Cambridge is facing a tsunami of development, if developers convince the City Council to make major changes in the zoning law.
18.7 million square feet of new office, lab, and housing space is proposed for the next 20 years. 12 million square feet is already permitted and more is in the pipeline.
- High-rise glass towers and over-sized buildings will account for much of the new construction, as Kendall Square marches down Main St. &Mass Ave into Central Square.
Most new housing will consist of market-rate and luxury apartments, with a small percentage reserved for “affordable” units.
- Sharply increasing numbers of expensive apartments and wealthy renters will continue to drive housing prices up, not relieve pressure on the market as developers contend.
MIT’s real estate arm proposes to construct two 250-foot commercial office buildings on campus instead of desperately needed affordable housing for its graduate students.
- High-tech and bio-tech firms will draw thousands of new employees into Cambridge, many of whom will be commuters.
Traffic is expected to surge: 50,000 additional car trips per day and 50,000 additional transit trips per day, with no plans to increase the carrying capacity of roads and subways.
The city has no current and complete Master Plan to guide its decisions about development. The Cambridge Residents Alliance is calling on the City Council not to approve changes in the zoning law to allow massive new height and density, until a thorough study has been conducted and presented to the Council and the public for democratic discussion and decision-making.
- 18.7 million square feet of development (link to Shelley’s narrative & Richard’s chart)
- Housing (link to our Housing Section)
- Traffic (link to our Traffic Section)