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Old 12-26-2015, 11:20 AM   #1
whighlander
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Kendall Square upzoning

from the Cambridge Day website
http://www.cambridgeday.com/category...s/development/
Quote:
Kendall Square upzoning passes with deal boosting affordability, homeownership

By John Hawkinson
Wednesday, December 23, 2015

The addition of 1 million square feet of development and 560 units of housing to Kendall Square came Monday with a last-minute deal between the City Council and developer to make 20 percent of the new housing units available for ownership, rather than rental.

The sponsors of the MXD zoning petition, the Cambridge Redevelopment Authority and developer Boston Properties, agreed last week to increase the amount of subsidized housing in the zoning. On Dec. 16, the authority voted to require that 20 percent of floor area be devoted to low- and moderate-income affordable housing, and 5 percent middle-income....
A lot of this is to be by adding height to existing Boston Properties buildings as described in some additional detail in a slightly earlier Cambrige Day article [12/12/2015]

Quote:
Council moves ahead with ‘MXD’ zoning that would build atop Kendall structures
By John Hawkinson
Saturday, December 12, 2015

The company [Boston Properties] intends to build on top of its Blue Garage (formerly the North Garage) between Broadway and Binney, as well as 325 Main St. (formerly 3 Cambridge Center), which houses the MIT Coop.


A city model of potential development in Kendall Square shows “MXD” additions in brown; those from MIT (already allowed by zoning) in orange; and federal Volpe Center changes in blue, yellow and pink. (Image: Suzannah Bigolin/CDD)
Note that this approx 1 M sq ft doesn't include the already permitted residence on Ames St.

Note further that the overall development has been renamed Kendall Center in keeping with Boston Properties penchant for renaming well known places
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Old 12-27-2015, 06:28 PM   #2
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Re: Kendall Square upzoning

That is a nice looking CBD if they don't repeat the same mistakes as the SBW... or the rest of Kendall Sq for that matter.
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Old 12-28-2015, 08:52 AM   #3
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Re: Kendall Square upzoning

Actually, I don't recall a project thread for MXD existing... can a mod rename this one?

From the CRA:





Street in the foreground is Broadway, looking "outbound" from roughly Ames St. The second render looks like the lobby of the closest building in the first.

I'm also not sure how approved this is. The Cambridge City Council approved the zoning petition, but did they approve the buildings? Are these renders conceptual? The article discusses only the residential building (the farther, taller one in the render), but did the office component get approved as well?

EDIT: Also, if Cambridge would like this to be thought of as a CBD, get rid of the stupid suburban median strip on Broadway. I'm sure protected 2-way bike lanes are a better use of that width if you study it. Heck, parking would be a more urban use.
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Old 12-28-2015, 09:06 AM   #4
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Re: Kendall Square upzoning

^^ Somehow Park Ave and Broadway in Manhattan have managed to convince the world they're part of a CBD despite their grassy medians...
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Old 12-28-2015, 09:48 AM   #5
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Re: Kendall Square upzoning

Cool. Any info on height limits?
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Old 12-28-2015, 10:23 AM   #6
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Re: Kendall Square upzoning

It begs the question of what is wrong at Central (owners? Planners? Neighbors?) that there is so much surface parking, single storey retail, and even a condemned apartment block. You'd think that "midway between MIT and Harvard" would have near-parity attractiveness with Kendall. To keep it OT here, can "synergy" and "propinquity" adequately explain Kendall's relative advantage vs Central?
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Old 12-28-2015, 10:29 AM   #7
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Re: Kendall Square upzoning

Quote:
Originally Posted by itchy View Post
^^ Somehow Park Ave and Broadway in Manhattan have managed to convince the world they're part of a CBD despite their grassy medians...
I'd argue whether either is in a CBD just by dint of being in Manhattan - both are in residential neighborhoods - but the buildings are taller and denser on either side. In any case, comparing Kendall to Manhattan is the definition of apples-to-oranges. If they want urbanity, they shouldn't keep major roads looking like office park driveways, particularly when Broadway is a great urban street for the entire rest of its length.

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Originally Posted by Arlington View Post
It begs the question of what is wrong at Central (owners? Planners? Neighbors?) that there is so much surface parking, single storey retail, and even a condemned apartment block. You'd think that "midway between MIT and Harvard" would have near-parity attractiveness with Kendall. To keep it OT here, can "synergy" and "propinquity" adequately explain Kendall's relative advantage vs Central?
NIMBYs. The CambridgeDay article has a nice quote from a City Councillor making essentially this same point: “'Recently 50,000 square feet of development [in Central Square] was treated like the end of the world, and now 1 million square feet is to be dropped on Kendall Square and everything is fine and dandy,' said Toomey, calling the development rights a “gift” to Boston Properties."
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Old 12-29-2015, 08:33 AM   #8
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Re: Kendall Square upzoning

Broadway is lacking retail/activation. If that gets fixed, a few dozen trees in the median (there are trees, its not just a patch of grass) won't hurt.
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Old 12-29-2015, 08:41 AM   #9
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Re: Kendall Square upzoning

Re: Central Square - and this is just my $0.02 - the city owns much of the dead space. The city likes all the tech companies in Kendall, but they really don't want it to spread over the whole city. Central Square commercial space is home to a lot of non-profits and creative/low(er)-tech enterprises and is designated as a cultural district (for whatever that is worth). I think residents and Councillors would like to find some way to foster more of that in Central and they just haven't found the secret sauce yet. Millions of dollars of new tax revenue from Kendall might be the enabler for public money to achieve those goals on public land in Central.
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Old 12-29-2015, 09:36 AM   #10
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Re: Kendall Square upzoning

Quote:
Originally Posted by fattony View Post
Broadway is lacking retail/activation. If that gets fixed, a few dozen trees in the median (there are trees, its not just a patch of grass) won't hurt.
Big killer on Broadway is the Volpe Transportation Center deadspace.

Redevelopment of that space with retail along Broadway will go a long way to livening up the avenue.
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Old 12-29-2015, 05:18 PM   #11
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Re: Kendall Square upzoning

Quote:
Originally Posted by Equilibria View Post
Actually, I don't recall a project thread for MXD existing... can a mod rename this one?

From the CRA:

Street in the foreground is Broadway, looking "outbound" from roughly Ames St. The second render looks like the lobby of the closest building in the first.

I'm also not sure how approved this is. The Cambridge City Council approved the zoning petition, but did they approve the buildings? Are these renders conceptual? The article discusses only the residential building (the farther, taller one in the render), but did the office component get approved as well?
Equilib -- the read of the approval is to enable BP to add up to 1M sq ft to the existing development formerly known as Cambridge Center now renamed Kendall Center and a major part of the CRA's raison d'etre

Each of the individual buildings still need the usual approvals -- although given the CRA and Cambridge City Council approvals in principle -- the rest of the process will probably be fairly perfunctory

Note: depending on how you count the total sq. ft. -- this expansion of the project roughly doubles the total square footage
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Old 12-29-2015, 05:27 PM   #12
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Re: Kendall Square upzoning

Quote:
Originally Posted by Equilibria View Post


NIMBYs. The CambridgeDay article has a nice quote from a City Councillor making essentially this same point: “'Recently 50,000 square feet of development [in Central Square] was treated like the end of the world, and now 1 million square feet is to be dropped on Kendall Square and everything is fine and dandy,' said Toomey, calling the development rights a “gift” to Boston Properties."
Note to Equilib and Councilor Toomey: -- you can add the tag line to this approval: Powered by Google and Microsoft among a small handful of Fortune 50 names
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Old 12-29-2015, 05:32 PM   #13
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Re: Kendall Square upzoning

Quote:
Originally Posted by fattony View Post
Broadway is lacking retail/activation. If that gets fixed, a few dozen trees in the median (there are trees, its not just a patch of grass) won't hurt.
I agree... I like the median now. It provides extra comfort and less of an assaultive face on view when biking or driving. Fix the streetwall and all will be ok.
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Old 12-30-2015, 12:49 PM   #14
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Re: Kendall Square upzoning

Quote:
Originally Posted by whighlander View Post
Note to Equilib and Councilor Toomey: -- you can add the tag line to this approval: Powered by Google and Microsoft among a small handful of Fortune 50 names
Only one of the buildings is Google/Microsoft part of Kendall. The rest have been shopped to other companies, some of which, like Akamai, are not in the Fortune 500 (or 50).
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Old 12-30-2015, 02:42 PM   #15
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Re: Kendall Square upzoning

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Originally Posted by dwash59 View Post
Only one of the buildings is Google/Microsoft part of Kendall. The rest have been shopped to other companies, some of which, like Akamai, are not in the Fortune 500 (or 50).
They are in the S&P 500 so its not like Akamai is some startup with no influence...
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Old 12-30-2015, 02:45 PM   #16
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Re: Kendall Square upzoning

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Originally Posted by dwash59 View Post
Only one of the buildings is Google/Microsoft part of Kendall. The rest have been shopped to other companies, some of which, like Akamai, are not in the Fortune 500 (or 50).
Dwash -- not the point

Google is still hungry -- that means someone of less stature is going to have to move as Google wants to have contiguous space

Right now there is not a block bigger than a few thousand sq ft available

asking rate in Kendall is $80 / sq. ft. -- that's not exactly mom-pop start-up terittory
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Old 12-30-2015, 11:30 PM   #17
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Re: Kendall Square upzoning

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Originally Posted by gyro View Post
They are in the S&P 500 so its not like Akamai is some startup with no influence...
My point is that there are lots of local companies driving development, not two out of state software companies as implied by whighlander. These properties are being shopped to companies started by MIT profs, which normally whighlander would celebrate.

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Originally Posted by whighlander View Post
Dwash -- not the point

Google is still hungry -- that means someone of less stature is going to have to move as Google wants to have contiguous space

Right now there is not a block bigger than a few thousand sq ft available

asking rate in Kendall is $80 / sq. ft. -- that's not exactly mom-pop start-up terittory
pharma has been a much hungrier for space in Kendall than Google. The companies bidding for space in MXD are not moving out of other space in Kendall Square. They are companies adding new space, or on occasion, companies moving in from the suburbs.

I have no clue where you are getting this narrative of Google pushing other companies out of their space into MXD. Do you have any concrete examples?

(I'm sure Google is also responsible for 610 Main Street being developed? Pfizer got pushed by Google out of their space in Alewife, to the tune of having to sell for more than $50MM, and the space they were renting at 620 Memorial Drive?)
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Old 12-31-2015, 12:17 AM   #18
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Re: Kendall Square upzoning

Quote:
Originally Posted by whighlander View Post
Dwash -- not the point

Google is still hungry -- that means someone of less stature is going to have to move as Google wants to have contiguous space

Right now there is not a block bigger than a few thousand sq ft available

asking rate in Kendall is $80 / sq. ft. -- that's not exactly mom-pop start-up terittory
You ever see a correction in Cambridge real estate? Commercial or residential.

This was probably one of the best investments if you bought something in the late 80's.

Honestly Cambridge Commercial Real Estate is more a square foot than Boston.
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Old 12-31-2015, 07:25 AM   #19
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Re: Kendall Square upzoning

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Originally Posted by TheRifleman View Post
You ever see a correction in Cambridge real estate? Commercial or residential.

This was probably one of the best investments if you bought something in the late 80's.

Honestly Cambridge Commercial Real Estate is more a square foot than Boston.

Looking forward to that 950 foot tower at Volpe... I wish.
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Old 12-31-2015, 08:42 AM   #20
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Re: Kendall Square upzoning

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Originally Posted by dwash59 View Post
My point is that there are lots of local companies driving development, not two out of state software companies as implied by whighlander. These properties are being shopped to companies started by MIT profs, which normally whighlander would celebrate.



pharma has been a much hungrier for space in Kendall than Google. The companies bidding for space in MXD are not moving out of other space in Kendall Square. They are companies adding new space, or on occasion, companies moving in from the suburbs.

I have no clue where you are getting this narrative of Google pushing other companies out of their space into MXD. Do you have any concrete examples?
Dwash -- here's the story that perhaps you missed on Google's expansion
it ran this summer in the BBJ

http://www.bizjournals.com/boston/re...n-kendall.html
Quote:
BBJ Live: Google locks up more space in Kendall Square (Video)
Jul 13, 2015, 10:20am EDT Updated Jul 13, 2015, 10:33am EDT

For many Cambridge tenants looking to expand in Kendall Square, there's simply "nowhere to go." But that's not the case for tech giant Google Inc., which is expanding into an additional 50,000 square feet at its Kendall Center campus.
The move comes less than a year after Google unveiled its three-building, 300,000-square-foot campus in Kendall Square. It's also a time when Boston Properties(NYSE: BXP), Google’s landlord, says its 2.9 million-square-foot Cambridge portfolio has “no vacancy” and is “essentially 100 percent leased.”
The video goes on to say that BP exercised some muscle to move some other tenants to give Google its 50,000 sq. ft.

There is still more to come here on this one
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