When last we checked in with the redevelopment of the old Edward J. Sullivan Courthouse off Thorndike Street in East Cambridge, the state was rejecting all seven proposals to do just that. For a while there, it looked like the 22-story, 595,000-square-foot tower was destined for apartments (it's mostly empty now save for a jail on the upper floors). Responding to a request for proposals, prominent developers in late February put forth plans that would have mixed rental apartments with thousands of new square feet of retail and green space as well as parking; and all swore off lab space. Still, the state said no a month later and returned deposits.
The state has now set a new date for bids, May 14, but the target date for closing a deal with a developer, July 1, is exactly the same as the last go-round. The state, then, expects that this latest round of proposals (assuming they come in after the seven spurned suitors) will produce a developer willing to undertake the asbestos removal necessary to start any redevelopment and deal with community concerns surrounding the scope and size of any new project.
And, as for those in the community (who don't really have a say on which developer wins the bid as the state controls the courthouse's fate), they are still pushing the idea of housing coupled with green space and, of course, parking. Also identical this time around: the moving day for the jailbirds. The state would commit to moving them by Dec. 31, 2013. Stay tuned.
· Courthouse Bid Deadline Is the Same in Reposted State Document [Cambridge Day]
· Jailhouse Chic: Cambridge Courthouse Destined for Apartments [Curbed Boston]