The MIT corporate real estate deal will be decided this Monday night, April 8th starting at 5:30 pm in City Hall.
If you have concerns about the future of our city, then this is a very important moment for you to show up to speak or simply to be present to signify your concern. Please join us!
The MIT Investment Management Company is seeking approval to build a series of commercial office towers on the grounds of the institute's East Campus campus by Kendall Square. In addition, a large housing tower consisting mostly of market-rate apartments is proposed for a parcel that sits next to the Broad Canal.
By all accounts, the project will do some good. But what's really troubling is how many critical issues have been ignored as MIT races to cash in on a new construction project.
The MIT deal does nothing to provide housing to several thousand graduate and post-doc students who move into nearby neighborhoods to be close to the campus. As MIT's own Fred Salvucci has testified, this pushes up rents and pushes out families.
The City Council should withhold approval until MIT agrees to build large amounts of affordable graduate student housing on their campus or on other land that they own, thereby relieving some of the pressure on housing prices in nearby neighborhoods.
Furthermore, the plan has drawn poor marks from environmental experts who say that MIT ought to commit to using world-class sustainability standards, including "net zero" energy impacts. Read the full story here: http://www.cambridgeday.com/2013/04/05/mits-plan-in-kendall-doesnt-live-up-to-mit-work-overseas-sustainability-expert-says/.
Over the past few weeks, MIT, its lobbyists, lawyers, planners and administrators have fanned out to meet with City Council members individually, making last-minute proposals to “sweeten the deal” that are not made available to the public. In turn, the City Council has taken key votes without allowing for public comment. The Council has also drawn criticism for failing to televise all of the proceedings.
Does this sound like your Cambridge?
If you are concerned about traffic and transit issues, if you think Cambridge should show greater leadership on the issue of climate change, and if you are not happy with sweetheart deals and a process that shuts the public out of the discussion — then please join us tomorrow and be counted — because this kind of dealing is coming to your neighborhood next.
Come at 5:30 Monday night and sign up to speak if you feel you can. Members of the public may speak at the public comment section of the meeting for up to three minutes.
You may sign up to speak by calling the City Council Office at 617-349-4280 on Mondays between 9:00 a.m. and 3:00 p.m., or by signing up at the meeting between 5:00 p.m. and 6:00 p.m.
Thank you for supporting our community!