There you go: After months of uncertainty and controversy, the re-developer of the old Sullivan Courthouse on Thorndike Street in East Cambridge has agreed to include apartments as part of its plans.
Recall that the re-developer, Leggat McCall, originally pitched plans for 500,000 square feet of office space as well as retail space, a park, a health club, a small grocery store and up to 100 parking spaces. Some local residents, however, were not keen on those plans as they did not include fresh housing for housing-starved Cambridge. So! Leggat McCall, at a Wednesday night meeting of the hypercritical East Cambridge Planning Team, pitched the idea of the 24 apartments. The one- and two-bedrooms rentals would be on the second to fourth floors; and would presumably be market-rate.
Shame, really. The upper floors of the old 22-story courthouse contain a jail that will be moved as the redevelopment (really: wholesale gutting) gets under way. We weep for the marketing possibilities lost should the lower-floor apartment plans move forward: You'd kill to live here! A real steal! Etc. Plans are still fluid for the courthouse, with one resident deriding Leggat McCall's new plan at the Wednesday meeting as "lipstick on a pig." Stay tuned.
· Developer Adds Housing to East Cambridge Courthouse Project [Herald]
· At Least Some Apartments for the Sullivan Courthouse? [Curbed Boston]
· Apartments? Sullivan Courthouse Developer to Show Its Hand [Curbed Boston]
· Killer Vus! Inside East Cambridge's Sullivan Courthouse [Curbed Boston]