Volpe Transportation Center Development | Kendall Sq | Cambridge

DZH22

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They don't seem to have a clue about any of the existing heights on that diagram. Proto is about 40' too short. Marriott is too high. MXD is almost 50' too short. All the MIT stuff is too short. It seems like they are leaving off the mech heights most of the time, which is why the Marriott listing is so baffling! A few of the heights actually seem to be close to correct too, like the Broad Institute giant lab on Ames St. It's a very odd diagram indeed.
 

Cortes

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Maybe one of the new Cambridge fat-cats will want a penthouse overlooking everything
This is what I don't understand. It seems completely natural to me for there to be a 500 foot residential building in Kendall. The views at the top would be the best in BOTH cities!
 

Equilibria

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MITIMCO has hinted at this a bit and now have formally proposed an "alternative" site/massing plan that moves the community center from a separate building into the adjacent block and also increases the height of the tallest building in the complex to 456', essentially trading 250' column of residential along Third Street for additional floors in the buildings farther back on the site.


Interesting framing to basically make the height a trade for open space, even though the connection in this document is tenuous at best.

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393b40

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Fifth Street should have a street wall instead of a stupid strip of grass to appease the Cambridge Politburo
 

Equilibria

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Fifth Street should have a street wall instead of a stupid strip of grass to appease the Cambridge Politburo
Part of that grass strip is for the GSA. Can't blame that on the People's Republik.
 

Equilibria

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Google's 3D buildings are a touch outdated (but more up to date than I expected). Here's where I think we're at with firm-ish proposals (left to right):

- 135 Broadway's new post-substation form at 400'
- Volpe building R3 at 456'
- The other Volpe buildings at 250-300' are there, such is the plateau that you can't really see them
- MIT site 3 (which exists in real life but not in Google)
- MIT site 1 (same thing)
- 585 Third peaking out
- Broad Canal "statement" building at 350'

A lot of American metro areas would call that a statement skyline for their downtown.

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DZH22

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Keep in mind that the heights listed typically don't include mech. The 250's are more like 280's-290's. The 300' is more like 330'-350'. The 456' is pushing 500', probably right up to the FAA limits there. Cambridge could get itself a nice little skyline if they use this alternative plan.

Maybe all this development will pave the way for a statement building in Kendall, similar to the way London has The Shard across the river from the main city skyline.
 

RandomWalk

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That GSA security requirement is another reason why the DOT should move their stuff out of Kendall. Heck, they could move it to Alewife, south of the tracks and no one would complain.
 

curcuas

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Love to put a park on a busy, heavily trafficked corner. Delicious smog!
 

stellarfun

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That GSA security requirement is another reason why the DOT should move their stuff out of Kendall. Heck, they could move it to Alewife, south of the tracks and no one would complain.
In talking with someone who had direct knowledge of the GSA 'auction', if DOT couldn't be in Kendall close to MIT, then they'd move out of Massachusetts.
 

stellarfun

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Presumably the same or similar arguments that every biotech firms in the area uses. Access to Human Capital.
MIT's research revenue in fiscal year 2020 was about $1.9 billion. The source of most of that revenue is identified by this excerpt from MIT's financial statement.
The revenue generated by the negotiated rates is adjusted each fiscal year to reflect any variance between the negotiated fixed rates and rates based on actual cost. The actual cost rate is audited by the Defense Contract Audit Agency (DCAA), and a final fixed-rate agreement is signed by the US government and MIT. The variance between the negotiated fixed rate and the final audited rate results in a carryforward (over- or under-recovery). The carryforward is included in the calculation of negotiated fixed billing rates in future years
(DCAA is a component of the Department of Defense).

The amount of Federally sponsored research at Harvard in fiscal year 2020 was over $600 million.

That's well over $2 billion in Federal monies coming annually into two Cambridge universities.. In 99.99 percent of the communities in this country, that influx of Federal dollars would be enough to make their elected officials grovel. That sum corresponds to about 12,500 jobs at $200,000 each for salary and benefits.
 

RandomWalk

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They could have dumped the new Volpe near the MIT Lincoln Labs campus. It has space and plenty of security.
 

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