City rejects five remaining proposals under existing Request for Proposals. Community meeting to be held in April to determine new RFP specs.

SOMERVILLE – Mayor Joseph A.
Curtatone announced today that the City of Somerville will issue a new Request
for Proposals (RFP) for redevelopment of the Powder House Community School site
and will schedule a community meeting later this month to discuss the terms to
be included in the new RFP, after rejecting the five remaining proposals and
canceling its existing RFP.

Citing new information and concerns regarding the condition of the property and
a broader range of community-supported uses for the redevelopment of the former
K-8 school, City officials notified developers earlier this week of the intent
to re-evaluate the scope of the project. In March, the
City ended negotiations with Tufts University
, the developer initially
ranked as the top recommendation by the
Powder House Community School Technical Advisory Committee
and ultimately
selected by the Mayor. After the university clarified that it did not foresee
developing the site for at least 15 years, negotiations were ended.

community meeting to be held later in April will determine the next steps in
the redevelopment and the terms to be included in a new RFP to be issued later
this year. The date and time of that meeting will be announced as soon as it is

of the proposals submitted by development teams for this initial RFP presented
both positive and negative design impacts, and each were carefully reviewed by
our Advisory Committee and internal staff,” said Mayor Curtatone. “We remain
committed to finding a development partner that will help us achieve the
community’s vision for the site, and one that will bring the most benefit to
our residents and community members. I want to thank each of the development
teams for their thorough and thoughtful proposals, and I look forward to
working closely with the community to re-evaluate the needs and best interests
of our community.”

thorough and inclusive community process for any major development project is
important to ensure that our plans and policies reflect the basic needs and
opinions of each neighborhood, and of the community as a whole,” said Ward 7
Alderman Katjana Ballantyne. “I look forward to bringing this project back to
the residents of Ward 7 and surrounding neighborhoods as we work to identify
the best possible reuse for this valuable site.”

initial RFP sought proposals that would meet a set of community objectives that
were developed through a two-year community planning process. Additional
criteria included the experience of the development team in developing the
project and leading a community design process, the long-term economic impact
of the proposal, as well as the price offered for the property. A vote by the
Board of Aldermen also required that a minimum of 40 percent of the site remain
publicly accessible open space.


community meeting date will be announced in the near future. For updates, visit, call 311
(617-666-3311), or follow the City on Facebook or