Here’s what’s going into the long-vacant Star Market in Somerville

Local News

Developers plan to build two six-story buildings, which will include housing and ground-floor retail spaces.

A long-vacant Star Market grocery store in Somerville’s Winter Hill neighborhood sold for $22 million this week, a step toward turning the blighted property into 288 units of housing. Jake Wilson

A long-since-closed Star Market in Somerville is getting a new purpose after almost 15 years. 

This vacant lot in Somerville might not look like it, except for the whisper of lettering on the top of the grayish-white building, but it was originally a place where residents could shop for food.

In 2008, this grocery shop closed its doors, with hopes to replace the space with a new establishment, according to The Boston Globe. Now, in 2023, it’s been sold to Mark Development, based out of Newton and New York. 

“It’s been this constant sort of reminder of the lack of progress in this particular area. Progress also comes with that bittersweet downside of the fear of gentrification. But at the same time, the absolute outcry from everybody in the community, from every walk, is that they want to see something in that location other than a rotting carcass of a Star Market,” City Councilor Jesse Clingan told the Globe

Developers plan to build two six-story buildings, which will include housing and ground-floor retail spaces. There will be a total of 288 units of rental property, with 132 of them being classified as affordable housing. 

“It’s an absolute win for the community. Going from a blighted, abandoned lot to the kind of thing pretty much everyone rallied behind, that’s sort of a dream development in my book,” City Councilor Jake Wilson told the Globe

The financing for this project is still pending, Wilson told the Globe. Therefore, the construction of these future rentals might take some time.

Besides 13,640 square feet of retail space, plans for the site include a public park, plaza and indoor community meeting space, according to the developer’s website.

Wilson said he’s looking forward to seeing possible restaurants brought in, as well as a possible convenience store. 

“We couldn’t be more pleased to take the next step in bringing this important project to life. Every aspect of the project design was influenced by community feedback — and made better for it,” Robert Korff, chief executive of Mark Development, told the Globe.