The Massachusetts Institute of Technology is looking to improve the Kendall Square area in an interesting an ambitious way. The reputation that this neighborhood of Cambridge has is one that is not very pedestrian or resident friendly. What seems to be the issue is that despite its great location from its close proximity to Boston, Kendall Square has been left as a ghost-like commercial sector that generally only exists as a place to be during the weekdays from 9:00AM - 5:00PM. MIT looks to change this in a dramatic and groundbreaking way.
The plan calls for roughly $700 million dollars to be invested into eight of the large properties and buildings that MIT already owns within Kendall Square. With the main MIT campus so close to Kendall Square, a mere 0.6 miles, it seems obvious that it is in the Universitys best interest to do whatever it can to ensure that the longevity of the area is strong and improves. What this redevelopment has in the works already is the construction of 5 million square feet of lab and office space that when completed, are estimated to have a property value of around $2 billion dollars. All of this will soon be accompanied by developments of some 1.1 million square feet dedicated to increased lab space, retail locations and two large office buildings all along Main Street.
This whole production is apart of the larger 20-year capital plan that MIT has set for the Kendall Square Initiative. Attracting large corporations for research and lab purposes is all in the works. Establishing Kendall Square as a hub for such activity is certainly beginning to inject enthusiasm and purpose into the area. Pfizer Inc., a world renowned pharmaceutical company has been brought in and will be housed within a 230,000 square foot building for research purposes on Main Street as well. Sanofi-Aventis and Novartis are just two of the many other notable large firms that MIT is working with in order to encourage their participation in this project of positively transforming Kendall Square to something that it has never previously been.
There has been a need for more residential real estate in the area. This study is all being conducted by a Boston urban design and architectural company, Good Clancy. The housing issue is something that after much deliberation is now being taken more seriously, and upwards of 120,000 square feet of living space has been reported to be built and even this figure is expected to rise. An outdoor plaza near the Kendall Square T station is also due to have everything from trees, benches and new street lights; all to improve the pedestrian feel in the neighborhood.
It appears as though things truly are turning around within the Greater Boston Area. With such exciting announcements it shows how much the city is expanding. Moreover, we are seeing how places like Kendall Square, thanks mainly to MIT, are establishing themselves as a popular destination in their own right, a place that will be defined by innovation.
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