MXD Residential Tower | 135 Broadway | Kendall Square

Equilibria

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This is being discussed on the Kendall Square thread, but the poster there asked for the thread for the Blue Garage, and here it is:


The substation will move a short distance south and west to replace around one-third of Boston Properties’ Blue Garage, which residents have been expected to be topped with apartments and condominiums – still basically the plan, Alexandria says. “The potential addition of 800,000 square feet of commercial ground-floor area will not replace the proposed residential component” of Boston Properties’ infill development plan, an Alexandria spokesman said Friday in anticipation of Monday’s council vote.

The location of the residences could change, though. Along with demolition of the garage – with parking moving underground – might come the removal of another existing building. What’s built on the two-thirds that isn’t substation “originally it was said [would be] one residential, one commercial. That could change … if we found another location for the residential, that could maybe move things. But [it would be] in that general area,” said Robert Reardon, the city’s director of assessment, designated point person to coordinate solving the real estate puzzle by City Manager Louis A. DePasquale.
Interestingly, that probably means this project is dead as originally proposed. No biggie - it wasn't very attractive, IMO.

Also notable - the pols are pissed that MIT didn't agree to host the substation at Volpe.
 

Massachoicetts

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This is being discussed on the Kendall Square thread, but the poster there asked for the thread for the Blue Garage, and here it is:




Interestingly, that probably means this project is dead as originally proposed. No biggie - it wasn't very attractive, IMO.

Also notable - the pols are pissed that MIT didn't agree to host the substation at Volpe.
A little confused. Are they actually planning to use the Grand Junction? I thought that was a pipe dream for the city of Cambridge. But hear the confusion with the residential component makes me wonder...

My apologies- things always get a little confusing when I hear GJX
 

Equilibria

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A little confused. Are they actually planning to use the Grand Junction? I thought that was a pipe dream for the city of Cambridge. But hear the confusion with the residential component makes me wonder...

My apologies- things always get a little confusing when I hear GJX
The City of Cambridge has been moving on building a walking path there for years. There are no concrete plans for transit service, though there is much speculation and dreaming.

FWIW, the Grand Junction is very much in-use today. It is not abandoned.
 

sm89

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The City of Cambridge has been moving on building a walking path there for years. There are no concrete plans for transit service, though there is much speculation and dreaming.

FWIW, the Grand Junction is very much in-use today. It is not abandoned.
The path is currently under construction, though portions of it are not yet fully designed. The City built the first piece from Main St to Broadway a couple of years ago and is poised to start on the next part, continuing it from Broadway to Binney St. As part of their mitigation package, Alexandria has pledged to construct the path from Binney St to Cambridge St. They have already acquired the land to make this possible, including a building on Cambridge St (to be demolished) and a sliver of land along the ROW they purchased from St Anthony's Church. On the other end, MIT will eventually build their portion behind their dorms from Mass Ave towards the BU Bridge. I assume that will be included in future mitigation packages (maybe the storage facility?) More info: https://www.cambridgema.gov/CDD/Projects/Transportation/GrandJunctionPathway

The design they are going with assumes an active two-track rail ROW, but whether that is for light rail, commuter rail, etc., is not yet known.
 

DZH22

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Public meetings have begun on updating the zoning:
They should really update for the rest of Kendall and North Point, particularly the areas where the FAA would allow them to hit 1000'. I don't want to see sites like Constellation Center get underbuilt when there is potential here for something so much grander. If Boston tied its own hands too much with the shadows on the parks, shadows on the harbor, and extreme FAA limits, then Cambridge should be the one to pick up the torch!
 

Equilibria

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They should really update for the rest of Kendall and North Point, particularly the areas where the FAA would allow them to hit 1000'. I don't want to see sites like Constellation Center get underbuilt when there is potential here for something so much grander. If Boston tied its own hands too much with the shadows on the parks, shadows on the harbor, and extreme FAA limits, then Cambridge should be the one to pick up the torch!
East Cambridge will never let higher than 500' happen. The 500' peak of the Volpe site was negotiated and is considered the ironclad tallest for the City.
 

DZH22

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East Cambridge will never let higher than 500' happen. The 500' peak of the Volpe site was negotiated and is considered the ironclad tallest for the City.
Why? Unlike Boston, it seems completely arbitrary here. Kendall should build a 900' residential to house people working in the area. It would sell.
 

Equilibria

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Why? Unlike Boston, it seems completely arbitrary here. Kendall should build a 900' residential to house people working in the area. It would sell.
Unlike Boston, the skyscraper would be adjacent to a neighborhood that has only ever been 3 stories or less.
 

Equilibria

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Most Boston buildings were 5 stories or less before the skyscrapers, no?
Yeah, but the people who built something like the Pru (which looked cool as heck when it was alone on the skyline) didn't care about the neighbors...
 

DZH22

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Yeah, but the people who built something like the Pru (which looked cool as heck when it was alone on the skyline) didn't care about the neighbors...
Ok but honestly, the swaths of Kendall closer to the river are a few blocks from any of these lowrise neighborhoods. They're further than, say, Hub on Causeway Office Tower is from North End, or 1 Beacon is from Beacon Hill. What difference does it make if it's 400' or 900' as long as it's consolidated in a specific area and doesn't encroach into the lowrise neighborhoods?
 

Suffolk 83

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Ok but honestly, the swaths of Kendall closer to the river are a few blocks from any of these lowrise neighborhoods. They're further than, say, Hub on Causeway Office Tower is from North End, or 1 Beacon is from Beacon Hill. What difference does it make if it's 400' or 900' as long as it's consolidated in a specific area and doesn't encroach into the lowrise neighborhoods?
I don’t think we’ll be able to change his/her mind about this. 😕
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Equilibria

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I don’t think we’ll be able to change his/her mind about this. 😕
What mind? I'd love to see towers taller than 500' in Kendall. My opinion is that it will never happen, based on following community discussion and hearings over this and other projects. (him/his).
 

Blackbird

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What mind? I'd love to see towers taller than 500' in Kendall. My opinion is that it will never happen, based on following community discussion and hearings over this and other projects. (him/his).
Which community and when? By the time the neighborhood is built up, the community may look entirely different from the one that existed before the development. In 50 years, the community will almost certainly look different and they’ll still be answering to the whims of those pre-development Cantabrigians.

Or are they still actively having meetings to discuss this sort of thing?

What I’m really wondering regarding dz’s post is: can you make a 900ft residential building that would be relatively affordable for the area’s workers? Maybe I’ll look around the site to see if there’s another thread on economies of scale in big towers. Seems like all the residential towers built recently are “uber-luxury”.
 

curcuas

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Cambridge residents have made it clear that they prize their property values and things not changing over allowing housing growth. It's as simple as that. Things are starting to change, but they've got a long way to go.
 

JeffDowntown

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Which community and when? By the time the neighborhood is built up, the community may look entirely different from the one that existed before the development. In 50 years, the community will almost certainly look different and they’ll still be answering to the whims of those pre-development Cantabrigians.

Or are they still actively having meetings to discuss this sort of thing?

What I’m really wondering regarding dz’s post is: can you make a 900ft residential building that would be relatively affordable for the area’s workers? Maybe I’ll look around the site to see if there’s another thread on economies of scale in big towers. Seems like all the residential towers built recently are “uber-luxury”.
I think you will find that taller increases the cost per sq. ft. rather than having any economies of scale. Foundations need to be more robust. Lower floors have to carry the load of the upper floors. Wind becomes a very serious design and structural consideration. All the building systems become more complex as they are stretched further and further from their plants. Elevators, in particular, get much more expensive taller, and you need more for of them for reasonable capacity (eating up saleable space). There is no magic "free lunch" in taller buildings.
 

Andrew

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I've started getting Courbanize ads for this project (tangent, what exactly are those meant to accomplish anyway?) and it got me wondering - has it been specified what quantity of parking is going to remain after this project is done? I'd love the answer to be zero but given Kendall's transit gaps and the number of people who will, one day when there's a mass return to offices, be upset about lack of garage space, I assume the answer is "less than the blue garage but still a lot for a dense urban area".
 

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