ROCKVILLE, Md., Jan. 6, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Federal Realty Investment Trust (NYSE: FRT) today announced the execution of binding documents with AvalonBay Communities (NYSE: AVB) for the first phase of construction at Assembly Row and the issuance of the Notice to Proceed by the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA) for the construction of a new rapid transit station.   These milestones clear the last two obstacles for construction to commence at Assembly Row, Federal Realty's 50+ acre mixed use development in Somerville, MA.

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"The significant effort over the past five years to create a vibrant mixed-use neighborhood in Somerville is paying off, and our vision is quickly becoming reality," said Donald Briggs, president, Federal Realty Boston. "With these milestones achieved we expect to break ground in the next 90 days on the most significant mixed-use development project in New England.  We're excited to have the public begin to see Assembly Row take shape."

The first phase of development at Assembly Row will encompass 575 residential units and 315,000 square feet of retail space on four blocks.  Federal Realty expects to invest between $145 million and $160 million in phase one, with an expected stabilization in 2015. 

A portion of the first phase of Assembly Row will be delivered in conjunction with AvalonBay Communities.  Federal Realty and AvalonBay Communities have executed ground leases and all contingencies necessary to proceed with the residential and retail construction have been satisfied.  AvalonBay will develop approximately 450 residential units and the retail shells for over 100,000 square feet of space on the ground floor on two blocks of Assembly Row's initial phase of construction.  Federal Realty is in discussions with AvalonBay for the development of the remaining 125 residential units.

Assembly Row's retail, office, and residential components will all be supported by a new Orange Line rapid transit station located on the property.  The Notice to Proceed issued by the MBTA on December 12, 2011 releases S&R Construction to begin construction of the new station. Work is expected to commence in January 2012, with a functioning T Stop located at the property by the fall of 2014.

Assembly Row's retail platform will deliver a mix of entertainment, outlet shopping, and dining.  Federal Realty anticipates announcing the first anchor tenant at Assembly Row in the near future.

About Federal Realty

In 2012, Federal Realty celebrates 50 years of being a proven leader in the ownership, operation, and redevelopment of high quality retail real estate in the country's best markets.   Federal Realty's portfolio (excluding joint venture properties) contains approximately 18.6 million square feet located primarily in strategically selected metropolitan markets in the Northeast, Mid-Atlantic, and California. In addition, the Trust has an ownership interest in approximately 1.0 million square feet of retail space through a joint venture in which the Trust has a 30% interest. Our operating portfolio (excluding joint venture properties) was 93.3% leased to national, regional, and local retailers as of September 30, 2011, with no single tenant accounting for more than approximately 2.6% of annualized base rent. Federal Realty has paid quarterly dividends to its shareholders continuously since its founding in 1962, and has increased its dividend rate for 44 consecutive years, the longest record in the REIT industry. Federal Realty is an S&P MidCap 400 company and its shares are traded on the NYSE under the symbol FRT.  For more information, please visit

About Assembly Row

Assembly Row is a mixed use development featuring 1.75 million square feet of build-to-suit office/lab space, 2,100 residential units, a 200-room hotel and 880,000 square feet of retail, including a 60,000 square foot movie complex. In the heart of this neighborhood, active urban commercial streets will be interspersed with sidewalk cafes, parks, retail shops, restaurants, bike lines and entertainment venues. Located at the very center of Greater Boston, this new development is accessible via Interstate 93 and with the newly planned Assembly Row T station, minutes to downtown Boston. For more information, please visit

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SOURCE Federal Realty Investment Trust