1 - 101 Main St. | Broad Canal Zoning + Development | Cambridge

bigpicture7

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Mods, I couldn't identify a previous thread on this, so please move if this is redundant.

There was a community meeting in early December on a zoning & (re)development proposal for the Broad Canal area in Cambridge.

See CorUrbanize site here: https://courbanize.com/projects/broadcanal/updates

Video overview from community mtg:

Some take-aways of what's being proposed:
  • Likely (some) demo of middle parking garage and construction of new building between 1 and 101 Main (from Beals & Assoc. @ Community Mtg.):
img1.png


I believe the glass building rendered above is just a placeholder, as the presentation seems to imply actual height would be between 250' - 350'
  • Retail/activation of the southern side of the canal
  • Retail/activation of the Main St. side of the complex
Again, apologize if this is redundant with material others have posted. I wasn't at this community mtg, so I'm curious if others know more.
 
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stefal

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We're really building up the density in Kendall lately. This building will fit quite snug between the two.

Though in the conceptual phase, looks like some enhancements are planned around the Broad Canal, including a potential bridge over the canal.
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meddlepal

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Too bad they couldn’t re-skin the extant buildings.
Seriously.

But, the reason they're no considering it is because the windows are already floor-ceiling so there's little market-value to doing so. I used to work in that building on the 17th floor. It's a nice building besides the exterior.

Just wait another 30-40 years and it will all need to be replaced anyways.

Edit: Floor to ceiling in some key areas. I've forgotten that it's more like waist high in a lot of places.
 
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bigpicture7

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Seriously.

But, the reason they're no considering it is because the windows are already floor-ceiling so there's little market-value to doing so. I used to work in that building on the 17th floor. It's a nice building besides the exterior.

Just wait another 30-40 years and it will all need to be replaced anyways.
I just wish they could do something with the ends of the 1 & 101 buildings that face Kendall and that face Boston. They can leave the expansive sides that face Main St. as-is. As the developer knows, these parcels are inevitably a "gateway into Cambridge."

I also hope the new middle building ("51 Main" I think it would be) can break the plateau of the others; not for sake of height, but just to break up the block.

Based on the presentation, I generally applaud the goal of activating along the canal and Main st. This could be a win for the Kendall area.
 

Suffolk 83

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1 and 101 open very poorly onto the canal. By creating a major walkway in 51, a lot could be won.
To be fair, that stretch of main street is an apocalyptic hellscape that few dare walk along
 

bigpicture7

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To be fair, that stretch of main street is an apocalyptic hellscape that few dare walk along
It certainly was, but...
Now that the Longfellow restoration is (very nicely) done with new sidewalks and bike lanes, a lot more people enjoy walking across (and therefore past these buildings). This applies to both inbound/outbound sides of the bridge, as they recently installed a new pedestrian cut-through just prior to the Red Line portal. This is less of a dead-end than it was.

Secondly, if you view the above presentation, it is clear that this is as much (if not more) about activating the canal side as the Main St. side. Right now the south bank of the canal is a wasteland, but as curcuas mentions, they are talking about installing a pedestrian pass-through at 51 Main, and installing a pedestrian bridge across the canal (see Stefal's images). It seems that the thought is to create a new boardwalk with shops/etc on the south side of the canal that is easily accessed from multiple points. I don't know if this will work, but it's an intriguing idea.
 
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curcuas

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The arcades definitely help make that piece of Main St walkable, if cold.
 

Gameguy326

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Wow, they're finally add a final tower there. That is the last available parcel on this stretch. With this, MXD, and MIT's projects including the Ragon expansion, every parcel from the Longfellow Bridge to Windsor will be filled.

That arcade would be amazing.

This is an excellent project. My only complaint is the choice of a glass tower instead of a (partially matching) brick/glass structure.
 

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