Twenty feet makes all the difference, apparently, in the People's Republic. The Cambridge City Council has shelved M.I.T.'s plans to build a 165-foot apartment building at Mass. Ave. and Sidney Street, but will allow plans for a 145-foot life sciences building across the street to move forward. The apartment building, which was slated to have about 130 units and ground-floor retail, was given a collective thumbs-down from locals (one called it "a scar on the sight line ... an ugly tall building out of place.") Even a setback from the street of 100 feet by M.I.T.'s developer, Forest City, didn't do it for opponents. The shadows, you see, the shadows.
That does not mean the end of attempts at more housing in housing-starved Cambridge (what Hub hub isn't?). To build the life sciences building, M.I.T. and Forest City have follow through on a commitment to build housing as well. It's back to the drawing board for now, and we presume the drawing will not be more than 145 feet tall this time.
· Cambridge Council Stalls Controversial Tower Proposal [Boston.com]
· Neighbors Wary of Tower Proposed Near Central Square [Boston.com]
· Plan for Apartment Tower Temporarily Off the Table, Sparing Small Park [Cambridge Day]
· Why the Hub Housing Market Could Get Worse, Much Worse [Curbed Boston]