Within the historic walls of the now vacant Foundry is the opportunity to create a new and dynamic setting for discovery, making, and creating on the edge on Kendall Square. The CRA is working to find a development partner to bring about this vision for the building's reuse.
The Foundry will be a creative, innovative center that offers a collaborative environment with a mix of cultural, arts, educational, manufacturing, and commercial uses. The renovated multipurpose building will be designed for flexibility and will be accessible, inclusive, and welcoming to the public. The activities within will be multigenerational and multicultural, providing a citywide and neighborhood resource that is financially sustainable for years to come.
HISTORIC LANDMARKING Designation study
On November 23, 2016, Cambridge citizens filed a petition requesting that the Cambridge Historical Commission (CHC) initiate a landmark designation study for the Foundry property. On January 5, 2017, the CHC met to consider the petition and CHC staff findings describing the history of the building. Originally constructed as an iron foundry for Blake & Knowles Steam Pump Works, the building was adapted for office use in the 1980s. Recent research revealed important women’s labor history associated with the Foundry, adding to the building’s significance. It was determined that the property met the City’s criteria of significance and the CHC voted 7-0 to accept the petition and initiate a landmark designation study. The CRA staff has toured the building and shared existing conditions documents with the CHC staff to assist with their study.
Foundry Environmental Investigation Notice
The Department of Public Works is undertaking soil testing over the next week. This work will involve a drilling machine taking borings at various locations in the grass area. The potential for environmental contamination in this area came to our attention through recent environmental investigations at the adjacent private property, 249 Third St., which identified elevated levels of PCBs and other contaminants.
FOUNDRY Designation UPDATE
At the CRA Board meeting on December 21, 2017, the Board made the difficult decision to terminate the current Foundry procurement. In making this decision, they recognized that the context for the project had changed considerably, including the possibility of more City funding, concerns from some members of the community and City Council that the current proposal was not meeting the community's objectives, and inability to further negotiate the sublease given these issues. In the weeks ahead, the CRA staff will be working with the City administration on different redevelopment approaches and will also convene a meeting of the Foundry Advisory Committee to discuss ideas and community interests.
On Wednesday, August 24, 2016, the CRA Board had voted to designate CIC / Graffito SP, working in association with Hacin + Associates, as the Kendall Square Foundry Development Partners for the revitalization of the City-owned Foundry building, contingent on the City Manager's approval and the successful negotiation of a sublease. On August 29, 2016, the City Manager approved the selection. The next task is negotiating the details of the multi-year sublease. This selection is an outcome of a three-year process facilitated by the CRA and builds upon years of earlier community planning efforts in Cambridge. The KS Foundry Development Partners stated intention was to create a vibrant, civic space that will promote creativity and innovation in a shared collaborative workspace that is designed for flexibility and is accessible, inclusive, and welcoming to the public. The team’s proposal included an innovative approach to shared space that includes a connecting colonnade, central gathering spaces, assembly hall, maker space, shared office/co-working spaces, and a kitchen that will serve an on-site restaurant and and develop programming with the local food community.
The following document contains the executed letter of the CRA and the City Manager, as well as the memo from the Foundry Evaluation Committee recommending the designation.
Foundry REDEVELOPMENT UPDATE
Over the last year, the CRA has been administering a process to find a qualified redeveloper and program operator to deliver the vision for the Foundry's redevelopment. A complete description of this process and links to related documents can be found below.
On May 11, 2016, the CRA received one complete response to the Request for Proposal (RFP) from the shortlisted Responders. A public presentation of their proposal occurred on Thursday, July 21, at 6:30 - 8:30pm in the Sullivan Chamber, City Hall.
FOUNDRY REDEVELOPER Selection PROCESS
The selection process for a Development Entity has followed a period of public process spanning several years, culminating in approval of the Foundry Building Demonstration Plan and entry into a Lease between the CRA and City.
On July 15, 2015, the CRA issued a Request for Qualifications, after which the CRA Board, with approval of the Cambridge City Manager, qualified five teams to move forward with the RFP process (one responder decided to drop out before the RFP was issued).
The RFQ is listed below:
Based on responses to the 2015 RFQ, four teams (five were initially invited, but one declined to continue in the process) were deemed to move forward in the process based on the submission below:
The following are the letters of interest received from potential tenants to date:
On February 1, 2016, the RFP was issued to the RFQ Respondents listed above. The Deadline for responses was extended to May 11, 2016 at 4:00 PM. The RFP is available for review below:
The CRA Board (“Board”) will be responsible for selecting the Development Entity, subject to the approval of the City Manager. The Board will base its decisions on the recommendations of the Foundry Evaluation Committee and the advice provided by the Foundry Advisory Committee and the Technical Advisor Team. The CRA will enter into a long-term Sublease with a Development Entity, which will delineate the management, maintenance, and other responsibilities of the Development Entity in accordance with the Foundry Building Demonstration Project Plan and Lease between the CRA and the City. The project will require expertise in both the development phase and the operational phase, in particular the ability to curate a variety of creative programs that can coexist and interact within the 53,000 sf building.
FOUNDRY ADVISORY COMMITTEE
We are pleased to announce the members of the Foundry Advisory Committee, which will be meeting soon to get an update on the project and to advise on the qualified responders. Collectively, these members represent a range of backgrounds and perspectives including arts, theater, science, nonprofit operation, real estate development, and law. They also bring relevant skills and experience that are important at this stage in the redevelopment of the building. The City Manager has appointed the following members:
- Richard Thal (3 year term)
- Jason Slavick (3 year term)
- Deborah Ruhe (3 year term)
- Folakemi Alalade (2 year term)
- Mark Tang (2 year term)
- Miriam Bucheli (1 year term)
- Jamie Sabino (1 year term)
We are grateful to all those who applied for this position.
All inquiries concerning the Foundry may be addressed to:
Thomas Evans, Executive Director
Cambridge Redevelopment Authority
255 Main Street, 4th floor
- Foundry Building High Resolution Drawings
- Project Questions and Answers
- Blake Knowles Historic District Nomination
- Foundry Building Tour 7.30.15
- Foundry Info Session August 5 Sign-in Sheet
- Foundry Tour July 30 Sign-in Sheet
- Public Info Session & Tour July 17 Sign-in Sheet
- Final Foundry Demonstration Project Plan - May 2015
- Foundry Lease - July 2015
- June 2014 Community Workshop Report
- October 2014 Community Meeting
- City Manager Report - March 2014
- Foundry Disposition Report - January 2015
- Kendall Square Final Report, Part 1 (K2 Study - 2013)
- Kendall Square Final Report, Part 2 (K2 Study - 2013)
- Recommendation of the Planning Board - March 2015
- Foundry Building Reuse Study by HMFH - 2013
- Foundry Interior Demolition Drawings - 2015
- Foundry Financial Analysis by HR&A - 2014
- Property Environmental Reports
As described in the Demonstration Plan, the City and the CRA worked in close collaboration with the Cambridge community to develop a list of objectives for the Foundry Building's redevelopment:
- Foster a center of creativity and innovation through the shared use of space populated with complementary uses.
- Create mentorship, internship, apprenticeship, workforce training, and educational programs for Cambridge residents that can directly benefit and engage the surrounding community.
- Include significant training opportunities in the areas of science, technology, engineering, arts, and math (STEAM) fields that can effectively introduce and prepare Cambridge residents for the existing and growing professional fields that have emerged in Kendall Square area over the past several years.
- Capitalize on the commercial success of Kendall Square’s redevelopment to create a unique collaborative environment as a citywide resource, with a diverse mix of cultural, educational, and commercial uses emphasizing youth and senior engagement, with a particular focus on under-represented, lower income households.
Building and Site Development
- Create physical assets (a renovated structure, new facilities, and equipment) that will support viable economic activity and promote business growth and job creation within the Foundry in a manner that can be sustained in the years to come.
- Bring the Foundry into productive use for the community with universal accessibility and prevent the Property from falling into disrepair
- Highlight the historic architectural elements of the building and connect the building to its site and surrounding, including new streetscape.
Operational and Financial Structure
- Leverage multiple funding sources to provide a financially sustainable building operation, while providing space for community, cultural, and educational functions at rents commensurate with those uses.
- Maximize the extent of public and/or community uses of the building and providing a structure for ongoing management and oversight of those uses.
- Pilot and report techniques for the adaptive reuse of an industrial building into a center of innovation and creativity, utilizing public private partnership both as a financing tool and a model of collaborative economic and cultural development.