Lab Building (née Hotel Hampshire) | 34-40 Hampshire St. | Cambridge

bigpicture7

Senior Member
Joined
May 5, 2016
Messages
3,513
Reaction score
7,449
This has been discussed previously as a small project. These parcels have sat vacant for quite some time, but this latest hotel proposal was approved by the Cambridge Planning Board in October 2021. I don't think there's an aB thread for this, but my apologies if I couldn't find it.

I'm posting this thread because it appears work has begun on site. At least prior structures' demo and site prep. From today (3/10):
40Hamp-1.jpg


Here's the city's project website:

And I'm not sure aB has seen the latest / final design, approved in Oct'21 and posted in revised graphics file (Aug '21). Some highlights from therein:

40hamp-2.png

40hamp-3.png

40Hamp-5.png


This is a 70-key hotel. No idea if it's fully financed, but it's great to see movement here given the blight that had been sitting on this prominent corner for some time (though, RIP Emma's Pizza).
 
I believe I read that it is actually going to be a lab building being built as of right and that the hotel fell through.
 
I believe I read that it is actually going to be a lab building being built as of right and that the hotel fell through.

Ah, fascinating (and so sad if true). The hotel's special permit approval is less than 5 months old. So, if what you're hearing is true, it must be a very recent development.

Given how things have been going, though, it is of course unsurprising. But nothing (publicaly visible, that I can see) has been filed with the planning board reflecting that change.

Anyway, I was motivated to post this out of surprise the hotel was moving forward. I hope it might still be. Otherwise, mods can feel free to dump this thread into the cambridge infill pile or re-name once we know what this is. I was truly hoping this was a harbinger of something more interesting, sigh.
 
(though, RIP Emma's Pizza).

Emma's Pizza was the best. Then again, so was Izzy's (just closed); so was People's Republik; so was Abbey Lounge (now Trina's Starlight); so was the B-Side Lounge (now Lord Hobo)... one could go on re: all the late, great joints that have fallen by the wayside in the greater Kendall/Cent Sq./Inman scene--but then, one would be dating themselves even more than they already have.
 
That looks like really small lot for a lab building, if that's the path they're following.
 
Not a fan of the curved corner.
 
Emma's Pizza was the best. Then again, so was Izzy's (just closed); so was People's Republik; so was Abbey Lounge (now Trina's Starlight); so was the B-Side Lounge (now Lord Hobo)... one could go on re: all the late, great joints that have fallen by the wayside in the greater Kendall/Cent Sq./Inman scene--but then, one would be dating themselves even more than they already have.

Don’t forget Bukowskis! A friend of mine managed to get her name etched on one of those mugs. It was epic. Sorry, I digress.
 
  • Like
Reactions: DBM
I believe I read that it is actually going to be a lab building being built as of right and that the hotel fell through.

from the building permit:
New construction of 4 story commercial office building to house future lab tenants. Parking below grade via auto lift with ample bicycle parking. Rooftop penthouse for mechanical equipment and exhaust stacks to 10'-0 above adjacent building.

The first floor will be all masonry with no windows because it's mostly mechanical rooms. Only openings are for the entry on Hampshire St and the garage door on Portland St. Upper floors all glass and/or teal-ish colored siding.
 
from the building permit:
New construction of 4 story commercial office building to house future lab tenants. Parking below grade via auto lift with ample bicycle parking. Rooftop penthouse for mechanical equipment and exhaust stacks to 10'-0 above adjacent building.

The first floor will be all masonry with no windows because it's mostly mechanical rooms. Only openings are for the entry on Hampshire St and the garage door on Portland St. Upper floors all glass and/or teal-ish colored siding.

That's just really sad.
And, side note, this originally required a planning board special permit. I would guess an amendment is in process and city of cambridge is just woefully behind keeping the planning board website updated. That and/or the lab proponent is just blasting full speed ahead. I can't imagine the hotel -to-lab change wouldn't need to go before the board again.
 
Last edited:
Based on the site, I'm actually surprised that they're putting a building here at all and not just a useless patch of grass. The street level "interaction" is basically on par with the windswept dirt patch currently sitting there, except the windswept dirt patch doesn't contribute jobs and taxes.

Tough to get worked up about this given the location. Never once have I walked by this and thought it was a prime spot to shoehorn in another building. So in that respect it's kind of a bonus, just a pretty crappy bonus.
 
Wow. The developer really dropped a steaming pile on that site.

They split the back of house between the ground floor and the roof, with the absurdly tall stack as the birthday candle on this little cake. The prior hotel would have blocked more of the adjacent building, so it’s a little perplexing why they don’t stick all the BoH on the roof (save the garage entrance).
 
Based on the site, I'm actually surprised that they're putting a building here at all and not just a useless patch of grass. The street level "interaction" is basically on par with the windswept dirt patch currently sitting there, except the windswept dirt patch doesn't contribute jobs and taxes.

Tough to get worked up about this given the location. Never once have I walked by this and thought it was a prime spot to shoehorn in another building. So in that respect it's kind of a bonus, just a pretty crappy bonus.
It used to be a good pizza place that many enjoyed. What's proposed will mean as much to the average visitor as the Draper parking garage across the street.
 
It used to be a good pizza place that many enjoyed. What's proposed will mean as much to the average visitor as the Draper parking garage across the street.

They still had a location in South End for a while which I went to after this one closed. Pizza was really good but totally undercooked at the same time. It went out of business shortly after.

By the way, it's also been closed for 5 years. It's time to move on already. A business you used to like that closed down 5 years ago should have no bearing on what gets built there today.
 
They still had a location in South End for a while which I went to after this one closed. Pizza was really good but totally undercooked at the same time. It went out of business shortly after.

By the way, it's also been closed for 5 years. It's time to move on already. A business you used to like that closed down 5 years ago should have no bearing on what gets built there today.
It was a store front. That has more potential than what's proposed. I'm not saying Emma's or nothing.
 

Back
Top