditions

Site History

14

Zoning

15

Demographics

20

Analysis

24

Challenges and Opportunities

25

Retail Inventory

32

Urban Design Principles

34

Urban Design Goals

34

Precedents

37

V.

Program of Uses

42

VI.

Proposed Design

50

VII.

Implementation

68

VIII.

LEED-ND Credits

71

III.

IV.

References

73

Figures and Tables


Figures
Figure 1. Panoramic photograph taken from Broadway.

Figure 2A. Direct view of the site from Broadway.

Figure 2B. Panoramic rendering from Broadway.

Figure 2C. Rendering of overhead view from Broadway.

Figure 2D. Auto-oriented entrance and fence.

Figure 2E. Entrance driveway.

Figure 2F. Parcel map with site outlined in red.

Figure 2G. Aerial view with site outlined in red.

Figure 2H. Walgreens and Winter Hill Bank.

Figure 2I. Abandoned Italian restaurant.

Figure 3. Ample parking.

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Figure 4. Break area.

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Figure 5. North end of parking lot with trees

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Figure 6. Mature trees behind restaurant.

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Figure 7. Fences blocking pedestrian access.

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Figure 8. Fence along Heath Street.

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Figure 9. Surrounding blocks

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Figure 10. Quarter and half-mile radii around site.

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Figure 11. Winter Hill Plazas proximity to nearby attractions.

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Figure 12. Winter Hill in the 1960s.

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Figure 13. Somerville 2010 Zoning Map.

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Figure 14. Close-up of the surrounding neighborhoods zoning

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Figure 15. Close-up of the zoning of our site and abutting properties.

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Figure 16. Somerville Zoning Transition Requirements.

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Figure 17. Household type.

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Figure 18. Age distribution.

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Figure 19. Race.

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Figure 20. Poverty.

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Figure 21. Education.

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Figure 22. Commute modal split.

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Figure 23. Issues Map.

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Figure 24: Axonometric of existing site.

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Figure 25. The empty parking lot on the northern part of the site.

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Figure 26. Planned Green Line Extension

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Figure 27. Depth of site available for redevelopment.

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Figure 28. Existing public spaces in Winter Hill.

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Figure 29. Boston skyline views from the ground.

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Figure 30. View corridor from fourth floor.

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Figure 31. Mature trees in courtyard space.

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Figure 32: 315 Broadway construction site.

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Figure 33. Multi-family wood-frame residential buildings abutting our site.

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Figure 34. Apartment buildings to the west and east of the site, on Broadway.

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Figure 35. Triple-deckers behind the site.

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Figure 36. Broadway corridor looking east.

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Figure 37. Broadway corridor looking west.

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Figure 38. Flatiron Public Plaza, New York City.

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Figure 39. Davis Square Plaza, Somerville, MA.

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Figure 40. Elfreths Alley, Philadelphia.

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Figure 41. 1601 Mariposa plaza and mid-block pedestrian walkway.

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Figure 42. Trolley Square, Cambridge, MA.

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Figure 43. 315 Broadway.

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Figure 44. Assembly Row, Somerville, MA.

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Figure 45. Two-family house at 40 Cameron Ave., Somerville.

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Figure 46. Artists for Humanity Rooftop.

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Figure 47. Site Plan.

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Figure 48. Retail bays - ground floor only.

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Figure 49. Site Plan.

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Figures 50-78. Design renderings generated using SketchUp.

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Figure 79. Feasibility analysis word cloud.

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Figure 80. City of Somerville Zoning Application and Review Process.

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Figure 81. LEED Checklist.

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Tables
Table 1. Dimensional Table

19

Table 2. Parking: RB Zone

19

Table 3. Parking: CCD-45 Zone

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Table 4. Median Household Income

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Table 5. Parking Required

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Table 6. Program of Uses

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Executive Summary
Winter Hill Plaza, in Somerville, Massachusetts, has the potential to be radically transformed
into a dense, mixed-use cluster of housing, retail, and office space. The Plaza would be a
community hub and a creative space, with office space, retail space, and affordable housing,
and would respect and connect the sites residential neighbors, revitalize the Broadway
corridor, and assist in place-making efforts by providing much-needed public space in the
neighborhood. Green roofs and solar panels would reduce the environmental impact of the
development. Our design would also help to bridge the gap between communities by offering
enhanced access to affordable housing, jobs, and retail, thereby enhancing socioeconomic
mobility. The socioeconomic, political, environmental, and physical opportunities are endless
for Broadway and for Winter Hill Plaza.

I. Introduction
Located at 343 Broadway, along a busy commercial corridor in the City of Somerville, the
1.7-acre Winter Hall Plaza is long overdue for redevelopment. The redesign team began its
process with site visits and observations, ArcGIS visualization of zoning, and graphic design
work in Adobe Illustrator. The team proceeded to produce an issues map identifying
opportunities and challenges. Thereafter, the design team conducted extensive and
intensive research, sifting through newspaper and journal articles, planning reports,
presentations, studies, and Google Earth in order to gain an understanding of the sites
context, as well as possibilities for redevelopment. Moreover, Social Explorer, licensed by
Tufts University, further facilitated the analysis of U.S. Census data on surrounding block
groups. And, finally, the team developed models in SketchUp.
This report begins with a site description, which includes photos, zoning, and demographic
information. Next, the analysis section details the challenges and opportunities associated
with the site, as well as the retail located in the neighborhood. The report continues by
explaining the teams urban design goals as well as examples of design precedents. Finally,
the report lays out the proposed program of uses, design, implementation process, and
Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design Neighborhood Development (LEED-ND)
accreditation. The design team is confident that 343 Broadway can be redesigned for the
21st century in order to fuel the dense and dynamic growth of Broadway.

II. Site Description


Existing Conditions

Figure 1. Panoramic photograph taken from the southwest corner of the site on Broadway (Photo
credit: Daniel Camilletti, October 2015.)

Figure 2A. Direct view of the site from Broadway. (Source: Google Street View.)

Figure 2B. Panoramic rendering from Broadway. (Source: Google Earth.)

Figure 2C. Rendering of overhead view from Broadway. (Source: Google Earth.)

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Winter Hill Plaza is a 1.7-acre commercial property at 343 Broadway in Somerville, MA.
Broadway is a busy commercial artery oriented to vehicular traffic. The Broadway edge of
the site is blocked off by a wrought-iron fence, except for three driveways, and even these
entrances and exits are vehicle-oriented, thus making it relatively dangerous for pedestrians
and bicyclists (see Fig. 2A). The sidewalk along this stretch of Broadway is relatively narrow
and uninviting; moreover, while the center of Broadway is lined with trees, there are no trees
along the sidewalk, which would provide shade and improve the pedestrian experience.
There are also no bike racks available on the sidewalk or the site.

Figure 2D. Auto-oriented entrance and wrought-iron fence blocking access, as seen from Broadway.
(Photo credit: Daniel Camilletti, October 2015.)

Figure 2E. Entrance driveway with makeshift bike racks. (Photo credit: Daniel Camilletti, October
2015.)

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Two buildings on the site house a Walgreens adjoining a Winter Hill Bank branch to the east,
and a closed Italian restaurant to the west, which is being redeveloped into a health center
(see Figure 2G, aerial view). In addition, the site includes a parking lot in the north, fronting
onto a residential street (Heath Street) as part of the redevelopment of the Plaza. Thus, our
site comprises parcels 5, 16, 17, 18, and 19, for a total of 75,000 square feet, or 1.7 acres
(Figure 2F. Parcel Map). Our site is thus unique in that it fronts on both Broadway and a
parallel street to the north, Heath Street.

Figure 2F. Parcel map with site outlined in red. (Source: City of Somerville,
http://www.somervillema.gov/departments/finance/assessing/maps.)

Figure 2G. Aerial view with site outlined in red. (Source: Google Earth.)

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The Walgreens/Winter Hill Bank building is a typical one-story strip mall-type structure with
mostly blank outer walls; a sidewalk below a roof overhang on its southern edge is the only
pedestrian accommodation on the site. Though its current building is not historic, Winter Hill
Bank is a longstanding local company, having been founded in Somerville in 1909.

Figure 2H. Walgreens and Winter Hill Bank buildings, as seen from Broadway. (Photo credit: Daniel
Camilletti, October 2015.)

Figure 2I. Closed Italian restaurant. (Photo credit: Daniel Camilletti, October 2015.)

Parking lots occupy almost all non-building space on the site, including the area between the
buildings and Broadway, the narrower neck connecting the southern and northern portions
of the site, and the north parcel fronting Heath St. The 90+ parking spaces available are
rarely even half occupied, and the site has few trees or other vegetation to counterbalance
the large stretches of asphalt.

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Figure 3. Ample parking in neck (left) and in north overflow lot along Heath St. (right). (Photo credit:
Daniel Camilletti, October 2015.)

The site currently includes three stands of trees, which we intend to preserve. Along the
eastern edge, a small green space lies behind five large evergreens, which form a visual and
sound barrier from adjoining properties. This small space currently serves as an outdoor
break area for Walgreens employees. Second, along Heath Street to the north, stands of
trees, both on our site and on the sidewalk, create a pleasant, shaded streetscape, and
reduce the urban heat island effect. Finally, along the western edge of the site, a row of trees
behind the restaurant forms a buffer between our site and the western residential sites.

Figure 4. Grassy break area. (Photo credit: Daniel Camilletti, October 2015.)

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Figure 5. North end of parking lot with mature trees along Heath St. (Photo credit: Daniel Camilletti,
October 2015.)

Figure 6. Mature trees behind restaurant, on western edge of site. (Photo credit: Daniel Camilletti,
October 2015.)

Except along Broadway, the site is bordered by high embankments, walls, and fences, which
completely block access to and from the surrounding residential neighborhood, as well as
between the residential areas to the north of the site and the Broadway corridor,
substantially increasing the walking distances to potential pedestrian destinations.

Figure 7. Fences blocking pedestrian access on the north side of Walgreens. (Photo credit: Daniel
Camilletti, October 2015.)

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Figure 8. Fence along Heath Street in sites northwest corner. (Photo credit: Lucas Conwell, October
2015.)

At around 528 feet from Fenwick Street to Langmaid Avenue, the block on which our site
stands is much longer than other blocks in this area of Somerville; our sites location in the
middle of this block makes it a natural location for a pedestrian addition to the street grid.

Figure 9. Surrounding blocks (Current Walgreens on site is marked.) (Source: Google Maps.)

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There are many attractions, restaurants, and retail options within a 10-15 minute walking
radius (see Retail Inventory). Retail, food and beverage establishments, as well as services,
cluster along Broadway in both directions, along Medford Street to the southwest, and
around Magoun Square, half a mile to the west along Broadway.

Figure 10. Quarter and half-mile radii around site. (Source: Google Maps.)

In particular, Assembly Row, a booming transit-oriented development, is located about half a


mile or a 16 minute walk away from Winter Hill Plaza; our site does not abut any square or
activity node, except for the commercial corridor of Broadway. Nevertheless, our site is in a
strategic location because it is infill, mixed-use, in a relatively calm and quiet neighborhood,
and yet gives residents access to 18-hour environments such as Assembly Row.

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Figure 11. Winter Hill Plazas proximity to nearby attractions (i.e. Assembly Row). (Source: Google
Maps.)

The Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA) 89 bus stops adjacent to the site
on Broadway as frequently as every 5-7 minutes during peak hours, providing easy access
to destinations farther afield, including the Orange Line at Sullivan Square, as well as East
Somerville, Ball Square, Davis Square, Tufts University, and Clarendon Hill at the western
end of Somerville. No rail transit is within reasonable walking distance of the site, but the
planned Green Line station at Gilman Square will be 0.4 miles away. And while Broadway
hosts a substantial amount of bike traffic and provides a natural east-west route through the
city, the stretch of the street in Winter Hill includes no bike lanes of any sort.
However, while the site is surrounded by a variety of commercial establishments, there are
very few public spaces within a half mile of the site; both green open space such as parks
and built public spaces, such as plazas, are within short supply in the Winter Hill
neighborhood. Residents do, however, have access to Foss Park (.37 miles to the east
along Broadway) and Trum Field (.56 miles to the west along Broadway), but these open
spaces serve primarily as ball fields and not as public parks where residents linger.
Residents thus have few third spaces in which to congregate, apart from the narrow
sidewalk along busy Broadway and local retail and restaurants.

Site History
Little information about Winter Hill Plazas history is publicly available. Winter Hill Bank was
originally founded in Somerville in 1909, but the current structure on site is clearly much
newer. The development of the surrounding neighborhood and the Broadway corridor has
mirrored trends in neighborhoods throughout the United States. Beginning in the mid-20th
century, automobilization took public spaces away from pedestrians. Sidewalks were
narrowed, entire plazas were removed, streetcars were sacked, and automobiles paved the
way forward.

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Figure 12. Winter Hill in the 1960s. (Source: Bobby Martini and WBUR Boston NPR,
http://radioboston.wbur.org/2011/03/02/citizen-somerville.)

Zoning
The 56,575 square foot (1.3-acre) south portion of Winter Hill Plaza, facing Broadway, falls
under the Commercial Corridor District 45 (CCD-45) zone, while the 18,200 square foot (.4acre) northern portion on Heath Street is zoned Residential B (RB).

Figure 13. Somerville Zoning Map, 2010. (Source: Somerville Office of Strategic Planning and
Community Development (OSPCD),
http://www.somervillema.gov/sites/default/files/ZoningMapColor2010-03.pdf.)

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Figure 14. Close-up of the zoning of the surrounding of the surrounding neighborhoods zoning 1
(Source: Somerville OSPCD, Zoning Map
http://www.somervillema.gov/sites/default/files/ZoningMapColor2010-03.pdf.)

Figure 15. Close-up of the zoning of our site and abutting properties: CCD-45 and Residential (RB
and RC) Districts2 (Source: Somerville OSPCD, Zoning Map
http://www.somervillema.gov/sites/default/files/ZoningMapColor2010-03.pdf.)

1
2

Somerville Planning Division, City of Somerville, Massachusetts: Zoning Map.


Ibid.

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A. CCD-45
Commercial corridor zoning first appeared in Somerville's zoning ordinance in 2009, and
was adopted for the Broadway corridor in 2010. CCD zoning represents a sizable leap in the
direction of a form-based code and seeks to promote mid-rise, neighborhood-serving mixeduse development in transportation corridors with robust transit service and high pedestrian
and bike traffic. Ideally, this development would promote community economic development
by revitalizing stagnant retail corridors such as Broadway, reducing car use, eliminating caroriented land uses, and incentivizing the creation of housing and jobs, all whilst being in line
with SomerVision goals.3
Thus, rather than micromanaging specific land uses, CCD zoning defines 11 use clusters
and allows all except for the industrial cluster. However, almost any substantial amount of
any use cluster requires a special permit with site plan review, giving the city control over the
final set of uses. In addition, the generous floor area ratio (FAR) of 2.5 enables larger
developments but is impossible to reach because of the 45 height limit.4
At the same time, however, CCD zoning seeks to shield existing residential neighborhoods
from encroachment, and prevent major shifts in neighborhood character. The zoning code
does so by incorporating strict design guidelines, providing strict guidance on building form
attributes ranging from massing to ground floor facades to signage.5 The CCD-45 zoning
also has development controls (see Table 1) limiting building heights to 45 feet in order to
encourage development proportional to the width of Broadway and the rest of the
neighborhood.6 A height limit of 35 feet within 35 feet of residential property lines adjacent to
the CCD as well as a 20 foot setback from these property lines, the first 10 feet of which
must be vegetation, ensure a smooth transition from residential areas7. These provisions
affect the entire western and northern borders of Winter Hill Plaza site, which abut
Residential C and Residential B zones, respectively.

Glavin, Memorandum: Proposed Zoning Amendment Item 195235: That the Zoning Ordinance Is
Hereby Amended by Changing All CCD 55 Zoning Districts in Ward 3 to CCD 45.; Ostberg,
Broadway Zoning Modifications Pass.
4 Glavin, Memorandum: Proposed Zoning Amendment Item 195235: That the Zoning Ordinance Is
Hereby Amended by Changing All CCD 55 Zoning Districts in Ward 3 to CCD 45; Municode.com,
Somerville, Massachusetts - Zoning Ordinances.
5 DiIorio et al., Planning Staff Recommendation Proposed Zoning Amendment; Glavin,
Memorandum: Proposed Zoning Amendment Item 195235: That the Zoning Ordinance Is Hereby
Amended by Changing All CCD 55 Zoning Districts in Ward 3 to CCD 45.
6 Ostberg, Broadway Zoning Modifications Pass.
7 Municode.com, Somerville, Massachusetts - Zoning Ordinances.
3

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Figure 16. Somerville Zoning Transition Requirements between Commercial Corridor Districts (CCD)
and Residential Districts. (Source: OSPCD 2012, p. 4.
http://www.somervillema.gov/sites/default/files/PorterSquareFAQuestions1-6-2012.pdf)

Finally, CCD-45 zoning requires that 12.5% of residential units be affordable. While CCD
zoning does mandate minimum amounts of parking for each use (see Table 3), the code
also provides an opportunity for payments in lieu of required parking in hopes of encouraging
taller buildings and pedestrian-friendly uses. The code also requires minimum amounts of
bicycle parking, once again based on the amount of each use on site.8
B. Residential B
Residential B zoning mirrors the typical residential-only zones found in cities across the
country. This zone limits development to no more than three-family residential dwelling units
per parcel, as well as certain community uses such as nursing homes, community centers,
libraries, educational buildings, and religious facilities of limited size. The ordinance does,
however, allow the establishment of more than three dwelling units on a lot through a special
permit, with site plan review, if 12.5% are affordable.
Furthermore, the RB zone imposes dimensional requirements (see Table 1). Lots cannot
exceed a floor area ratio of 1 or buildings a height of three stories (40). Front yards must be
at least 15 feet deep, backyards at least 20 feet deep, and side yards at least 10 feet wide.9

Glavin, Memorandum: Proposed Zoning Amendment Item 195235: That the Zoning Ordinance Is
Hereby Amended by Changing All CCD 55 Zoning Districts in Ward 3 to CCD 45; Lamboy, Rezoning
Broadway: Winter Hill to East Somerville - Joint Public Hearing Land Use Committee of the Board of
Aldermen and Somerville Planning Board; Municode.com, Somerville, Massachusetts - Zoning
Ordinances; OSPCD - Broadway: Winter Hill to East Somerville.
9 Municode.com, Somerville, Massachusetts - Zoning Ordinances.
8

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C. Surrounding zoning
Residential C (RC) zoning abuts the western edge of the CCD portion of our site; RC is a
zone similar to RB that allows more mixed-use development by right. Lots across Broadway
on the south side are also CCD-45, while the eastern edge of the CCD portion of the site is
zoned CCD-55, which is almost identical to CCD-45 but allows for a maximum height of 55
feet. Finally, the residential neighborhood surrounding the RB portion of Winter Hill Plaza lot
is logically also zoned RB.10
Table 1. Dimensional Requirements Compared, CCD-45 and RB Zoning Districts (Source: Somerville
Zoning Code, https://www.municode.com/library/ma/somerville/codes/zoning_ordinances.)

Dimensional Requirement

CCD-45

Residential B

Minimum lot area/dwelling unit

750 sq ft

1,500 sq ft

Maximum ground coverage (%)

80

50

Landscaped area, min. % of lot

10

25

FAR (maximum)

2.5

Maximum height

45 feet

40 feet and 3 stories

Minimum front yard

N/A

15 feet

Minimum side yard

N/A

10 feet

Minimum rear yard

N/A

20 feet

Minimum frontage

50 feet

30 feet

Table 2. Parking: RB Zone (Source: Somerville Zoning Code,


https://www.municode.com/library/ma/somerville/codes/zoning_ordinances.)

Use

Parking Requirement

Residential single and


multi-family dwellings

1 space per studio unit, 1.5 per 1-2 bedroom unit, 2 per 3+
bedroom unit AND 1 visitor space for every 6 units

10

Municode.com, Somerville, Massachusetts - Zoning Ordinances.

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Table 3. Parking: CCD-45 Zone (Source: Somerville Zoning Code,
https://www.municode.com/library/ma/somerville/codes/zoning_ordinances.)

Use Cluster

Parking Requirement*

A Office / R & D Use

1 per 800 NSF

B Small Retail and Service (< 1,500 NSF)

1 per 1500 NSF

C Medium Retail and Service (1,500-10,000 NSF)

1 per 800 NSF

D Eating and Drinking

1 per 400 NSF

E Residential

1 per unit

*With the approval of the SPGA, the applicant may make either a cash payment in lieu of providing the required
parking, or a partial cash payment combined with a partial provision of the required vehicle or bicycle parking .11
(font 9, single line spacing)

Demographics
Compared to the City of Somerville as a whole, the neighborhood around Winter Hill Plaza
has more family households, is more diverse, lower income, and less educated. This report
defines the neighborhood as all census block groups which intersect a circle with a mile
radius centered at Winter Hill Plaza site; this area is approximately that within a half-mile
radius around the site. All data comes from the American Community Survey 2013 5 Year
Estimates.12
Family households make up 58% of all households in the surrounding neighborhood,
compared to only 45% citywide. Accordingly, only 35% of neighborhood residents are age
18 to 34, but fully 46% of Somerville residents fall into this student and young adult age
bracket. Older adults and children, on the other hand, are overrepresented in the
surrounding neighborhood. Thus, Winter Hill Plaza area does not seem to be as gentrified as
other Somerville neighborhoods.

Figure 17. Household type. (Source: 2013 American Community Survey 5 Year Estimates.)
11
12

Municode.com, Somerville, Massachusetts - Zoning Ordinances.


Social Explorer, American Community Survey 2013 5 Year Estimates.

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Figure 18. Age distribution. (Source: 2013 American Community Survey 5 Year Estimates.)

Winter Hill not only has more families but is also more diverse. Whites make up 69% of
surrounding neighborhood residents, a share that is 8 percentage points below that of the
Citys. Notably, African Americans make up twice as large a share of neighborhood residents
as in the city overall.

Figure 19. Race. (Source: 2013 American Community Survey 5 Year Estimates.)

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The surrounding neighborhood's median household income, at $55,641, falls around
$12,000 below the corresponding figure for Somerville. Accordingly, around 19% of
neighborhood residents live in households with incomes below the poverty line, compared to
roughly 15% citywide.
Table 4. Median Household Income (Source: 2013 American Community Survey 5 Year Estimates.)
Surrounding
Somerville
neighborhood
Median household
$55,641
$67,118
income

Figure 20. Poverty. (Source: 2013 American Community Survey 5 Year Estimates.)

Education levels in the neighborhood surrounding our site also fall below citywide averages;
only 35% of neighborhood residents have a college degree, a percentage that is fully 18
percentage points higher in Somerville as a whole.

Figure 21. Education. (Source: 2013 American Community Survey 5 Year Estimates.)

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Housing costs generally reflect these income and education differentials. Tenure choice
mirrors that in the city as a whole, as about two-thirds of households rent in both, but the
median home value of $342,987 is 22% lower than the citywide median, and the median
gross rent of $1,257 falls 11% below the citywide figure. These lower prices mean housing in
the area is no more affordable than in the city as a whole, relative to residents' incomes in
both the surrounding neighborhood and the city, the median renter household spends just
under a third of its income on rent.
Finally, likely owing to the lack of nearby rail transit, the Winter Hill Plaza neighborhood
relies much more heavily on cars. 73% of neighborhood commuters drive alone or carpool,
while only 50% of Somerville commuters do so. The public transportation share is one third
lower in the neighborhood; furthermore, relative to the city averages, a neighborhood
commuter is only half as likely to walk to work and one fifth as likely to bike to work.

Figure 22. Commute modal split. (Source: 2013 American Community Survey 5 Year Estimates.)

In proposing the redevelopment of Winter Hill Plaza site, we seek to, on the one hand,
preserve the family-oriented, diverse, mixed-income character of the neighborhood, and on
the other hand, reduce the share of residents driving alone to work by encouraging the use
of alternative, more sustainable modes.

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III. Analysis

Nearby Development

Figure 23. Issues Map.

Figure 24: Birds eye view of existing site. (Source: Bing Maps.)

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Challenges
Lack of pedestrian access through the site and poor circulation
Steep embankments on most sides of the site impede easy access, and the edges not
blocked by embankments are currently fenced off. The annexed parcel to the north of the
site is a parking lot that tends to be vacant, probably because it served the now-closed
restaurant and is walled off from Heath Street by a wooden fence. Residents and
pedestrians coming from the north are therefore unable to access the site and the
surrounding Broadway commercial area.

Auto-oriented streetscape
The site contains over 90 spaces for automobiles, most of which usually stand empty. The
entrances from the bare, treeless sidewalk on Broadway are car-oriented driveways, and the
interior of the site contains few sidewalks and no bike racks.
Broadway is a busy four-lane arterial road, but the only nearby crosswalk is located at the
signaled intersection of Broadway and School St. at the southeastern corner of the site.
Even these crosswalks are poorly marked and do not provide a pedestrian median, despite
Broadways width. The all-walk traffic signals force pedestrians to endure excessive wait
times, contributing to the frequency of jaywalking and creating an unsafe situation for all road
users. In addition, Broadway contains no bike lane of any kind.

Figure 25. The empty parking lot on the northern part of the site is fenced off from the adjoining
residential neighborhood on Heath Street. (Source: Google Street View.)

Split zoning and unusual shape


Our site is composed of parcels that are zoned for commercial uses along Broadway, and
residential uses along Heath Street. While the commercial (CCD-45) zoning on the southern
part of the site on Broadway encourages larger mixed-use developments, the Residential B
zoning in the northern part on Heath Street restricts development to three-story residential
complexes. The sites wedges further impede circulation; the narrow neck and offset
between the southern and northern portions of the site make the design of larger buildings
more complicated.

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Distance to rail transit


If the Green Line Extension is built, it will not be as close to Winter Hill Plaza as other
neighborhoods served by stations in the railroad right-of-way further south, including Ball
Square, Lowell Street, and Gilman Square. At 0.4 miles, the Gilman Sq. station will be the
closest and will be within realistic walking distance. Nevertheless, 0.4 miles is not close
enough for this site to serve as a transit-oriented development.

Figure 26. Planned Green Line Extension (Source: MassDOT,


http://greenlineextension.eot.state.ma.us/documents/about/ProposedMap/projectMap.pdf)

Sloping grade
Our site is on Winter Hill, and the hill slopes downward towards the east. This grade
complicates designs, especially plans for larger, multi-story buildings.

Uninviting public space


Our site has two entrances from Broadway for vehicles, and the rest of the sidewalk is
blocked off from the site by a fence. The large amount of asphalt on site, as well as the lack
of greenery, make the space uninviting to pedestrians, wasting a valuable, centrally located
neighborhood open space. All of this asphalt also contributes to poor rainwater
management.

Opportunities
Site size and pedestrian connection
At 1.7 acres, Winter Hill Plaza offers sufficient size to build multiple buildings as well as
public open space. In addition, the fact that it fronts on both Broadway and Heath St. will
allow the redeveloped site to serve as a connection between the Broadway commercial
corridor and the surrounding residential neighborhood, improving access for residents and
increasing the amount of foot traffic passing by the retail onsite.

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Figure 27. Depth of site available for redevelopment. (Photo credit: Daniel Camilletti, October 2015)

Need for public spaces in the neighborhood


The surrounding neighborhood contains few public spaces of any kind apart from sidewalks.
Area residents have no plazas, non-ballfield parks, or other public third places where
neighbors could congregate,13 build community, spend time outdoors, or satiate their
biophilic need for contact with the natural world. Combined with Somervilles high residential
density and the large amount of vehicular traffic traveling along Broadway and to or from I93, the lack of public spaces detracts from the livability of the neighborhood and residents
quality of life. This lack of public space, however, gives the Winter Hill Plaza redevelopment
the opportunity to build a public open space that will serve as a focal point for the
neighborhood. Such a public space would surely be well used since it would not have to
compete with existing parks and plazas; adding open space with ample trees and other
natural elements would thus fill a critical niche in the area and markedly improve the urban
quality of life.

Figure 28. Existing public spaces in Winter Hill. (Source: Winter Hill and Magoun Square Community
Plan, http://web.mit.edu/11.360/www/WinterHill12.pdf.)
MIT Department of Urban Studies and Planning, Winter Hill and Magoun Square Community Plan
2012.
13

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Views
The site offers sweeping views of the Boston skyline even from the ground floor, so
apartments and offices facing the city will command a rent premium. These views might help
attract tenants in this otherwise less-trafficked area, and the higher rents for penthouse
apartments could subsidize affordable housing in other parts of the development.

Figure 29. Boston skyline views from the ground. (Photo credit: Daniel Camilletti, October 2015)

Figure 30. View corridor from fourth floor. (Source: Google Earth.)

29

Existing trees and courtyard


The employee break courtyard in the northeastern corner of the site contains five mature
pine trees and currently serves as a pleasant respite from the traffic and noise along
Broadway. This space, which is sandwiched between a neighboring brick apartment building
and the Walgreens, will be preserved in the new design. The site also has stand of mature
trees on the western edge of the current parking lot as well as along the northern edge
adjacent to Heath Street.

Figure 31. Mature trees in courtyard space. (Photo credit: Daniel Camilletti, October 2015)

Business mix
The surrounding area plays host to a large number of banks and convenience stores, in
particular, but is missing restaurants, coffee shops, and a variety of other business types
(see Retail Inventory). Thus, the retail on this site will be able to fill a unique niche,
complementing an existing commercial cluster without facing direct competition.

Nearby mixed-use development at 315 Broadway


To the east of the site, on the same side of Broadway, a mixed-use development which will
contain 4 retail bays and 46 apartments is currently under construction.14 This development
will complement the Winter Hill Plaza site redevelopment, adding to the vibrancy of the
neighborhood and increasing onsite retail businesses customer base.15

Figure 32: 315 Broadway construction site. (Photo credit: Daniel Camilletti, October 2015)
14
15

Planning Staff Report: 315 Broadway / 18 Temple St


Gibbs, Urban Retail Planning Principles for Traditional Neighborhoods.

30

Surrounding apartment buildings


Four apartment buildings on adjacent properties anchor the four corners of our site. Three
story wood-frame apartment buildings are abutting the site along Heath St. A 1960s fourstory apartment building sits at the western edge on Broadway, while a four-and-a-half story
brick apartment building abuts the site to the east along Broadway. Because the latter is a
late 19th/early 20th century structure, with taller ceiling heights than in later buildings and a
substantial parapet, its height is above 50 feet, taller than our proposed development. The
mass and height of these existing buildings allow the structures on Winter Hill Plaza site to
be built taller and larger without disrupting the character of the neighborhood and the
Broadway corridor.

Figure 33. Multi-family wood-frame residential buildings abut our site on the east and west along
Heath Street. (Source: Google Street Views.)

Figure 34. Apartment buildings to the west and east of the site, on Broadway. (Source, left image:
Google Street Views; Photo credit, right image: Daniel Camilletti, October 2015.)

31

Figure 35. Triple-deckers behind the site along Heath St. (Photo credit: Daniel Camilletti, October
2015.)

Location in Broadway corridor


Broadway already functions as a major arterial route through the City of Somerville, hosting
large amounts of car and bus traffic. This commercial location will increase sales at retail on
the site by allowing shoppers to link errands and by increasing spontaneous shopping
stops.16 In addition, this site, together with the nearby new development at 315 Broadway,
could serve as the catalyst for transit improvements in the corridor, improving transit access
for office workers as well as residents. For trips without a transit alternative, residents and
office workers will have easy access to a major east-west thoroughfare.

Figure 36. Broadway corridor looking east. (Source: Google Street Views.)

Figure 37. Broadway corridor looking west. (Source: Google Street Views.)
16

Gibbs, Urban Retail Planning Principles for Traditional Neighborhoods.

32

Proximity to existing activity centers


Winter Hill Plaza is located between Union Square and Assembly Row, and so will be able to
benefit from traffic to these existing destinations while allowing residents and office workers
to conveniently access surrounding commercial districts. The site could also draw retail
businesses and firms looking for office space who are unable to afford the higher rents in the
aforementioned districts and in Kendall Square.17

Planning history
To date, no professional planning studies of Winter Hill Plaza have been conducted, and
there has been virtually no public discussion in the media or elsewhere about the possibility
of redeveloping the site. A student team from MITs Department of Urban Studies and
Planning did, however, complete a planning study of the entire neighborhood entitled Winter
Hill and Magoun Square Community Plan in 2012. The Plan emphasizes the revitalization
and diversification of the retail mix in the Broadway corridor, the improvement of the areas
public realm, and the encouragement of walking, biking, and transit use.18

Retail Inventory
Most of the retail inventory and needs in this section is based on that Community Plan.19
A. Existing businesses
Virtually all businesses within mile of Winter Hill Plaza site (see Figure 10, Quarter-mile
radius) fall into one of eight categories.
Convenience stores
The quarter-mile radius around Winter Hill Plaza currently hosts more than enough
convenience stores and their equivalents, including M & M Convenience, 350 Food Mart,
Broadway Dollar, Winter Hill Market, and Taj Mahal Desi Bazaar, Shivalic Food and Spice,
Bostonian Convenience II, Sky Braz Store, Online Foods, and Pearl Street Market.
Pharmacies
Similarly, pharmacies are oversupplied in the current retail mix, as a Walgreen's occupies
Winter Hill Plaza site and a RiteAid is located just 0.1 mile to the east. However, the
Walgreen's would likely be eliminated in our redevelopment.
Laundry
The neighborhood does not need more laundromats or dry cleaners, as four Mystic Tailors
and Cleaners, Spin Cycle Laundromat, City Line Laundromat, and Skyline Cleaning Co.
are already located within a quarter mile of the site.
MIT Department of Urban Studies and Planning, Winter Hill and Magoun Square Community Plan
2012.
18 Ibid.
19 Ibid.
17

33
Banks
Financial institutions amply serve the area, as the neighborhood hosts two branches of
Winter Hill Bank (one onsite) and a nearby Citizens Bank.
Cosmetic
No less than seven hair salons Maryom Hair Design, Mr. James Coiffeur, Mabell's Hair
Salon, Goodfellas Barber Shop, Elegance Hair Design, Curlz & Cutz, and Fran Danies Hair
Design as well as four beauty salons Disol, Tang Nail Salon, Lourdes Beauty Salon, and
Paris Nail provide cosmetic services.
Liquor
The quarter-mile radius neighborhood also contains two liquor stores, Winter Hill Liquor Mart
and TT Ocean Liquors.
Technology stores
MetroPCS sells cell phones and plans, while a nearby Game Connection provides electronic
gaming items.
Informal/takeout food
Three of the informal Italian counter/takeout restaurants so common in Somerville occupy
sites within a quarter mile of Winter Hill Plaza, including Mama Lisa Pizza House, Leone's
Sub and Pizza, and Alfredo's Italian Kitchen. The Winter Hill Bakery, Falafel Place, and New
Dragon Star offer the same type of inexpensive, quick food.
B. Needs
Overall, the Community Plan calls for attracting businesses that increase the area's daytime
population in order to create a customer base for existing businesses. Uses that draw in
external customers as well as Destination businesses, which serve as more than mere
stop-offs in residents' daily routines, should be prioritized.20
Full-service grocery
The Community Plan underscores the need for a full-service grocery store in the
neighborhood;21 given that the city plans to attract such a store to the former Star Market site
less than mi. east of Winter Hill Plaza on Broadway, a large, full-service grocery store
would not be appropriate for the Winter Hill Plaza site.
Medical
Currently, Highland Dental Associates provides the only medical service in the
neighborhood; given a desire among community members to attract businesses that would
bring in customers daily and generate foot traffic, a medical practice could help increase the
daytime population of the neighborhood.22

20Ibid.
21Ibid.
22Ibid.

34
Sit-down restaurants and bars
The Community Plan also calls for sit-down restaurants and bars to balance the many
takeout-style restaurants in the area, as such recreational uses serve as destinations
rather than simply quick stops.23
Arts-related businesses
Studio spaces for artists, as are found in Inman Square, Union Square, and Brickbottom,
could meet excess demand for such spaces in Somerville and attract diverse users and
customers.24 Galleries could adjoin such studio spaces.
Recreational activity centers
The Community Plan cites health centers and yoga studios as examples of the type of
destination use that could draw diverse flows of residents to the Winter Hill neighborhood.25
Bookstores and other unique local shops
Resident comments during the Community Plan process emphasized the need for stores
where...residents [can] buy a pair of sneakers, [a] book, birthday present, food? Residents
did note, however, that the shops should remain affordable to area residents.26
Coffee shops
The neighborhood lacks any kind of casual hangout space, and coffee shops could
facilitate social as well as business meetings and co-working, turning the neighborhood into
more of a destination and less of a mere transportation corridor.

IV. Urban Design Principles


Urban Design Goals
Establish a connection between residential neighborhoods and Broadway
Currently, residents of the neighborhood north of Broadway cannot directly access Winter
Hill Plaza. Neither can they access Broadway itself, except through the side streets of
Fenwick Street and Langmaid Avenue, which are 528 feet (.1 mile) apart from each other.
An ideal block length between vehicular streets ranges from 600 to 800 feet, but needs
additional pedestrian connections through the block along that length. As an example, the
City of Portland, OR, requires a maximum block length of 530 feet, with pedestrian
connections every 200 to 330 feet. Likewise, best practices in urban design hold that the
ideal perimeter of a block should be 1,600 feet; the block that encompasses Winter Hill
Plaza is 1,936 feet (Broadway, Fenwick Street, Heath Street, and Langmaid Avenue).
Our pedestrian street concept will create a publicly accessible pedestrian and bike path
between Heath St. and Broadway, making the pedestrian grid more permeable and thus
promoting walking trips in line with the SomerVision goal of increasing trips by sustainable

23Ibid.
24Ibid.
25Ibid.
26Ibid.

p. 50.

35
27

modes. Improving access throughout the neighborhood will also help revitalize the
Broadway corridor and increase foot traffic, a goal cited in the Winter Hill Community Plan.28
Smoothly transition to adjacent residential properties
The site will transition from four-story mixed-use buildings along Broadway to more modest
row houses adjacent to Heath Street, smoothing the border between the commercial
development along Broadway and the residential areas to the north. The passageway
through the site will mirror this transition, morphing from an open, bustling plaza to an
intimate pedestrian street adjacent to the row houses. In order to make our four-story
buildings blend with the scale of adjacent residential properties on each side, the east
facade of the east building and the west facade of the west building will taper to three stories
within 35 feet of the property line, while the row houses on the north portion of the site will be
three stories in height. In addition, 20-foot setbacks and side yards along the residential
property lines will shield adjacent houses; bioswales will ring the edges of the site and
provide a green, aesthetically pleasing transition.
Encourage the use of alternative modes of transportation
Building a dense mixed-use development comprising office, residential, and retail space
adjacent to a frequent MBTA bus line will increase the number of destinations accessible by
non-auto modes, expand the customer base for bus service, and enable trip-chaining. In
addition, the plaza will provide a pleasant environment for pedestrian trips by adding a sense
of enclosure to the streetscape.29 These measures will move Somerville closer to its goal of
shifting half of all new trips to sustainable modes30 and support the Somerville
Comprehensive Plan's vision of a pedestrian-friendly, transit-rich neighborhood.
Create a pleasant public realm for the enjoyment of all area residents
Residents of the neighborhood frequently bemoan the lack of public space, so Winter Hill
Plaza development will implement the Community Plan's vision of frequent, small-scale
public spaces in the form of a pedestrian plaza which could eventually anchor the proposed
Broadway Linear Park.31 The plaza's landscaping and seating opportunities which will have
a first-rate view of the Boston skyline will create a community gathering space, while the
buildings' distinctive architecture and form will enhance the neighborhood's identity. Though
relatively small in size, the plaza will create a vibrant neighborhood center and third place,
bringing Somerville closer to achieving 125 new acres of publicly accessible open space by
2030.32 In addition, trees and landscaping will incorporate the biophilic elements so vital to
physical and mental health in dense urban neighborhoods.33

SomerVision Comprehensive Plan | 2010-2030.


MIT Department of Urban Studies and Planning, Winter Hill and Magoun Square Community Plan
2012.
29 Campoli, Made for Walking: Density and Neighborhood Form.
30 SomerVision Comprehensive Plan | 2010-2030.
31MIT Department of Urban Studies and Planning, Winter Hill and Magoun Square Community Plan
2012.
32 MIT Department of Urban Studies and Planning, Winter Hill and Magoun Square Community Plan
2012.; SomerVision Comprehensive Plan | 2010-2030.
33 Beatley, Biophilic Cities: Integrating Nature into Urban Design and Planning.
27
28

36
Create a hub of commercial activity
Retail will occupy the ground floors of both four-story buildings, thus contributing to the
economic development of the Broadway commercial corridor, adding local jobs, and
decreasing the need for local residents to drive.34 The development will seek to encourage
neighborhood-oriented businesses, advancing the SomerVision Comprehensive Plan's
vision of community-serving commercial growth. Our commercial node will also help
Somerville channel 85% of development into transformative areas and move towards its
goal of adding 30,000 new local jobs.35
Provide a sense of definition and enclosure along Broadway
Building two four-story buildings which partially front on Broadway will balance the wide
roadway with appropriate height in order to provide pedestrians and bicyclists on the street
with a sense of enclosure and an edge.36 By thus improving the pedestrian experience, the
redevelopment will increase pedestrian traffic in the area and encourage the use of
sustainable, non-auto modes of transportation.
Improve the jobs-housing balance in the neighborhood
The paucity of in-city employment forces most Somerville residents to commute to
neighboring cities,37 increasing their likelihood of driving to work. Both SomerVision and the
Winter Hill Community Plan seek to encourage the creation of local jobs, not only to increase
the city's tax base but also to provide a market base for local businesses. Accordingly,
Winter Hill Plaza will provide space for approximately 200 jobs.
Establish a vibrant, dense, affordable residential community
Winter Hill Plaza will accommodate three floors of apartments above retail and a further
three floors in the residential-only structures on Heath Street. Rooftop and third-floor
terraces on the east and west building setbacks will provide spaces for community
gatherings, while the density will ensure that these public spaces as well as the plaza remain
well-used and lively. The more expensive units with views of Boston will subsidize 20% of
the units to make them affordable, thus increasing the housing supply in line with
SomerVision goals and decreasing pressure on the housing market while ensuring a
diversity of incomes in the units.38 The Community Plan also encourages this typology.
Minimize environmental impact through the use of green infrastructure
Green roofs on the east and west buildings and bioswales along the site edges will not only
improve human health39 but will also filter and retain storm water,40 insulate the buildings,
and sequester carbon.41 By absorbing more rainwater and retaining stormwater on site, the
development will reduce flooding and minimize the incidence of the combined sewer
overflows that plague the neighborhood.42
34

Campoli, Made for Walking: Density and Neighborhood Form.


SomerVision Comprehensive Plan | 2010-2030.
36 Sussman and Hollander. 2015. Cognitive Architecture.
37 MIT Department of Urban Studies and Planning, Winter Hill and Magoun Square Community Plan
38 SomerVision Comprehensive Plan | 2010-2030.
39 Beatley, Biophilic Cities: Integrating Nature into Urban Design and Planning.
40 What Is Green Infrastructure?
41 Beatley, Biophilic Cities: Integrating Nature into Urban Design and Planning.
42 MIT Department of Urban Studies and Planning, Winter Hill and Magoun Square Community Plan
2012.
35

37

Precedents
While the design team does not expect Winter Hill Plaza to ever be as dense and dynamic
as Midtown Manhattan, we are nonetheless inspired by the NYC Department of
Transportation which has been reclaiming public spaces for pedestrians. These pedestrian
plazas, such as the Flatiron Public Plaza, create pleasant third places where the public can
relax at tables and take in the urban atmosphere. Potted plants and trees add to the visual
appeal of the Flatiron Plaza and satisfy the human biophilic tendencies - the public space
adds to the livability of the urban environment and facilitates community interaction. Our
design attempts to create this same kind of respite from the bustle and traffic of the urban
environment, building a public plaza where the public sits down and stays rather than simply
passing through.

Figure 38. Flatiron Public Plaza, New York City (Source: Flatiron 23rd Street Partnership,
http://www.flatirondistrict.nyc/bid-programs/public-improvements.)

Our site will also arguably not receive as much pedestrian traffic as the Davis Square Plaza,
but the pedestrian street design will mirror this existing pedestrian connector. Our pedestrian
street will knit together the surrounding residential neighborhood and the Broadway corridor,
much as the Davis Square Plaza links Herbert St. and Elm St. with a vibrant pedestrian
corridor lined with retail and food/beverage establishments.

38

Figure 39. Davis Square Plaza, Somerville, MA. (Source: Google Street View)

Elfreths Alley, an intimate pedestrian street in Philadelphia lined with row houses, provides a
precedent for the northern half of our developments pedestrian connector street. Elfreths
row houses provide clear edges and create a pedestrian-scale space, while design details
and vegetation make the walkway aesthetically pleasing. Elfreth also provides a pedestrian
connection in the middle of a block, improving neighborhood connectivity.43

Figure 40. Elfreths Alley, Philadelphia. (Source: Wikipedia,


https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Elfreth%27s_Alley)
43

Elfreths Alley, Wikipedia.

39
A mixed-use development currently under construction at 1601 Mariposa in San Francisco
combines a public plaza lined with greenery with a pedestrian connector that, like Elfreths
Alley, improves mid-block access and makes the street grid more walkable.44 Our
development will include a similarly enclosed, green public plaza with tables and chairs to
facilitate informal hanging out and street life. We also seek to emulate the gradual
transition from the open plaza to the more enclosed, intimate pedestrian street lined with
residences.

Figure 41. 1601 Mariposa plaza and mid-block pedestrian walkway. (Source: David Baker Architects,
http://www.dbarchitect.com/project_detail/182/1601%20Mariposa.html.)

Trolley Square in North Cambridge, MA, is a 100 percent affordable mixed-use


development;45 the mixing of restaurant uses with affordable housing as well as the fourstory height and density serve as precedents for our design concept. In addition, many of the
units in the development have direct entrances from the sidewalk on Mass. Ave., an
arrangement which makes the units feel less cramped and increases the appeal of
apartment living. This duplex-style arrangement will be mirrored in our design.

44
45

1601 Mariposa, David Baker Architects.


Trolley Square, Cambridge, MA, Davis Square Architects.

40

Figure 42. Trolley Square, Cambridge, MA Mixed use development. (Source: Davis Square
Architects, http://davissquarearchitects.com/project/trolley--square--cambridge--ma)

The mixed-use development currently under construction at 315 Broadway, two lots to the
east of our site, will contain 46 apartments as well as 4 ground floor retail bays along
Broadway.46 Our development seeks to emulate this mixture of uses; the height and mass of
the future building at 315 Broadway also set a precedent for larger buildings in the
neighborhood.

Figure 43. 315 Broadway (2 lots to the east along Broadway). (Source: City of Somerville,
http://www.somervillema.gov/sites/default/files/documents/315-Broadway_Somerville_2013-0304.pdf)

Nearby Assembly Row serves as a precedent because it mixes a variety of retail, restaurant,
and commercial uses in a dense cluster with multiple five story buildings. Assembly is also
notable for its vibrant, very visually appealing public plazas that include a variety of outdoor
seating as well as trees; our development seeks to create public spaces of equally high
quality.
46

Planning Staff Report: 315 Broadway / 18 Temple St

41

Figure 44. Assembly Row, Somerville, MA. (Source: The Boston Calendar,
http://www.thebostoncalendar.com/events/assembly-row-job-fair)

The design of our modern row houses takes its inspiration from the modern two-family home
at 40 Cameron Ave. in Somerville, which, though new, echoes the design of the historic
multi-family houses in the city.

Figure 45. Two-family house at 40 Cameron Ave., Somerville. (Source: Coldwell Banker Homes,
https://www.coldwellbankerhomes.com/ma/somerville/40-cameron-ave/pid_5226470/.)

42
Our row houses will also have solar panels, taking inspiration from Artists for Humanity in
Boston.

Figure 46. Artists for Humanity Rooftop. (Photo credit by Rayn Riel.)

V. Program of Uses
The proposed Winter Hill Plaza development consists of three buildings: the West Building,
the East Building, and the Northwest Building. The West Building will be built on a footprint
of 13,432 gross square feet (GSF); the first through third floors will occupy the entire
footprint, while the fourth floor will occupy only the 6,456 GSF closest to Broadway and be
set back on the western side by 15 feet in order to comply with CCD zoning requirements of
transition to adjacent residential neighborhoods.
The East Building will occupy a footprint of 16,758 GSF; the first three floors will once again
occupy the entire footprint, and the fourth floor will be set back by 15 feet from the eastern
edge along its entire length. A pedestrian plaza will occupy the space between the East and
West buildings, and rooftop terraces as well as terraces on fourth floors in the space created
by the setbacks will add to the open space available on site. A parking garage under the
East Building will provide 55 parking spaces.
Finally, the Northwest building will occupy a footprint of 3,211 GSF and will be composed
entirely of 3-story duplex row houses.
This design achieves an FAR of 0.97 on the Residential B portion of the site, just below the
maximum allowable FAR of 1 for that zoning district. The FAR on the CCD-45 portion of the
site is 1.66, below the limit of 2.5.

43

Figure 47. Site Plan Rooftop View.

A. Residential
The West Building contains residential units on the north portion of the first floor as well as
the entire second, third, and fourth floors 3,664 NSF on the first floor, 10,074 NSF on the
second and third floors, and 4,842 NSF on the fourth floor. The units in the south four-story
portion of the West Building (the southern 8,062 GSF of the footprint) will be arranged in a
double-loaded corridor pattern, although the arrangement will be irregular due to the
buildings shape. This design will allow 5 double-loaded corridor units on the second as well
as on the third floors (6,045 NSF per floor) and then 4 units on the fourth floor (4,842 NSF),
for a total of 14 double-loaded corridor units in the West Building. Units on the east-facing
side of the higher floors will have panoramic views of the Boston skyline.
The north portion - the northernmost 5,371 GSF of the footprint - of the West Building will be
only 3 stories high and will consist of 6 duplex row-houses, for a total of 12 units. These units
occupy 3,664 NSF on the first floor and 4,028 NSF on the second and third floors. Two

44
apartments will be spread over three floors in each of the mostly 20 by 40 row houses.
This building will front both on the sites pedestrian street and on Heath Street, mirroring the
triple-deckers along the rest of the street and linking our development with the residential
neighborhood north of the site. These mostly three- and four-bedroom units of the north
portion of the West Building will each have their own entrance from the outside, a porch, and
a backyard shared with the other units, as is the case for historic triple-deckers. This
arrangement will appeal to families who seek larger units and private outdoor space for
children, as well as those who seek a dense but less urban feel.
47

The East Building will also contain 8 double-loaded corridor apartments (8,505 NSF) on the
fourth floor, once again capitalizing on the superb view of the Boston skyline that this site
affords.
Finally, the Northwest Building will mirror the row house portion of the West Building with
four three-story row houses, housing a total of 8 duplex row house units in 4 row houses this arrangement takes up 2,408 NSF per floor.
These 42 housing units are the key to mixed-use development; the residential density on site
will provide vitality and foot traffic on site, support high quality transit, allow residents to avoid
driving by accomplishing many tasks on site and at adjacent commercial establishments,
and provide a natural customer base for the retail on site and in the surrounding
neighborhood.48 In addition, 7 3-bedroom units (17%) will be deeded as permanently
affordable. The skyline views of the east-facing fourth floor apartments on both buildings will
in turn command rents adequate to subsidize the affordable portion of the development. The
development will also include a high proportion of three-bedroom units the exact number
will be negotiated with the developer based on current market trends in order to provide for
and preserve the family-oriented character of the neighborhood.

B. Office
The East Building will host two floors of office space 14,245 NSF on the second and third
floors. The Community Plan identifies artist studio space, co-working spaces, and smaller
flexible office space, targeted at startups and small businesses49 as particularly effective in
increasing the level and diversity of foot traffic as well as the daytime population. In addition,
the Plan suggests that Magoun Square and Winter Hill could leverage their proximity to
downtown Boston to eventually attract innovation economy businesses that are priced out
of other areas like Kendall Square.50 All of these office types would provide a clientele for
retail and local businesses both on- and offsite, rectifying a critical problem in the
neighborhood.51 To boot, employees would have the opportunity of living onsite or in
adjacent residential neighborhoods, encouraging pedestrian trips to work.
Only the southernmost row house in the West Building is larger than 20 by 40.
MIT Department of Urban Studies and Planning, Winter Hill and Magoun Square Community Plan
2012.; Campoli, Made for Walking: Density and Neighborhood Form.
49 MIT Department of Urban Studies and Planning, Winter Hill and Magoun Square Community Plan
2012, p. 52.
50 Ibid., p. 52
51 Ibid.
47
48

45
On average, offices require 176 square feet per employee, although startups sometimes
provide as little as 120 sq. feet per worker.52 This development aims to maximize the positive
impact of the office space on foot traffic and sales at neighborhood retail by offering a mix of
flexible office arrangements to attract start-ups and smaller high technology firms, as
suggested by the Community Plan, and so, assuming the smaller office size typical for the
industry, the allocated office space could likely accommodate around 200 employees at
roughly 140 NSF/employee on 28,489 NSF of office space in total.
Thus, the two floors of office space in the East Building could be occupied by several
medium-sized startups such as the charity auction website BiddingForGood (45 employees)
or the mobile app analytics firm Localytics (80 employees) or 10+ small startups, such as
the athletic event photo company Gameface Media (14 employees) and indoor lighting
technology producer ByteLight (13 employees).53 One floor could also host a membershipbased coworking space such as Workbar.54

C. Retail
The West Building's ground floor contains 6,852 NSF of retail in the front half, while the East
Building's ground floor can accommodate 14,245 NSF thereof. All retail will occupy plaza
and street-facing bays, thereby providing an active facade to attract pedestrians and add
variety to the pedestrian experience, encouraging walking, biking, and transit trips and
increasing foot traffic to other businesses in the area. Naturally, the onsite retail will enable
the onsite residents and office workers to accomplish more tasks on foot even those who
do not live on site could accomplish multiple tasks at once and so avoid driving to access
several far-flung destinations.55
At 21,097 NSF, this retail complex will serve as a convenience center these centers
require 2,000 households in their trade area, and the critical quarter-mile radius that defines
a walkable area around Winter Hill Plaza contains roughly 2,870 households.56 The
pedestrian street on our site will provide direct pedestrian access from surrounding
residential neighborhoods, and the site's location on a major transportation artery makes it
suitable for such a convenience center. Establishing the next larger type of retail center, the
neighborhood center, would make little sense, however, as a new grocery store is already
planned on the nearby former Star Market site.57

Barron, As Office Space Shrinks, So Does Privacy for Workers.


Castellanos and Harris, Whos Hiring in Tech Right Now (list).
54 http://workbar.com
55 Campoli, Made for Walking: Density and Neighborhood Form.; Farr, Sustainable Urbanism: Urban
Design with Nature.
56 Social Explorer, American Community Survey 2013 5 Year Estimates.
57 Gibbs, Urban Retail Planning Principles for Traditional Neighborhoods.
52
53

46

Figure 48. Retail Bays - Ground Floor Only.

More specifically, the West Building will ideally contain an independent coffee shop similar in
size to a Dunn Brothers Coffee, which are willing to locate in urban areas (1,600 NSF), a
Buffalo Exchange second hand shop (3,000 NSF), and a neighborhood pub (2,252 NSF).58
As detailed in the Retail Inventory, the coffee shop will provide a casual gathering space and
draw residents to linger in Winter Hill Plaza, while the bar will be a destination in and of itself,
keeping the plaza lively well into the night, inviting shoppers to linger in the neighborhood,
and generating traffic for other area businesses, thereby establishing the neighborhood as
more of a destination than a pass through. The office workers would provide happy hour
business for the pub as well as a steady stream of customers for the coffee shop during the
week. Buffalo Exchange will fill the critical need identified by residents for local shops to buy
a variety of items incorporating a second-hand shop guarantees that the products will
remain affordable.

58

Ulane, How to Start Your Own Successful Bar.

47
The East Building, then, will contain a larger, ideally locally-owned restaurant, similar in size
to a Ruby Tuesday (5,000 NSF) as well as a smaller 100-seat family restaurant (2,500
NSF)59 both will complement the pub and compensate for the current lack of sit-down
dining in the area, establishing Winter Hill as an evening destination for a night out office
workers would patronize the establishments for lunch, while residents and visitors would
provide a dinner customer base. In turn, the restaurants would draw greater levels of foot
traffic well into the night, helping to revitalize existing businesses in a self-reinforcing cycle.60
In addition, this building would feature a Basics Plus general home goods store (1,000 NSF),
a brand which prefers high-traffic locations near office and residential buildings such as
Winter Hill Plaza, and a medium-sized independent bookstore (3,700 NSF),61 both of which
would add everyday shopping options which are currently missing from the neighborhood
and which would allow residents and office workers to make more local shopping trips on
foot. Finally, an Anytime Fitness 24/7 fitness studio would round out (2,045 NSF) the
building, providing a recreational destination that would benefit office workers, area
residents, and patrons of surrounding retail and draw continuous foot traffic to the area.62
Together, these retail establishments would form a retail cluster and increase other
businesses' sales, spontaneous visits, and customer base in a virtuous cycle.63

D. Open Space
Fourth floor terraces on each building will provide ample open space for residents and office
workers (1,605 SF in the West Building, 5,417 SF in the East Building), while rooftop
terraces with green roofs will add even more semi-private exterior space (6,456 SF on the
East Building, 11,340 on the East Building). The green roofs and plants in these spaces will
promote physical and mental health while filtering stormwater, insulating the buildings, and
sequestering carbon.64
Most importantly, the plaza and pedestrian street between the two buildings will add a public
third place to the neighborhood, creating a vibrant space for community life which will also
reinforce community and neighborhood identity. In addition to its connective function, the
intimately-scaled pedestrian street will smooth the transition from the sites busy, open plaza
to the residential neighborhood. Bioswales along the edges of the site and landscaping in
the plaza will improve livability by fulfilling humans' biophilic needs.65

Robson, Small Wonder: The Case for Smaller Restaurants and How to Maximize Them.
MIT Department of Urban Studies and Planning, Winter Hill and Magoun Square Community Plan
2012.
61 Benz, So You Want to Open a Bookstore.
62 Franchise Chatters Top Fitness Franchises of 2012.
63 Gibbs, Urban Retail Planning Principles for Traditional Neighborhoods.
64 What Is Green Infrastructure?; Beatley, Biophilic Cities: Integrating Nature into Urban Design and
Planning.
65 Beatley, Biophilic Cities: Integrating Nature into Urban Design and Planning; MIT Department of
Urban Studies and Planning, Winter Hill and Magoun Square Community Plan 2012; SomerVision
Comprehensive Plan | 2010-2030.
59
60

48

E. Parking
Winter Hill Plaza will provide 16,758 GSF of parking in a garage under the East Building.
The zoning conditions and uses proposed above would require roughly 132 parking spaces
in total. However, the garage will only provide 55 spaces, utilizing the CCD option to pay a
payment in lieu of parking for the remaining 77 required spaces.
As this dense mixed-use development adjacent to an MBTA bus stop should eliminate many
of the auto trips taken by residents of other parts of Somerville, as detailed in previous
sections,66 this reduction in parking seems justified. Removing parking will in and of itself
encourage mode shift by making car ownership more costly,67 and parking spaces will be
sold separately from units to manage demand, thus aligning with this project's urban design
goals.

Table 5. Parking Required (Source: Somerville Zoning Code,


https://www.municode.com/library/ma/somerville/codes/zoning_ordinances.)

Use Cluster (CCD-45)

Parking Requirement NSF proposed Spaces required

A Office / R & D Use

1 per 800 NSF

28489

36

B Small Retail and


Service (< 1,500 NSF)

1 per 1500 NSF

1000

C Medium Retail and


Service (1,500-10,000
NSF)

1 per 800 NSF

8745

11

D Eating and Drinking

1 per 400 NSF

11352

29

E Residential

1 per unit

23 units

23

RB Use

Parking Requirement NSF proposed Spaces required

Multifamily residential

1 space per studio


19 units
unit, 1.5 per 1-2
bedroom unit, 2 per 3+
bedroom unit, AND 1
visitor space for every
6 units

TOTAL SPACES REQUIRED:


# - assuming average of non-visitor 1.5 spaces per unit

66
67

Campoli, Made for Walking: Density and Neighborhood Form.


Shoup, The High Cost of Free Parking.

~ 32 #

132

49
Table 6. Program of Uses

50

VI. Proposed Design


Introduction
Our plan adds boldly designed, mixed-use buildings and inviting public spaces to a
neglected corner of Winter Hill while considering the sites context and boundaries. The
pedestrian experience is a paramount component of our design; we seek to promote
walkability and interconnect the mixed uses at the location through well-planned circulation.
Green infrastructure plays a vital role. Along the edges, bioswales will be built and trees will
be planted, and green roofs will top our buildings.
Our site is divided into two environments: the southern half is a lively mixed-use node,
anchored by a large pedestrian plaza. The southern half of the West Building and the entire
East Building are four-story mixed-use buildings, completing this urban cluster. An
appropriately-scaled pedestrian street connects the mixed-use cluster to the surrounding
neighborhood as well as to the northern half of the site, which is more residential in
character and features two sets of duplex row houses: the Northwest Building as well as the
northern half of the West Building.

Figure 49. Site Plan.

51

Overview

Figures 50-78. Design renderings generated using SketchUp.

The plaza serves as an extension of the sidewalk and a lively urban public space, while the
pedestrian street connects commercial Broadway to residential Heath Street and its
neighborhood.
The four-story southern portion of West Building houses an independent coffee shop, a
Buffalo Exchange, and a neighborhood pub on the ground floor; the upper three floors are
occupied by double-loaded corridor residential units.
The western side of our site includes a bioswale corridor lined with trees - some of which will
be preserved existing mature trees - and rooftop terraces with green roof elements for
residences on the second, third, and fourth floors of the western building. The western side
of the West Building incorporates walls and windows rather than all glass walls for privacy,
and some units have small individual balconies on this side.

52
Consistent with the transition requirements of Somervilles zoning, our buildings are set back
from adjoining residential properties; the four-story portions of each building step down to
three stories within 35 feet of the residential property lines in order to avoid overwhelming
adjacent smaller buildings.

The northern part of the West Building as well as the completely separate Northwest
Building are composed of two-family row houses, which mirror Somervilles historic multifamily houses. The West Buildings row houses are oriented towards the pedestrian street,
while the Northwest Buildings row houses are oriented towards a separate, smaller
pedestrian walkway. Both sets share a yard in between the two rows.

53
Our buildings are all playfully tinted with colorful gold and light blue. Commercial uses have
gold and light blue glass, while residential uses have gold and light blue paint. The color
scheme is intended to lighten up New Englands typically gloomy days and nights.

Our East Building, which has the best views of Boston, hosts retail on the ground floor, office
space on the second and third floor, and double-loaded corridor residential units on the
fourth floor. The building has a large terrace on the fourth floor for residences, and a larger
rooftop terrace open to residents and office workers; both terraces will help maximize the
value of our market-rate units. The existing pine trees are also preserved along our eastern
bioswale corridor.

54

Our underground garage provides 55 spaces which serve all onsite offices, retail, and
apartments. The entrance is on the easternmost portion of Broadway, because it is the
lowest elevation on the site, sloping downwards towards Boston.

Pedestrian access

Bus passengers will be enticed to get off and shop at Winter Hill Plaza, with clear and
inviting views of ample seating and green spaces.

55

Ample street trees and lighting are placed along Broadway. The East Building, on the right,
as well as the southern portion of the West Building, on the left, reach four stories; their bold
all-glass facades on the plaza side give the space a clear architectural identity that is simple
and cohesive, and their curved facades simultaneously funnel and invite pedestrians into the
interior of the development.

Plaza

56
The plaza, the centerpiece of our site, funnels circulation and access throughout the
complex. The plaza has seating ledges, benches, movable tables, and chairs, and is flexible
in order to promote creativity and attract various users throughout the day. The plaza will
serve as the center for the community of office workers in the East Building and residences
in the West Building. Local residents will often simply wish to meet at the plaza, finding
each other along the fountain.
Indeed, the Winter Hill neighborhood desperately needs more public open space; since our
plaza will meet this critical need for a third place, it will likely be well-used, forming an
attractive neighborhood center. Trees, flowers, and bushes in raised beds add a muchneeded natural element, providing shade and satisfying humans biophilic need for contact
with nature. Simultaneously, the curved four-story facades on either side provide an edge, a
critical sense of enclosure that will make the plaza a pleasant place to relax rather than an
empty, windswept expanse.
During the winter, the plaza will be heated with portable heaters, and during the summer,
breezes will circulate through the area due to the buildings aerodynamic design. It will be
activated by retail open throughout the day and evening, and by the residencies and office
workers.

57

A bioswale barrier separates our plaza from the rest of the sidewalk, providing an edge to
make pedestrians feel more comfortable in the plaza. Benches and tables in the alcoves
created by the bioswale and raised flower beds provide a natural respite that nevertheless
remains close to the action.

Trees in the plaza give the space an almost park-like feel and provide a visual separation
from the vehicle traffic on Broadway.

58

Lighting streams down from the glass buildings and onto the plaza, which has movable
chairs and tables in order to allow for various functions to be held throughout the day. The
curved facades facilitate the transition from an open plaza adjacent to the four-story mixeduse buildings to a narrower, more intimate pedestrian street that connects the plaza to Heath
Street.

Pedestrian Street

59
The pedestrian street serves as a continuation of the plaza and represents a vital addition to
the pedestrian grid, yet feels more like a historic neighborhood street. The three-story row
house arrangement, which incorporates porches and balconies for every unit, complements
the smaller scale of the passage. The porches facilitate interactions between neighbors and
pedestrians, breaking up the long facade of row houses. This intimate neighborhood scale
will appeal to pedestrians, who favor edges, variety, and small-scale spaces - in many ways,
this street mirrors historic alleys in Europe. Flowers and mural spaces for local artwork
further support place-making efforts and increase the visual appeal of the pedestrian street.

The pedestrian street plays a vital role in connecting the residential neighborhoods north of
our site to the plaza and to the entire Broadway corridor. Way-finding signs along Heath
Street invite the community onto our site, channeling residents along the pleasant pedestrian
street into the plaza. This addition to the street grid will substantially reduce walking
distances to and from area destinations and bring the block size closer to the commonly
accepted standards. At the same time, the pedestrian street and row houses smooth the
transition from the Broadway commercial corridor to the surrounding residential
neighborhood.

60

Upon reaching the southern end of the pedestrian street, pedestrians coming from the north
are greeted with an expansive view of the plaza. Benches and greenery invite them to spend
time in the plaza itself, and restaurants and retail on both sides immediately catch their
attention.

Our plaza is honored by artwork from local residents along with our LEED certification
plaque.

61

Row houses: West (northern half) and Northwest Buildings

The two-family row houses that compose the northern half of the West Building as well as
the entire Northwest Building reflect the designs attempt to seamlessly link the taller
buildings on the southern half of the site with the triple-decker dominated neighborhood
north of the site. Their scale and design is more in keeping with traditional residential
development in the city, and thus makes the presence of four-story glass buildings on the
site less jarring to area residents.

Every row house will have its own entrance from the outside, bringing residents closer to
nature and diminishing any sense of urban crowding. The mostly three- and four-bedroom
row house duplex units will each occupy one and a half floors of a row house, so the second
floor will be split between the two units. The larger units should appeal especially to families
who may seek a slightly less urban residential environment with access to a yard that is
nevertheless located close to many urban destinations. Ideally, the larger units will help
preserve the family-oriented character of the neighborhood, perhaps even providing
improved living spaces for existing neighborhood families. In order to ensure that the
neighborhood remains mixed income, 7 of the 19 3- and 4-bedroom units will be
permanently affordable, ensuring that a diverse set of tenants occupy the row house
community.

62

Each row house has access to a large communal yard in between the two rows of row
houses. Children will have a safe, secluded space to play, and residents can socialize and
relax in a semi-private green space. A rain garden serves as the focal point of this space,
which provides solitude from the hustle and bustle of Broadway.

West Building (southern portion)


A Buffalo Exchange, coffee shop, and neighborhood pub on the ground floor of the West
Buildings southern half will provide for residents daily shopping needs and establish Winter
Hill Plaza as a destination, a place to spend time relaxing, socializing, or working in the
coffee shop. The neighborhood pub and coffee shop will spill over into the plaza on sunny
days, placing tables and chairs outside to further activate the space. The pub in particular
will ensure that the area remains well-used into the evening. The glass walls surrounding
each retail establishments will maximize the natural light available inside.

63

Double loaded corridor residential units of various sizes, from studios to four bedroom
apartments, occupy the second through fourth floors. Glass walls provide expansive views of
the plaza from the east side of the residential units.
The west side has a more typical wall-and-window arrangement to allow for privacy.
Residents will have easy access to shops below and also add to foot traffic throughout the
day; this mixing of uses will encourage quick pedestrian and transit trips, thus promoting
mode shifts. The units with glass walls may be especially appealing to artists looking for loft
space.

Inside the artist lofts, residents may one day even be reviewing UEP Field Project reports on
their tables.

64

East Building
The ground floor of the East Building will feature two restaurants, a gym, a bookstore, and a
Basics Plus home goods store. The restaurants and gym, in particular, will draw a diverse
set of customers to the site throughout an 18 hour day. Like the coffee shop, the restaurants
could take advantage of the plaza by creating outdoor seating areas.
Co-working spaces, dynamic startups, and smaller innovation economy firms will occupy
these suites; the plaza as well as the rooftop terraces will facilitate informal interaction
between workers at both the same and different firms, and workers will meet for lunch and
happy hours at the onsite restaurants and bar. The plaza will thus remain lively during
business hours.

Office workers, perhaps even UEP alumni, enjoy views of the plaza through the glass walls
which completely encircle each office floor of the East Building, as well as the ground floor
retail. Glass walls naturally also maximize the amount of natural light in these indoor spaces.
These employees would even have the option of living onsite or at least in the surrounding
neighborhood, thus increasing the likelihood that they commute by bus, bike, or walking.
Even employees who live farther afield will be able to accomplish errands at the stores along
the Plaza before catching a bus home.

65

Rooftop uses

Solar panels are located on the roofs of our row house structures, and the roofs are painted
white in order to reflect more of the suns energy back into the atmosphere.

A rooftop terrace on the West Building incorporates green roofs, potted palms and other
plants, tables, chairs, loungers, and even grills. These terraces will be among the first
rooftop spaces in Somerville, providing expansive views, fresh air, and a secluded, green
open space that facilitates a wide variety of activities.
Secluded relaxation zones with trees and loungers promote solitude, while outdoor dining
areas with tables and grills promote social gatherings. Residents and office workers will be
able to use these spaces for relaxation, small gatherings, or even large office parties or
family gatherings.

66

Long outdoor tables facilitate business meetings and lunches on summer weekdays as well
as family reunions on weekends. The restaurants in the East Building could also broker an
agreement with other building users to use a portion of the sizable rooftop terrace for
outdoor seating.

Residents of our East Building have a great view of Boston from their rooftop terrace.

67

The view from the interior of their apartments is equally spectacular.

A fourth floor terrace on the East Building mirrors another on the West Building and provides
greenery, lounge chairs for relaxation, and even an outdoor bar for residents use.

68

VII. Implementation

Figure 79. Feasibility analysis word cloud. (Created by Rayn Riel.)

Feasibility Analysis

Compile relevant zoning, land use, permitting requirements. Conduct a traffic study.
Research the land value based upon existing physical, demographic, and market
conditions for relevant properties and parcels.
Determine the financial feasibility of the project.
Implement a financial strategy (marketing, incentives, risks, rents, leasing, equity, debt
service, loans).
Calculate demand generators renters, buyers, anchor stores, trade areas, market
capture, and foot traffic.
Involve advocates, facilitators, lenders, owners, users, realtors, managers, tenants,
architects, contractors, brokers, community.

Preparing the Site

Our developer will acquire the site before any significant design or inspection stages
begin, and then proceed with a thorough inspection of the site to determine
environmental assessment and remediation; load capacity; below-grade conditions;
utility infrastructure and connections (water, sewer, electricity, gas, telephone); site
drainage; capacity to support proposed development; and necessary costs involved with
preparing site for development.
Demolish existing buildings, recycling materials where possible. Existing pine trees will
be preserved.
Secure short-term financing in order to cover initial pre-development activities.
Investigate long-term funding.

69

RFP and Preliminary Design

A design brief will be issued to architects.


The brief will outline specific aspects of green design, overall creative economy image,
density requirements, and other broad ideas.
Specialized green contractors should be consulted for various aspects of green design,
such as energy efficient lighting, appliances, and water use; and use of recycled
materials in construction.
Maximization of LEED-ND criteria will be emphasized.

Designing the Site

Long-term financing is secured.


o Our site will contain mixed-income housing, so we will apply for housing tax
credits from the Low Income Housing Tax Credit (LIHTC) and grants from nonprofits.
o Since we will also host business incubators, we will receive assistance from
EDCs. We will also receive assistance from local banks, which can help to
finance our project and provide special rates due to their sponsorship.
o Moreover, the plaza can also be branded in order to receive additional corporate
sponsorship, perhaps in order to fund our green roofs, which can be maintained
by local non-profits.
Schematics, design development and working drawings are completed.
Design team applies for necessary special permits.
Construction drawings are sent out to bid. Winning contractor is selected, contract
negotiated and signed.

Construction

LEED-ND criteria will be evaluated at all phases of construction.


Apply for and obtain Certificate of Occupancy.

Operation of the Site

Site manager is hired.


Apply for LEED-ND certification.

70

Figure 80. City of Somerville Zoning Application and Review Process. (Source: Somerville Office of
Strategic Planning and Community Development,
http://www.somervillema.gov/departments/ospcd/planning-and-zoning.)

71

VIII. LEED-ND Credits


The goal of the redeveloped Winter Hill Plaza is to provide an area of mixed uses
(residential, office, retail, open space, and parking) that not only works with the pre-existing
conditions of the neighborhood, but also works to improve the quality of living by providing
an inclusive community area. Potentially, our site can achieve a Gold LEED Certification with
a score of 76.

LEED v4 for Neighborhood


Development Plan
Project Checklist

17
Y

Smart Location &


Linkage
Prereq

Prereq

Prereq

Prereq

Prereq

Credit

Credit

Credit

Credit

Credit

Credit

Credit

Credit

0
Credit

Smart Location
Imperiled
Species and
Ecological
Communities
Wetland and
Water Body
Conservation
Agricultural
Land
Conservation
Floodplain
Avoidance
Preferred
Locations
Brownfield
Remediation
Access to
Quality Transit
Bicycle
Facilities
Housing and
Jobs Proximity
Steep Slope
Protection
Site Design for
Habitat or
Wetland and
Water Body
Conservation
Restoration of
Habitat or
Wetlands and
Water Bodies
Long-Term
Conservation
Management of
Habitat or
Wetlands and
Water Bodies

Green
Infrastructure &
Buildings

28

24

Required

Prereq

Required

Prereq

Required

Prereq

Required

Prereq

Required

Credit

10

Credit

Credit

Credit

Credit

Certified Green
Building
Minimum
Building Energy
Performance
Indoor Water
Use Reduction
Construction
Activity Pollution
Prevention
Certified Green
Buildings
Optimize Building
Energy
Performance
Indoor Water
Use Reduction
Outdoor Water
Use Reduction
Building Reuse
Historic
Resource
Preservation and
Adaptive Reuse
Minimized Site
Disturbance

31
Required

Required

Required

Required
5
2
1
2
1

Credit

Credit

Credit

Rainwater
Management

Credit

Heat Island
Reduction

Credit

Solar Orientation

Credit

Renewable
Energy
Production

72
27

Neighborhood
Pattern & Design
Walkable
Streets
Compact
Development
Connected and
Open
Community
Walkable
Streets
Compact
Development
Mixed-Use
Neighborhoods
Housing Types
and Affordability
Reduced
Parking
Footprint
Connected and
Open
Community
Transit
Facilities
Transportation
Demand
Management

District Heating
and Cooling
Infrastructure
Energy Efficiency
Wastewater
Management
Recycled and
Reused
Infrastructure
Solid Waste
Management
Light Pollution
Reduction

41

Credit

Required

Credit

Required

Credit

Required

Credit

Credit

Credit

Innovation &
Design Process

Credit

Innovation

Credit

LEED
Accredited
Professional

Regional Priority
Credits

Credit

Credit

Credit

Credit

Prereq

Prereq

Prereq

Credit

Credit

Credit

Credit

Credit

Credit

Credit

Credit

Credit

Credit

Credit

Credit

Credit

Credit

Tree-Lined and
Shaded
Streetscapes

76

Credit

Neighborhood
Schools

Certified: 40-49 points, Silver: 50-59 points,


Gold: 60-79 points, Platinum: 80+ points

Access to Civic
& Public Space
Access to
Recreation
Facilities
Visitability and
Universal
Design
Community
Outreach and
Involvement
Local Food
Production

1
2
1
1
1

Regional Priority
Credit: Region
Defined
Regional Priority
Credit: Region
Defined
Regional Priority
Credit: Region
Defined
Regional Priority
Credit: Region
Defined

PROJECT TOTALS
(Certification
estimates)

110

Figure 81. LEED Checklist. (Source: USGBC, http://www.usgbc.org/resources/leed-v4-neighborhooddevelopment-checklist.)

73

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Beatley, Timothy. Biophilic Cities: Integrating Nature into Urban Design and Planning.
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Benz, Christopher. So You Want to Open a Bookstore. Utne Reader, June 2010.
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Campoli, Julie. Made for Walking: Density and Neighborhood Form. Cambridge: Lincoln Institute
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Charlier Associates, Inc. Networks and Connectivity Repair. Presentation at Montgomery
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http://www.montgomeryplanning.org/events/rethink2011/documents/MakeoverMontgomeryc
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Ordinance Is Hereby Amended by Changing All CCD 55 Zoning Districts in Ward 3 to CCD
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City of Somerville, MA, Mayors Office of Strategic Planning & Community Development,
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http://www.somervillema.gov/departments/ospcd/planning-and-zoning/broadway.
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http://www.somervillema.gov/sites/default/files/documents/Broadway315Temple18StaffRepo
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Robson, Stephani. Small Wonder: The Case for Smaller Restaurants and How to Maximize
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75
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