Kendall Square Redevelopment Overview

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What's New

The CRA is reviewing design documents for a new project at 325 Main Street. For documents an updates on the process see here.

The CRA approved an amendment to Phase II of the Infill Development Concept Plan (IDCP) in December 2018. See here for the amendment.

The CRA has updated the Kendall Square Urban Renewal Implementation Plan, which tracks the CRA's progress to positively impact five focus areas, transportation, open space, economic development, sustainability and housing. To see the updated plan click here!

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 new residential buildings and office/R&D space. The CRA has been instrumental in the transformation of Kendall Square since the 1960's when the CRA and City of Cambridge adopted the Kendall Square Urban Renewal Plan.

Kendall Square Urban Renewal Plan

The KSURP guided the CRA to transform 42-acres of urban blight into vacant land suitable for development. Using the tools of a redevelopment authority granted through the Massachusetts State Legislature's Chapter 121B, the CRA acquired land, relocated businesses and roadways, demolished buildings, and made public infrastructure improvements. In 1978, the CRA approved Boston Properties as the Developer of the KSURP area. Through development agreements (Parcel 2 & Parcels 3 & 4) between Boston Properties and the CRA, construction of the first new buildings in Kendall began. Click here for more details on the history of Kendall Square's redevelopment. 

Since 1965, the KSURP plan has been amended a number of times by the Cambridge City Council and CRA Board. The most recent major amendment to the plan was passed on December 21st, 2015. The KSURP Amendement 10 provides for 4 million square feet of mixed-use development, accommodating office and biotech labs, hotel, residential, retail and open space.

IDCP Phase 2 Proposed Massing - Under review by the CRA and City of Cambridge

IDCP Phase 2 Proposed Massing - Under review by the CRA and City of Cambridge

Infill Development Concept Plan (IDCP)

In January 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 in 2015. The concept plan was informed by the K2 planning process, and details the urban design, circulation, and open space of the new development in the MXD District. IDCP documents can be found here, and will be completed in three phases.

Phase One includes the completion of Ames Street Redevelopment including construction of The Proto residential tower and Pioneer Pedestrian Way, 145 Broadway which will be the new Akamai headquarters, and the creation of Innovation Space at 255 Main Street. Open space enhancements include improvements to the existing Loughrey Walkway (6th St. Walkway) and the addition of a new bike path.

IDCP improvements after full build-out

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Phase Two has been approved by the CRA Board and the Cambridge Planning Board. This will involve demolishing and reconstructing the commercial office building at 325 Main Street. Phase 2 will also include new residential space located on the South side of the existing Blue Garage facing Broadway. Public benefit improvements will include enhancements to the East/West and North/South pedestrian connectors in the block bounded by Broadway, Binney and Galileo Way as well as a new Broadway Park (South Park) in front of the Blue Garage. Significant upgrades will be made to the Roof Garden including lighting to allow for later hours in the summer, and a large public staircase/elevator connecting Kendall Plaza with the Roof Garden and a new second-level mezzanine public space facing Kendall Plaza.

Phase Three incorporates the demolition and reconfiguration of the North side of the Blue Garage for another smaller residential building. This reconstruction will also allow for improvements to Binney Park (North Park).

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Kendall Square Projects

Within the Kendall Square Urban Renewal Boundary, there are a number of current reconstruction and planning projects. 

Boston Properties completed Ames Street Redevelopments in the spring of 2019. 88 Ames Street, also known as Proto provides housing and an improved streetscape on Ames Street, connecting to the 6th Street Walkway. The 6th Street Walkway improvements were completed in the fall of 2018, and included a separated bicycle path, a new concrete walkway, and new seating and lighting.

In 2017, Boston Properties began demolition and the construction of 145 Broadway, formerly Eleven Cambridge Center. The building will be complete in the fall of 2019 and will be home to Akamai's global headquarters. 

In 2018, the CRA completed an inventory of privately owned public space and pedestrian easements within the KSURP boundary. The POPS in the MXD District page provides additional details on the locations, agreements and amenities within each space.

There are also a number of exciting Kendall transportation initiatives underway, including the redesign of Binney Street, Broadway and Galileo Way and the Grand Junction Greenway.