One million square feet planned in Kendall

Boston Properties filed plans with the Cambridge Planning Board for a mixed-use development in Kendall Square totalling over one million square feet of office, laboratory, retail and residential space. The developments are planned for a group of parcels bound by Broadway, Galileo Gallieli Way, Binney Street and the Mid-Block Connector. The total of 1,207,712 square feet will include 1,066,500 net new square feet of development: 627,134 square feet of office space; 420,000 square feet of residential space; and 19,366 square feet of retail space.

145 Broadway

A rendering of 145 Broadway

The development will be paerceled out into several buildings. An existing, four story building at 145 Broadway will be torn down and replaced with a 19 story commercial building. A two story commercial building at 250 Binney St will be replaced with a 14 story commercial building and an existing parking garage between Broadway and Binney Street along Cambridge Center will have two residential towers built over it: the south building will be 34 stories with 355 condos and the north building will be 14 stories with 70 residences, either apartments or condos. The parking garage is already six stories.

Despite an existing six story parking garage, the developers want to build an additional 809 spaces in two underground garages. And they have the gall to boast about it as “transit oriented development” and its alignment with the goals of reducing single occupancy vehicle trips! On top of this, the developers are completely neglecting the Mid-Block Connector, a pedestrian/bike path connecting Broadway to Binney Street. They say that they will make some improvement to it, but do not appear to be interested in actually activating it by building retail frontage and entrances to 250 Binney St along it.

Instead, pedestrians will get “visually interesting pavement” and LED lighting. That’s not “high quality urban design,” but the same old dreck. It’s just more car-oriented, 1960s glass tower in a parking lot bull.

The developers could also fit way more housing into the two massive buildings. As things are, each unit will be nearly 1,000 square feet. The same residential square footage could contain 1,150 Uhu-sized microapartments, 988 regular sized studios (at 425 square feet each) and almost 500 apartments at 850 square feet (good for three bedrooms in parts of Asia).

Cambridge deserves better.




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