Cambridge Infill and Small Developments

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The Engine expands, responding to rapid growth of “tough tech”

The expansion, in collaboration with MIT, will extend and amplify the progress of the thriving innovation ecosystem in Cambridge and the greater Boston region. Central to the effort will be the renovation of the existing building at 750 Main Street to serve as a new hub for tough-tech growth, with the capacity to accommodate approximately 100 companies and 800 entrepreneurs. The initiative will accelerate the development of next-generation technology by providing the vital infrastructure and resources necessary to accommodate fast-growing startups throughout the region.
 

etik

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Quick Tour of Cambridge St (Cambridge)

1500 Cambridge St
Slated to become 3 condos - can't find information on internet


Vellucci Plaza (Inman Square Redesign)


305 Webster Ave
BLDUP Article






1055 Cambridge St
Special Permit Application - this passed the planning board several months ago.
(Not much movement, maybe the orange fencing is newish)




Cambridge St Upper School (and bike path)
BLDUP Article
Officially open, I think










855 Cambridge St
Former site of Sunset Cafe before it burned down and displaced 22 residents, Jan 14th 2019
(Also view of new bike track)
Article
 

Massachoicetts

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Check out this ad I came across on facebook to sign a petition against the zoning increase at the galleria mall, wow

https://www.cambridgepetition.com/?fbclid=IwAR3c3nQTVGS1VhLLejTz7eiRS48yaeNtRx3X8rd9asDt8Dr68zPHc4w7OzE
I will be setting up a counter-petition against the NIMBYs. Im getting very tired of this.

I suggest everyone send something through: https://www.cambridgepetition.com/contact


I responded: "
I dont think you realize what exactly i happening here with this development.

For starters,

1) Adding height to this building will increase density here in Cambridge MA. Why is this a bad thing? It increases the economic output of the city of Cambridge and generates more money for the city of Cambridge.

2) You complain about traffic from lowering the commercial unit space. Do you care to realize that commercial spaces produce about 3x more traffic than a single residential unit? The ratio is even higher in this part of Cambridge considering >75% commute via the T, Bus, Cycle or Walking. So adding more commercial over residential pace INCREASES traffic further. This particular redevelopment plan WONT increase traffic??? Reducing some of the unnecessary mall space and replacing it with labs and units for nearby workers will significantly DECREASE traffic... NOT increase it.

3) Boston area is considerably short of residential space and seriously has an issue with housing... and the jobs are going to keep pouring in. This part of Cambridge sits just a mile away from the CBD heart of Boston. In any other major city, 1 mile from the CBD has >50 meter buildings, bustling streets and mixed use units. Why should Boston stay behind the times to appease your provincial selves?

INSTEAD of complaining about much needed development here in the Greater Boston Area... how about you utilize this energy by petitioning for better public transportation? Ho about you petition for the Grand Junction to get up and running? Connecting South and North Stations? Expanding the Red Line to Lexington? Making a Blue/Red Connector? You see.. you cant stop development and this whole project will happen. You and the 3% who dont like it need to start putting energy into the right places. Development projects WONT increase Traffic.... especially in a city of 22,000 people per square mile by the time this will be completed. Paris has 60,000 people per square mile but you know what they have and we dont? A Good Transportation system. So stop wasting everyones time complaining about height and redevelopment of a dead mall.. and start fighting the right battles because clearly you are damn clueless about urbanity, redevelopment plans and worse of all What causes traffic. Im appalled you reside in the same town as MIT and Harvard...

Help the rest of us build a better interconnected Boston.. stop separating us!"
 
Last edited:

#bancars

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Keep fighting the good fight!

I will be setting up a counter-petition against the NIMBYs. Im getting very tired of this.

I suggest everyone send something through: https://www.cambridgepetition.com/contact


I responded: "
I dont think you realize what exactly i happening here with this development.

For starters,

1) Adding height to this building will increase density here in Cambridge MA. Why is this a bad thing? It increases the economic output of the city of Cambridge and generates more money for the city of Cambridge.

2) You complain about traffic from lowering the commercial unit space. Do you care to realize that commercial spaces produce about 3x more traffic than a single residential unit? The ratio is even higher in this part of Cambridge considering >75% commute via the T, Bus, Cycle or Walking. So adding more commercial over residential pace INCREASES traffic further. This particular redevelopment plan WONT increase traffic??? Reducing some of the unnecessary mall space and replacing it with labs and units for nearby workers will significantly DECREASE traffic... NOT increase it.

3) Boston area is considerably short of residential space and seriously has an issue with housing... and the jobs are going to keep pouring in. This part of Cambridge sits just a mile away from the CBD heart of Boston. In any other major city, 1 mile from the CBD has >50 meter buildings, bustling streets and mixed use units. Why should Boston stay behind the times to appease your provincial selves?

INSTEAD of complaining about much needed development here in the Greater Boston Area... how about you utilize this energy by petitioning for better public transportation? Ho about you petition for the Grand Junction to get up and running? Connecting South and North Stations? Expanding the Red Line to Lexington? Making a Blue/Red Connector? You see.. you cant stop development and this whole project will happen. You and the 3% who dont like it need to start putting energy into the right places. Development projects WONT increase Traffic.... especially in a city of 22,000 people per square mile by the time this will be completed. Paris has 60,000 people per square mile but you know what they have and we dont? A Good Transportation system. So stop wasting everyones time complaining about height and redevelopment of a dead mall.. and start fighting the right battles because clearly you are damn clueless about urbanity, redevelopment plans and worse of all What causes traffic. Im appalled you reside in the same town as MIT and Harvard...

Help the rest of us build a better interconnected Boston.. stop separating us!"
 

greenlinetobrooklyn

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I will be setting up a counter-petition against the NIMBYs. Im getting very tired of this.

I suggest everyone send something through: https://www.cambridgepetition.com/contact


I responded: "
I dont think you realize what exactly i happening here with this development.

For starters,

1) Adding height to this building will increase density here in Cambridge MA. Why is this a bad thing? It increases the economic output of the city of Cambridge and generates more money for the city of Cambridge.

2) You complain about traffic from lowering the commercial unit space. Do you care to realize that commercial spaces produce about 3x more traffic than a single residential unit? The ratio is even higher in this part of Cambridge considering >75% commute via the T, Bus, Cycle or Walking. So adding more commercial over residential pace INCREASES traffic further. This particular redevelopment plan WONT increase traffic??? Reducing some of the unnecessary mall space and replacing it with labs and units for nearby workers will significantly DECREASE traffic... NOT increase it.

3) Boston area is considerably short of residential space and seriously has an issue with housing... and the jobs are going to keep pouring in. This part of Cambridge sits just a mile away from the CBD heart of Boston. In any other major city, 1 mile from the CBD has >50 meter buildings, bustling streets and mixed use units. Why should Boston stay behind the times to appease your provincial selves?

INSTEAD of complaining about much needed development here in the Greater Boston Area... how about you utilize this energy by petitioning for better public transportation? Ho about you petition for the Grand Junction to get up and running? Connecting South and North Stations? Expanding the Red Line to Lexington? Making a Blue/Red Connector? You see.. you cant stop development and this whole project will happen. You and the 3% who dont like it need to start putting energy into the right places. Development projects WONT increase Traffic.... especially in a city of 22,000 people per square mile by the time this will be completed. Paris has 60,000 people per square mile but you know what they have and we dont? A Good Transportation system. So stop wasting everyones time complaining about height and redevelopment of a dead mall.. and start fighting the right battles because clearly you are damn clueless about urbanity, redevelopment plans and worse of all What causes traffic. Im appalled you reside in the same town as MIT and Harvard...

Help the rest of us build a better interconnected Boston.. stop separating us!"
I just submitted a response, too. I was wondering how to comment on how backwards this was without signing their stupid petition.
 

etik

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I just submitted a response, too. I was wondering how to comment on how backwards this was without signing their stupid petition.
Although I think the energy and sentiment is great, frankly I'm not sure the authors of the petition have the self-awareness to even consider your point of view. (I'd be happy to be proven wrong though!)

My understanding of the (byzantine, incumbent-favoring) process by which new large development happens in Cambridge is as follows:
1. Initial presentation to neighborhood groups
2. Pair down and incorporate feedback, add "neighborhood benefits"
3. Release initial full proposal
4. Pair down and incorporate feedback, add "neighborhood benefits"
5. Present to planning board
6. Pair down and incorporate feedback, add "neighborhood benefits"
7. Submit to council (ordinance committee) for approval

etc. I'm sure I missed some steps and legal requirements. I think these usually make more than one round to neighborhood groups. For the Cambridgeside proposal, whose thread is here, the proposal didn't make it to the ordinance committee.

If you view development as something more than a new shadow on your lawn, and believe it has real benefits to large groups of people, then the earlier you get involved in this process the better. Unfortunately, the neighborhood groups are often toxic hive-minds, so I don't fault people for not wanting to be a part of that. I myself don't feel comfortable going to them.

My suggestions would be to get involved by writing the developer and asking how to support or incorporate your comments. Other than that, making public comment at the planning board or ordinance committee hearings (the latter being more important, but the former coming first) is very helpful. Be prepared to be called names nonetheless. I'll try to keep an eye on the Cambridge dates and post it to this board.

Also!! There is a Cambridge city council election this year, and A Better Cambridge Action Fund will be endorsing a slate of candidates (not released yet). There is a candidate forum today: abettercambridge.org/2019_candidate_forum

Because Massachusetts requires a super-majority to pass zoning changes, we need 6 councillors (of 9) to pass these spot zonings, or larger actions like the Affordable Housing Overlay (AHO). We currently do not have enough reliable pro-housing people on the council to do so (for the AHO, 5/9).
 

BeeLine

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The 160 First rehab project has gotten very busy recently. Interior work and a lot of external brick pointing and repair.

IMG_0993 by Bos Beeline, on Flickr

IMG_0994 by Bos Beeline, on Flickr

50 Rogers Street by Bos Beeline, on Flickr
by Bos Beeline, on Flickr

IMG_0998 by Bos Beeline, on Flickr

IMG_0997 by Bos Beeline, on Flickr

They are still finishing up on this project, but people have allready strarted to move in.

249 Third by Bos Beeline, on Flickr

IMG_1001 by Bos Beeline, on Flickr

IMG_1003 by Bos Beeline, on Flickr

IMG_1006 by Bos Beeline, on Flickr

IMG_1007 by Bos Beeline, on Flickr
 

whighlander

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I will be setting up a counter-petition against the NIMBYs. Im getting very tired of this.

I suggest everyone send something through: https://www.cambridgepetition.com/contact


I responded: "
I dont think you realize what exactly i happening here with this development.

For starters,

1) Adding height to this building will increase density here in Cambridge MA. Why is this a bad thing? It increases the economic output of the city of Cambridge and generates more money for the city of Cambridge.

2) You complain about traffic from lowering the commercial unit space. Do you care to realize that commercial spaces produce about 3x more traffic than a single residential unit? The ratio is even higher in this part of Cambridge considering >75% commute via the T, Bus, Cycle or Walking. So adding more commercial over residential pace INCREASES traffic further. This particular redevelopment plan WONT increase traffic??? Reducing some of the unnecessary mall space and replacing it with labs and units for nearby workers will significantly DECREASE traffic... NOT increase it.

3) Boston area is considerably short of residential space and seriously has an issue with housing... and the jobs are going to keep pouring in. This part of Cambridge sits just a mile away from the CBD heart of Boston. In any other major city, 1 mile from the CBD has >50 meter buildings, bustling streets and mixed use units. Why should Boston stay behind the times to appease your provincial selves?

INSTEAD of complaining about much needed development here in the Greater Boston Area... how about you utilize this energy by petitioning for better public transportation? Ho about you petition for the Grand Junction to get up and running? Connecting South and North Stations? Expanding the Red Line to Lexington? Making a Blue/Red Connector? You see.. you cant stop development and this whole project will happen. You and the 3% who dont like it need to start putting energy into the right places. Development projects WONT increase Traffic.... especially in a city of 22,000 people per square mile by the time this will be completed. Paris has 60,000 people per square mile but you know what they have and we dont? A Good Transportation system. So stop wasting everyones time complaining about height and redevelopment of a dead mall.. and start fighting the right battles because clearly you are damn clueless about urbanity, redevelopment plans and worse of all What causes traffic. Im appalled you reside in the same town as MIT and Harvard...

Help the rest of us build a better interconnected Boston.. stop separating us!"
Mass -- You are doing the NIMBYs work by posting the above

on the grand scheme of complaining posts -- points 1 and 2 are not bad -- point 3 however destroys their impact to the intended audience. And the accompanying paragraph is "Radioactive"

Probably you are not from around here and so don't understand the relevant history -- a couple of points to keep in mind in the future so that you don't burn all your bridges trying to force logic down unwilling throats:

  1. If we had wanted to be Houston we could have been -- we were here a lot sooner than they were
  2. BUT -- very early on everyone wanted their own identity*1 -- it has not stopped in the past 400 years of development
  3. You will get no points with the OLD-ONES [i.e those whose families have been here forever] with calling something in Cambridge to be in Boston [only exception is the MOS because it straddles the border and no-one is really sure which part is which]
If you want to score points -- appeal to their vanity, exclusivity and snootiness --for example:
  • by building the Volpe Tower high -- people will be able to see a bit of Cambridge from Logan despite downtown Boston in the way
  • or Kendall Square as the most important venue on the Planet for Innovation needs a tower to stand as its geographic marker -- "we don't need no Stinkin Pru" -- said with appropriate Cambridge dismissiveness
Note -- Cantabridgians -- only compare themselves with the other Cambridge -- while they don't have the history to compare with the UK's Cambridge [no halls dating from the 1300's] -- the US's Cambridge can boast 2 of the top [5 to 10] u'S in the World - -the other Cambridge only has one


*1 Take a look by Googling at how many communities have dates of settling -- founding or incorporation within 50 years of Boston [i.e. before 1680] -- here's a small sample:
  • Plymouth -- 1620
  • Hull -- 1622 -- incorporated 1644
  • Gloucester -- 1623
  • Braintree -- settled in 1625 -- colonized in 1635 and incorporated in 1640 -- Quincy was distilled from it later
  • Salem -- 1626
  • Lynn -- 1629 -- probably never guessed that one
  • Boston --- 1630
  • Roxbury -- Settled and incorporated in 1630 -- became a city in 1846 [16 years after Boston] then was annexed by Boston in 1868
  • Dorchester -- 1630 -- annexed by Boston with some deletions in the 19th C
  • Medford -- 1630
  • Cambridg -- 1630 -- incorporated in 1636
  • Watertown -- 1630
  • Newton -- 1630
  • Canton -- 1630 -- originally part of Dorchester
  • Hingham -- 1633 -- original name Bare Cove -- incorporated as Hingham in 1635
  • Waltham -- 1634 -- although not incorporated for about another 100 years
  • Weston -- 1634
  • Wenham -- 1635
  • Newbury -- 1635
  • Concord -- 1635
  • Arlington -- 1635 -- name is 19th Century origin
  • Dover --1635
  • Dedham -- 1635 -- incorporated 1636 -- 14 current towns were originally part of Dedham's land
  • Hamilton -- 1638
  • Haverhill -- 1640 -- that's on the border with NH
  • Woburn -- 1640
  • Bedford -- 1640
  • Burlington -- 1640
  • Winchester -- 1640
  • Westwood -- 1640
  • Milton -- 1640 -- originally part of the Dorchester lands -- incorporated in 1662
  • Andover -- 1642
  • Methuen -- 1642
  • 1642 -- Lexington -- current name is 18th Century origin
  • Cohasset -- noted by John Smith in 1614 -- first settled in 1647 -- mostly settled by 1670
  • Sharon -- 1650 -- originally part of the Mass Bay settlement land from 1637 incorporated much later
  • Chelmsford*2 -- 1652 -- a bit of the kind of history that we talking about
  • Billerica - 1652 -- located 20 miles (32 km) north-northwest of Boston
  • Dracut -- 1653
  • Wellesley -- 1660
  • Tyngsborough -- 1661
  • Norwood -- 1678 -- originally part of Dedham separated in 1872
  • Needham -- 1680

So you can see from the above that Boston was essentially surrounded by independent towns by the late 1600's -- later some independent towns were annexed by Boston [e.g Dedham, Charlestown, and Roxbury]

*2 from the wiki on Chelmsford
Settlers from the adjacent communities of Woburn and Concord founded Chelmsford.
An act of the Massachusetts General Court in the last week of May 1655 town incorporated Chelmsford, and it was named after Chelmsford, England.
The nearby communities of Groton and Billerica were incorporated at the same time. Chelmsford originally contained the neighboring town of Westford, and parts of Carlisle, Tyngsborough, and a large part of Lowell (formerly known as East Chelmsford).
Both the Middlesex Canal and Middlesex Turnpike, major transportation routes, were built through Chelmsford in the first part of the 19th century.
 

Massachoicetts

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Mass -- You are doing the NIMBYs work by posting the above

on the grand scheme of complaining posts -- points 1 and 2 are not bad -- point 3 however destroys their impact to the intended audience. And the accompanying paragraph is "Radioactive"

Probably you are not from around here and so don't understand the relevant history -- a couple of points to keep in mind in the future so that you don't burn all your bridges trying to force logic down unwilling throats:

  1. If we had wanted to be Houston we could have been -- we were here a lot sooner than they were
  2. BUT -- very early on everyone wanted their own identity*1 -- it has not stopped in the past 400 years of development
  3. You will get no points with the OLD-ONES [i.e those whose families have been here forever] with calling something in Cambridge to be in Boston [only exception is the MOS because it straddles the border and no-one is really sure which part is which]
If you want to score points -- appeal to their vanity, exclusivity and snootiness --for example:
  • by building the Volpe Tower high -- people will be able to see a bit of Cambridge from Logan despite downtown Boston in the way
  • or Kendall Square as the most important venue on the Planet for Innovation needs a tower to stand as its geographic marker -- "we don't need no Stinkin Pru" -- said with appropriate Cambridge dismissiveness
Note -- Cantabridgians -- only compare themselves with the other Cambridge -- while they don't have the history to compare with the UK's Cambridge [no halls dating from the 1300's] -- the US's Cambridge can boast 2 of the top [5 to 10] u'S in the World - -the other Cambridge only has one


*1 Take a look by Googling at how many communities have dates of settling -- founding or incorporation within 50 years of Boston [i.e. before 1680] -- here's a small sample:
  • Plymouth -- 1620
  • Hull -- 1622 -- incorporated 1644
  • Gloucester -- 1623
  • Braintree -- settled in 1625 -- colonized in 1635 and incorporated in 1640 -- Quincy was distilled from it later
  • Salem -- 1626
  • Lynn -- 1629 -- probably never guessed that one
  • Boston --- 1630
  • Roxbury -- Settled and incorporated in 1630 -- became a city in 1846 [16 years after Boston] then was annexed by Boston in 1868
  • Dorchester -- 1630 -- annexed by Boston with some deletions in the 19th C
  • Medford -- 1630
  • Cambridg -- 1630 -- incorporated in 1636
  • Watertown -- 1630
  • Newton -- 1630
  • Canton -- 1630 -- originally part of Dorchester
  • Hingham -- 1633 -- original name Bare Cove -- incorporated as Hingham in 1635
  • Waltham -- 1634 -- although not incorporated for about another 100 years
  • Weston -- 1634
  • Wenham -- 1635
  • Newbury -- 1635
  • Concord -- 1635
  • Arlington -- 1635 -- name is 19th Century origin
  • Dover --1635
  • Dedham -- 1635 -- incorporated 1636 -- 14 current towns were originally part of Dedham's land
  • Hamilton -- 1638
  • Haverhill -- 1640 -- that's on the border with NH
  • Woburn -- 1640
  • Bedford -- 1640
  • Burlington -- 1640
  • Winchester -- 1640
  • Westwood -- 1640
  • Milton -- 1640 -- originally part of the Dorchester lands -- incorporated in 1662
  • Andover -- 1642
  • Methuen -- 1642
  • 1642 -- Lexington -- current name is 18th Century origin
  • Cohasset -- noted by John Smith in 1614 -- first settled in 1647 -- mostly settled by 1670
  • Sharon -- 1650 -- originally part of the Mass Bay settlement land from 1637 incorporated much later
  • Chelmsford*2 -- 1652 -- a bit of the kind of history that we talking about
  • Billerica - 1652 -- located 20 miles (32 km) north-northwest of Boston
  • Dracut -- 1653
  • Wellesley -- 1660
  • Tyngsborough -- 1661
  • Norwood -- 1678 -- originally part of Dedham separated in 1872
  • Needham -- 1680

So you can see from the above that Boston was essentially surrounded by independent towns by the late 1600's -- later some independent towns were annexed by Boston [e.g Dedham, Charlestown, and Roxbury]

*2 from the wiki on Chelmsford

I mean the history is great. But Boston itself needs to stay relevant. im from just south of Boston and the town Ilive in cannot even pass a 40 unit condoplex without facing backlash... despite being 2 miles from Boston.

The analogy of Houston wouldnt really work that well,, because Houston is very sprawly-office complexy .. I think a better comparison would be Philadelphia, Mannhattan/Brooklyn or Chicago in terms of bustling downtowns.
 

DigitalSciGuy

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There's something very satisfying about seeing a parking podium I've wanted to see torn down or converted finally rehabbed into something that isn't just dedicated to storing metal boxes.

This place is going to be MOBBED every day after work, maybe moreso than Roche Bros' outpost at DTX. They'd better figure out their cash register queueing system before this opens. All the Whole Foods stores in Manhattan have figured out how to direct people from a single queue to the next open register. The DTX Roche has had everything from a sometimes working system, to a human traffic controller, to cashiers who just shout their register number in frustration at you from behind a column.
 

Equilibria

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There's something very satisfying about seeing a parking podium I've wanted to see torn down or converted finally rehabbed into something that isn't just dedicated to storing metal boxes.

This place is going to be MOBBED every day after work, maybe moreso than Roche Bros' outpost at DTX. They'd better figure out their cash register queueing system before this opens. All the Whole Foods stores in Manhattan have figured out how to direct people from a single queue to the next open register. The DTX Roche has had everything from a sometimes working system, to a human traffic controller, to cashiers who just shout their register number in frustration at you from behind a column.
If I were them, I'd be concerned that people are going to go there expecting a full Roche's as at DTX. The new Star Market at North Station only builds the perception that urban grocery stores are big and sell everything you need. This one won't.

We couldn't have had a full grocery store here... why, exactly?
 

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