How Many Allen Keys Does It Take to Build an Ikea?

1190213847Poor Somerville. It can’t catch a break. The MBTA won’t expand Orange or Green Line service to the city. It’s politicians are crazy. And now it’s going to have to contend with Ikea-related chaos in Assembly Square. (Link via Bostonist.)

Assembly Square developers Federal Realty Investment Trust (FRIT) applied for permits last Tuesday to begin construction on a new IKEA and an accompanying roadway in Assembly Square, described by IKEA officials as “the backbone of the entire development.”

The development at Assembly Square will bring in $15 million in new taxes for the city and provide 14,000 new jobs when fully built out, according to FRIT Vice President of Northeast Development Bob Walsh.

Sounds great. We here at Boston Daily love affordable and attractive home furnishings. And Swedish meatballs. Man, those things are good. But we also enjoy being able to drive to our homes, which would be exponentially more difficult if we were getting off the highway at the same exit as everyone else in northern New England who wants to buy an entire room of furniture for $100.

Residents near the proposed Ikea site are upset because they won’t be able to enjoy breathing clean air twice a week like they do now:

. . . Ellen Reisner, of East Somerville said the weekends are one of the few times when her neighborhood is given a reprieve from constant traffic jams and gridlock.

“Weekends are our only relief from air pollution in our neighborhood,” she said. “As it is now, we can’t open our windows facing Route 93 or spend too much time outside.”

Wow. That’s awful. But given the choice between a $60 bookshelf and oxygen, we’d have a hard time deciding. But when you throw in the Swedish meatballs, we’re thinking we’ll just deal with the congestion. Those things are tasty.