Kendall Square

Cambridge Center View to Boston 8-25-14 web.jpg

Kendall Square is the center of Cambridge's innovation economy and continues to evolve rapidly. The district is becoming more active and mixed-use, with growing ground floor retail, streetscape improvements, redeveloped open spaces and the construction of new residential buildings and office/R&D space. The CRA has been instrumental in the transformation of Kendall Square since the 1960's with the adoption of the Kendall Square Urban Renewal Plan (KSURP).  A brief history of the urban renewal plan can be found here.  Below highlights current and planned projects in the KSURP area.  

Important Documents

Infill Development Concept Plan (IDCP)

In February of 2017, The CRA Board and Planning Board approved a new Infill Development Concept Plan (IDCP) for the MXD District of the Kendall Square Urban Renewal Plan (KSURP). The IDCP is a concept plan required to be created and approved by the CRA and City, as a result of the major KSURP Amendment 10 passed by the CRA Board and City Council in December of 2015. The concept plan was informed by the K2 planning process, and details the urban design, circulation, open space and phasing of new development in the MXD District. The IDCP may be downloaded here.

Rendering of the Akamai Headquarters Building

Rendering of the Akamai Headquarters Building

145 Broadway

The reconstruction of 145 Broadway began in July of 2017. The Boston Properties project is part of the first of the three-phase Infill Development Concept Plan (IDCP), approved by the CRA and the City of Cambridge in February of 2017. When completed, the building will be 19 stories - 250 feet tall, and be the new Akamai Technologies World Headquarters. The project is slated for completion in late 2019. For more information on the building, development agreement and public benefits, click here.

Planning Board Approved Special Permit - March 2017

Approved 145 Broadway Schematic Plan - February 2017

Pioneer Way - Rendering by F x Fowle Architects

Pioneer Way - Rendering by FxFowle Architects

Ames Street Development

New Construction

Ames Street is transforming into an exciting and active urban corridor. The first infill development project, 75 Ames, was completed by the Broad Institute in 2014. Across the street at 88 Ames, a new residential building is under construction. The building, named Proto, and owned by Boston Properties, will provide 249 units of market rate housing and 31 units of below market rate housing. Occupancy is expected in the summer of 2018.

Ames Street Streetscape

Ames Street will become more pedestrian-friendly, with new ground floor retail activating the street. Public plaza spaces are also planned for both sides of the corridor, as well as a new pedestrian alleyway between 88 Ames and 355 Main Street, named Pioneer Way. A two-way protected bicycle lane will also be installed to provide a link from the 6th Street Walkway and Broadway to Main Street. New bus stops and shelters are planned on both sides of the street.

For more information on Ames Street Development, visit here.

Example of a  Protected Intersection  from an unknown city in the U.S.

Example of a Protected Intersection from an unknown city in the U.S.

Galileo / Broadway / Binney Streetscape Redesign

A section of Binney Street (from 3rd to Fulkerson), Galileo Way and a portion of Broadway (from Ames to Galileo) is undergoing streetscape redesign. The plans will incorporate a continuous raised cycle track, new landscaping and protected bike intersections. It will connect the cycling infrastructure on Vassar Street to the new cycle track on Binney Street between 1st and 3rd.

This project is a collaboration between the CRA, the Department of Public Works (DPW), Traffic Parking & Transportation (TPT), and the Community Development Department (CDD). The project is being funded by the CRA, from monies generated within the Kendall Square Urban Renewal Area. Once streetscape designs are selected, they will be used by property owners to construct the aformentioned improvements in phases over the next 3-10 years. More detailed information on this project may be found here.


Working closely with the City of Cambridge (City), the Massachusetts Department of Transportation (MassDOT), the MBTA, and Boston Properties (BP), the Cambridge Redevelopment Authority (CRA) has created a mechanism and governance structure for funding public transit to serve the growing Kendall Square district. This Kendall Square Transit Enhancement Program (KSTEP) grew out of the Massachusetts Environmental Protection Act (MEPA) review process for the amendment of the Kendall Square Urban Renewal Plan (KSURP). As the amendment provides additional development rights within the MXD District of Kendall Square, the KSTEP program is an important mitigation component of the 2015 Environmental Impact Report (EIR), which preceded the approval of the KSURP Amendment 10, MXD Zoning and IDCP documents. In that EIR, KSTEP is a measurable way to translate the estimates of new transit ridership by the new development into a strategy to improve the capacity of transit to serve that projected increase. The KSTEP can also be considered a value capture mechanism that creates a financial support link between the additional private development value created by the presence of a significant public transit investment that is the Red Line subway and MBTA bus systems.

The program began with an initial $6 million of funding for investment in local transit improvements to the MBTA or other operators, such as the EZ Ride shuttle, that produce a measurable improvement in transit access to Kendall Square. It is expected that the projects which will receive investment from KSTEP will be informed by the recent final report of the Kendall Square Mobility Task Force planning effort, facilitated by MassDOT and the City.  The first $3 million payment from Boston Properties to the KSTEP fund was received upon issuance of the 145 Broadway building permit in March of 2017, followed by a $3 million dollar match from the CRA. The CRA has discussed the expansion of the program with other property owners anticipating new development in Kendall Square.

Kendall Square Transit Enhancement Program (KSTEP) MOU 

About The Cambridge Center Master Plan 1979-2015

The Kendall Square Urban Renewal Plan (KSURP) includes a major urban mixed-use project on a 24-acre site within the 42-acre Kendall Square Urban Renewal Area, directly across the Charles River from downtown Boston. The Cambridge Redevelopment Authority (CRA) assembled properties, prepared the site for development, and constructed public improvements. Through a public competition, the CRA selected Boston Properties as the master developer, and continues to facilitate development today.

The Master Plan provides for over 4 million square feet (as of December 21, 2015) of new development in 19+ buildings across three development blocks.  The project accommodates a wide range of complementary uses: first-class office space and biotechnology laboratory space; hotel and retail space; more than 150,000 square feet of major public open space, parks, and plazas; and future residential buildings opening in 2018 and beyond. 

As of December 21, 2015, the City Council passed a major amendment to the KSURP in order to accommodate additional development planned for by the City of Cambridge's K2 Planning Process. The K2 Plan anticipated capacity for up to one million additional square feet of development, including 400,000 square feet of housing.  


Key Historic Documents

Kendall Square Urban Renewal Plan Amendment 9 (March 2014)

K2 Planning Study Report Part 1 & Part 2 (December 2013)

Background of the Kendall Square Urban Renewal District

KSURP Design Guidelines 1977 (note this document has been supplemented/revised by Chapter 10 of the IDCP of February 2017)

Parcel 2 LDA

Parcel 3&4 LDA

MXD District Signage Review (approved September 2014)


For Information on Kendall Square (2012-2016) Visit our Archived Page