Cambridge Crossing (NorthPoint) | East Cambridge/Charlestown | Cambridge/Boston

Java King

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Walked around the whole Cambridge Crossing area. Coming along nicely. The 2 EF Buildings have the worst designs and street level experience in my opinion. I know they were designed when not much was there, but they squandered their location and potential. There were quite a few people at North Point Park. A restaurant or Caffè Nero facing the park and city would be excellent.
Back to this specific photo, the retail here will be a welcome addition. I’m wondering if the large bolders on the other side from this photo will have water that flows into the Cambridge Crossing Common?
 

Vagabond

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Walked around the whole Cambridge Crossing area. Coming along nicely. The 2 EF Buildings have the worst designs and street level experience in my opinion. I know they were designed when not much was there, but they squandered their location and potential. There were quite a few people at North Point Park. A restaurant or Caffè Nero facing the park and city would be excellent.
Back to this specific photo, the retail here will be a welcome addition. I’m wondering if the large bolders on the other side from this photo will have water that flows into the Cambridge Crossing Common?
Local restaurant plug - the Lexington/Lamplighter restaurants-brewery that will be in this awning has a ton of outdoor seating right next to the brook in the park. On the nicest day in September it was empty. Take a stop by - the Tacos, Waygu dog and a $19 bottle of wine were great!
 

ra84970

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View attachment 7146
Walked around the whole Cambridge Crossing area. Coming along nicely. The 2 EF Buildings have the worst designs and street level experience in my opinion. I know they were designed when not much was there, but they squandered their location and potential. There were quite a few people at North Point Park. A restaurant or Caffè Nero facing the park and city would be excellent.
Back to this specific photo, the retail here will be a welcome addition. I’m wondering if the large bolders on the other side from this photo will have water that flows into the Cambridge Crossing Common?
Doesn't the first EF building have a cafe at the first floor closest to the North Bank bridge?
 

ivyhedge

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Back to this specific photo, the retail here will be a welcome addition. I’m wondering if the large bolders on the other side from this photo will have water that flows into the Cambridge Crossing Common?
The water that is present is what is planned: the water table. When we get heavy rains, overflow and drain water enters the new mitigation system installed beneath the drumlin near where you imaged that scene (between Lot W and Lot S).

There is no plan for any active water connection to points beyond the three pools in the Common. The two pools nearest each other are technically unconnected, as the bridge uses an earthen support, and the pool nearer to Lots L, M, & N, is actually a water table encroachment that manifested about four summers ago and has yet to be resolved (I think it will be when they build on L/M and redo the nearby road). For now, provided that it doesn't result in a sinkhole, it's wildly unique. ha.

There were plans for a "water feature" that was to have been part of Lot I's retail/park/amphitheater zone, but I don't know if they remain on the table.
 

ivyhedge

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Doesn't the first EF building have a cafe at the first floor closest to the North Bank bridge?
Yep - that's Lingo Bar+Cafe. It's not bad. It reopened according to Cambridge's dining restrictions. There are seats outside between the EF building and the skatepark to accommodate dining al fresco...
 

ivyhedge

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Local restaurant plug - the Lexington/Lamplighter restaurants-brewery that will be in this awning has a ton of outdoor seating right next to the brook in the park. On the nicest day in September it was empty. Take a stop by - the Tacos, Waygu dog and a $19 bottle of wine were great!
Glad you enjoyed it. I could zipline right to a table.

It will be interesting to see how the "hotel without rooms" concept works as we head into the winter: hopefully, better than the "World Kitchen" slung beneath AVA one block over.
 

ivyhedge

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Agreed, would be a GREAT spot for TJ's. Was just over there on the new "North 1st St." yesterday!
TJs is one of the places that some folks at DivCo have been looser lipped about courting over the years. They have told us (unofficially?) repeatedly that TJ wanted a building larger than this site (Q1, which is subdivided for 2-4 businesses, IIRC) and so much parking that it would essentially take a complete parcel in CX. None of us want that, since it would be reminscent of the legacy metro parking lot which gave rise to Lots R, Q1, and Q2.

However, there is Q2, which is considerably larger (though tied in more closely to the railway above/behind it).
 

RandomWalk

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TJ’s, in spite of the Boylston St location, seems to be allergic to building anything other than suburban style. They expressed disinterest in two Davis Square locations due to the lack of parking.
 

ra84970

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TJ’s, in spite of the Boylston St location, seems to be allergic to building anything other than suburban style. They expressed disinterest in two Davis Square locations due to the lack of parking.
Having been at the Boylston St and other city center TJ locations without parking (or much other space) it's really tough to manage the types of crowds that TJs draws.
 

ivyhedge

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@Java King - The image (below) was the infrastructure I referenced in my note (above). Apologies for not posting it with that response; I didn't have the image at hand.

Image setting: Lot JK sported about 2/3 of its steel, and only the most rudimentary work had been done at Lot W. Lots L & M weren't even the DivCo command center yet, and Lot G was used as glass storage for Lot JK.

 

Java King

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The water that is present is what is planned: the water table. When we get heavy rains, overflow and drain water enters the new mitigation system installed beneath the drumlin near where you imaged that scene (between Lot W and Lot S).

There is no plan for any active water connection to points beyond the three pools in the Common. The two pools nearest each other are technically unconnected, as the bridge uses an earthen support, and the pool nearer to Lots L, M, & N, is actually a water table encroachment that manifested about four summers ago and has yet to be resolved (I think it will be when they build on L/M and redo the nearby road). For now, provided that it doesn't result in a sinkhole, it's wildly unique. ha.

There were plans for a "water feature" that was to have been part of Lot I's retail/park/amphitheater zone, but I don't know if they remain on the table.
Interesting! Thank you. The current water leading up to the retail building was quite green and brackish, so that's why I asked. I thought water cascading over the big boulders would be a nice addition. (Similar to the Fan Pier water feature that empties into the harbor.)
 

Java King

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Doesn't the first EF building have a cafe at the first floor closest to the North Bank bridge?
I guess I missed it. I was there late on Sunday afternoon, so maybe it was closed? I didn't see any activity while walking the dog past both EF buildings. :) On a somewhat related note, it was funny to see my dog react to the duck boat siren when entering the water, the trains underneath the Northbank Bridge, and the ever present police siren! He needs to get out of Scituate more often, as he is certainly NOT a city dog. :)
 

ivyhedge

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Lot G / 11 Sep 2020

I watched these gents until midnight on Friday. Between two and six large pieces of the facade seem to be delivered daily, but I haven't been able to discern their mounting schedule. Quite a bit was done on Saturday, but nothing on Sunday.

 

ivyhedge

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Lot EF / 14 Sep 2020

Somewhat of a joke: with Lot JK blocking Lot EF, my perspective of the two cranes' work is poor. However, steel is rising: in some areas poking to the second floor already.

 

ivyhedge

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Lot H / 14 Sep 2020

The highest steel reaches to level four. This building will be smaller than the Sanofi building (Lot G), but this is the one with the dual level lobby, and the extension/coupling to the Gilmore Bridge, I mentioned several days ago.

 

ivyhedge

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Lot G / 14 Sep 2020

Unless the City accepted modifications to the previous modifications (!), the left extension is the start of the ~3.5 levels of mechanicals, chimneys, and shrouding. Occupied height is only 174', but the building will be 243' to the top of the shroud, so it will impose on the area a bit like Lot N.

As far as I know, the highest building should be the upcoming apartment building, Lot I (residential zoning to 220', with a mechanical shroud terminating at 250').

 

ra84970

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I guess I missed it. I was there late on Sunday afternoon, so maybe it was closed? I didn't see any activity while walking the dog past both EF buildings. :) On a somewhat related note, it was funny to see my dog react to the duck boat siren when entering the water, the trains underneath the Northbank Bridge, and the ever present police siren! He needs to get out of Scituate more often, as he is certainly NOT a city dog. :)
Apparently, *I*'m not a city dog. I always get startled by the duck boat and drawbridge sirens.
 

ivyhedge

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Owners of Sierra/Tango condos (Lots S & T) have been invited to a Zoom town hall on 16 Sep that will discuss (as yet, unannounced) plans to build on Lot U, formerly - somewhat ridiculously - a Phase II parcel. Lot U is the location where condo owners can rent outdoor parking if they don't own a spot under the buildings.

DivCo is obliged to deliver a 1:1 replacement for spots anywhere within a few blocks at market rate. I predict that placement will be beneath one of the new buildings at CX. Current renters will likely not like the rates.
 

etik

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Owners of Sierra/Tango condos (Lots S & T) have been invited to a Zoom town hall on 16 Sep that will discuss (as yet, unannounced) plans to build on Lot U, formerly - somewhat ridiculously - a Phase II parcel. Lot U is the location where condo owners can rent outdoor parking if they don't own a spot under the buildings.

DivCo is obliged to deliver a 1:1 replacement for spots anywhere within a few blocks at market rate. I predict that placement will be beneath one of the new buildings at CX. Current renters will likely not like the rates.
I just posted a thread on Lot U - apparently it started going through Cambridge design review at the end of August.

Funnily enough, I actually rent out a Lot U space right now. To give folks a flavor, the prices we're allowed to rent at are contractually limited by the condo bylaws, and consistently run 3-3.5x cheaper than in-garage parking.

The proposed building is set to include 282 parking spaces - the maximum limit allowed by the North Point special permit. There are 132 spaces on Lot U today. Given the requirements to replace the Lot U spaces they will likely not want to move lower, but I would still like to see a push for fewer car spaces, especially since they necessitate the construction of a three-story underground parking structure. An interesting point here is that if a lab tenant comes in, then a substantial amount of parking may be taken away to accommodate their mechanicals.
 

ivyhedge

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I just posted a thread on Lot U - apparently it started going through Cambridge design review at the end of August.

Funnily enough, I actually rent out a Lot U space right now. To give folks a flavor, the prices we're allowed to rent at are contractually limited by the condo bylaws, and consistently run 3-3.5x cheaper than in-garage parking.
@etik Spot on! I think I recall your comment tonight from the call (or someone who mentioned something quite similar).

I own a spot but arbitrage its rent against that of Lot U. There were fewer questions than I expected regarding parking logistics.

Lot U is going to take a while to get out of the ground. Lot JK has three levels of parking (well, 2.5-ish) and that was time consuming work.
 

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