Outlet stores planned for Assembly Square in Somerville
Project will change the retail landscape
A developer in Somerville said it will open dozens of outlet stores in a massive project at Assembly Square, hoping to cater to Boston area shoppers tired of trekking out to the suburbs in search of bargains on popular brands. Federal Realty Investment Trust wants to open up to 50 outlets in its $1.5 billion Assembly Row project, which seeks to transform a huge swath of fallow industrial land into a mixed-use neighborhood with offices and stores, hundreds of homes, a new MBTA station, and a refurbished park on the Mystic River. The move is a bold change in strategy for the project, with Federal Realty betting that national retailers will break from the traditional practice of opening outlets far from urban centers to avoid undercutting their full-price stores.