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Old 02-07-2015, 01:51 PM   #41
stellarfun
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Re: Volpe Transportation Center Development Cambridge

Spring of 2016, not 2015.

Tangherlini is leaving office next Friday. Republicans are supportive of these GSA Federal building sales / swaps.

Tangherlini grew up in or near Worcester. His father was a professor, which may explain his statement about being familiar with Kendall Sq from when he was growing up.
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Old 02-07-2015, 03:43 PM   #42
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Re: Volpe Transportation Center Development Cambridge

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Government expects to select a developer by spring 2015 and have the new transportation building by 2020...

Which obviously means longer than that, just look at the old courthouse redevelopment.
I don't think the two are vaguely comparable other than both being subjected to the vagaries of Cambridge "political conjunctions and disjunctions"

The courthouse is a developers nightmare as it sits next to the historic Bulfinch Courthouse so it is hemmed-in and needs to be completely gutted to remove asbestos, etc.

On the other hand Volpe will be a clean-slate for development

from the NYT article

Quote:
Alan Fein, president of the Kendall Square Association, estimated the value of the deal at more than $1 billion. “The idea of creating 14 acres of new, usable space in the heart of one of the two or three most expensive markets in the country, along with San Francisco and Manhattan, is a developer’s dream,” he said.

The General Services Administration, unable to squeeze money out of Congress for new buildings, has used such “swap-construct” proposals before, said Dan Tangherlini, the agency’s administrator. But along with a plan to swap out the aging J. Edgar Hoover Building in Washington for a new F.B.I. headquarters, the Volpe deal could be one of the government’s most successful because of the size of the property and its prime location
I'm betting Volpe is done before the Courthouse project even gets underway
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Old 03-27-2015, 07:41 AM   #43
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Re: Volpe Transportation Center Development Cambridge

Spring is here and no indication that a developer will be selected soon.

I don't know where the Cambridge City Council is with respect to the zoning and FAR changes. The planning department's proposal called for about 3.1 million gross floor area for the site, including 400,000 gsf for the replacement Federal building. Perhaps GSA is waiting for that to be completed, before going to the next step. I believe the next step would be send out an RFP, and choose a develop from the responses.
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Old 04-08-2015, 04:26 PM   #44
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Re: Volpe Transportation Center Development Cambridge

Big article on the project, focusing on open space versus development on the site.

http://www.cambridgeday.com/2015/04/...ace-and-tower/

A tidbit which might set a few hearts here aflutter:

Quote:
One way to put more onto a site constrained by a large park: build higher around it.
Councillor Leland Cheung’s suggestion to build high also painted a tower as a way to ensure people around the world better identified Cambridge and Kendall Square as distinct from Boston.
“If there’s ever been a site in Cambridge for a tall building that says ‘That’s where Cambridge is,’ I think this is it. [The John Hancock Tower] is 800-and-something feet tall? Let’s go over 1,000,” Cheung said, “and say this is where Cambridge is, this is the heart of innovation in Massachusetts.
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Old 04-08-2015, 04:31 PM   #45
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Re: Volpe Transportation Center Development Cambridge

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Old 04-08-2015, 04:32 PM   #46
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Re: Volpe Transportation Center Development Cambridge

A Cambridge city Councillor said that? My god I'll have whatever he's on.

of course you cut the next paragraph

Quote:
Other councillors didn’t seem entirely sure how serious Cheung was, with Kelley saying 1,000 feet was too high but Mayor David Maher acknowledging that “if there’s a place for height in this city, this is probably the place.”
LOL
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Old 04-08-2015, 05:43 PM   #47
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Re: Volpe Transportation Center Development Cambridge

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A Cambridge city Councillor said that? My god I'll have whatever he's on.

of course you cut the next paragraph



LOL
Its Cambridge let's settle for 300 m
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Old 04-09-2015, 11:54 AM   #48
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Re: Volpe Transportation Center Development Cambridge

Hard to believe a proposal for 75%(!) open space was seriously considered here, that's extreme even for Cambridge. 20% would be plenty. In all the world there are few places like Kendall Square, a concentrated cluster of important bio and technology companies doing important research and willing to invest hugely for the long term—give them what they want. Maximize lab/office/residential/retail/entertainment square footage. Moonbat suburbanism does not belong here at all.
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Old 04-09-2015, 01:02 PM   #49
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Re: Volpe Transportation Center Development Cambridge

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Hard to believe a proposal for 75%(!) open space was seriously considered here, that's extreme even for Cambridge. 20% would be plenty. In all the world there are few places like Kendall Square, a concentrated cluster of important bio and technology companies doing important research and willing to invest hugely for the long term—give them what they want. Maximize lab/office/residential/retail/entertainment square footage. Moonbat suburbanism does not belong here at all.
Completely agree. Kendall Square is a huge economic engine. Max build this site. Besides, there is a huge amount of open space nearby -- see Charles River Reservation/Esplanade.
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Old 04-09-2015, 02:07 PM   #50
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Re: Volpe Transportation Center Development Cambridge

Quote:
Originally Posted by Brad Plaid View Post
Hard to believe a proposal for 75%(!) open space was seriously considered here, that's extreme even for Cambridge. 20% would be plenty. In all the world there are few places like Kendall Square, a concentrated cluster of important bio and technology companies doing important research and willing to invest hugely for the long term—give them what they want. Maximize lab/office/residential/retail/entertainment square footage. Moonbat suburbanism does not belong here at all.
Well, the concept was probably that Kendall doesn't really have a large park/square/gathering space and it would be an amenity for the dense development around. On the other hand, this land is far, far too valuable to take off the tax rolls. A plaza at the new Volpe will be sufficient.

I'll take 500'. Let's see if they can do 500'.
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Old 04-09-2015, 02:21 PM   #51
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Re: Volpe Transportation Center Development Cambridge

Is this just going to be one huge tower or is there potential for more? The current tallest building in Cambridge (Eastgate Married Student Housing) is right around 305' and don't think anything else quite breaks 300'. I'd like to see a 400' and a 500' create a new peak rather than just one very tall building that's over twice the height of everything else in Kendall.
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Old 04-09-2015, 02:36 PM   #52
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Re: Volpe Transportation Center Development Cambridge

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Originally Posted by DZH22 View Post
Is this just going to be one huge tower or is there potential for more? The current tallest building in Cambridge (Eastgate Married Student Housing) is right around 305' and don't think anything else quite breaks 300'. I'd like to see a 400' and a 500' create a new peak rather than just one very tall building that's over twice the height of everything else in Kendall.
And I believe Cambridge will lose Eastgate in the redevelopment of the MIT East Campus area between the main campus and Sloan campus.
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Old 04-09-2015, 03:25 PM   #53
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Re: Volpe Transportation Center Development Cambridge

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And I believe Cambridge will lose Eastgate in the redevelopment of the MIT East Campus area between the main campus and Sloan campus.
That was proposed but don't know how serious it was taken. It would be moronic to tear down a bunch of functional and relatively affordable housing, all in the name of "better design" or some other abstract concept.

As for Volpe, I don't think it's the best place to put "open space". It's already surrounded by some of the tallest buildings in Cambridge, and feels kind of dreary. Plus there is a lack of nearby retail to draw people and it's not exactly a corridor people will naturally pass through. A park there would likely end up being "dead space" rather than open. Of course Kendall is weird in this regard, the layout doesn't lend itself to an obvious central gathering spot. In my opinion the best open area is One Kendall, due largely to it's proximity to all the best bars and restaurants in the area with lots of outdoor seating. It also happens to be way out of the way. The riverfront is another public space that could use massive improvement, though it's a bit out of the way. Hopefully the East Campus redevelopment will focus on better linking that area to the rest of Kendall.

If it were up to me I'd put housing and maybe a grocery store at Volpe. Maybe some kind of public courtyard surrounded by low rise mixed use fronting 3rd street, with a couple residential towers set back. It's a massive space so you could do this and probably still have room for more residential and/or office.
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Old 04-09-2015, 03:26 PM   #54
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Re: Volpe Transportation Center Development Cambridge

Quote:
Originally Posted by DZH22 View Post
Is this just going to be one huge tower or is there potential for more? The current tallest building in Cambridge (Eastgate Married Student Housing) is right around 305' and don't think anything else quite breaks 300'. I'd like to see a 400' and a 500' create a new peak rather than just one very tall building that's over twice the height of everything else in Kendall.
Well, the meeting was about rezoning the site. I think the neighborhood development plan assumed 300' there. If the city's open to it, the site could and should go higher.
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Old 04-09-2015, 04:54 PM   #55
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Re: Volpe Transportation Center Development Cambridge

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Originally Posted by Equilibria View Post
Well, the meeting was about rezoning the site. I think the neighborhood development plan assumed 300' there. If the city's open to it, the site could and should go higher.
Equilib -- if we can't do 300m*1

Then I vote for 250m*2 -- that's a 1/4 km tall building -- perfect for the Metric business capital of the US



for the metric challenged
*1 984.25 ft

*2 820.2 ft
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Old 04-09-2015, 05:43 PM   #56
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Re: Volpe Transportation Center Development Cambridge

176 smoots, please. I'd love to see Kendall starting a height war with Boston. The gods must be crazy!
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Old 04-10-2015, 09:19 AM   #57
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Re: Volpe Transportation Center Development Cambridge

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Completely agree. Kendall Square is a huge economic engine. Max build this site. Besides, there is a huge amount of open space nearby -- see Charles River Reservation/Esplanade.
Aside from Magazine Beach the Cambridge side of the river is useless for enjoying as an open space because it is ruined by all the cars. Most of it is just a narrow sidewalk with an endless steam of traffic going by 6 feet away.
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Old 04-10-2015, 01:19 PM   #58
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Re: Volpe Transportation Center Development Cambridge

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Originally Posted by DZH22 View Post
Is this just going to be one huge tower or is there potential for more? The current tallest building in Cambridge (Eastgate Married Student Housing) is right around 305' and don't think anything else quite breaks 300'. I'd like to see a 400' and a 500' create a new peak rather than just one very tall building that's over twice the height of everything else in Kendall.
I thought the tallest building in Cambridge was the Green Building at 295 ft (minus the 17 foot radar dome)? I was tracking that Eastgate Student Housing was only 270 ft, minus the tower on top.
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Old 04-10-2015, 02:22 PM   #59
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Re: Volpe Transportation Center Development Cambridge

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Aside from Magazine Beach the Cambridge side of the river is useless for enjoying as an open space because it is ruined by all the cars. Most of it is just a narrow sidewalk with an endless steam of traffic going by 6 feet away.
Kino -- you have to walk a bit further downstream
  • In front of MIT there is a reasonably wide median suitable for frisbee as well as the strip along the river between the MIT boathouse and the MIT Sailing Pavilion where the moving cars are quite a bit further away than 6 feet
  • further down past the Longfellow Bridge there is the Cambridge Esplanade -- a quite nice reasonably wide piece of green behind the Sonesta and the other buildings along Land Blvd with only a 1 lane quiet street to cross
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Old 04-14-2015, 12:13 AM   #60
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Re: Volpe Transportation Center Development Cambridge

I keep hearing 'open space' and think of exactly what's there today: literally open space.

I'd rather see a cluster of low-lying buildings on the perimeter of the property and perhaps stepping up to a pinnacle - a 400'+ residential tower. In the middle, either a square or field with partial tree cover, maybe all of this as a winter garden with a retractable roof, something that gives the space character, draws people to it, and gives people a reason to be there other than to seek out 'open space'.

What I'd really love is PUBLIC space in Kendall where I don't feel this terrible agoraphobia from being on a naked green with few features to activate the space and even fewer places to sit (I dislike sitting on grass). Another open space still adds no character to Kendall Square; what it needs is public spaces that feel intimate. I wonder if this is what people are really looking for, not just more naked greens that make me feel like I need to hold onto something lest I fall into the sky.

I've spent many an evening and afternoon just hanging out at Lincoln Center adjacent the Hypar Pavillion sitting in the re-arrangeable chairs under the intimate outdoor room formed by the canopy of trees nearby.



Heck, give me a Cambridge twist on Paley Park, just anything other than 'open space' in a place that needs to do something with the open space it has. Having recently been to some Cambridge neighbourhood association meetings, I can only guess they actually want just more green space just to keep the place from turning into Manhattan overnight...

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