M.I.T. continues to massage Cambridge for its 26-acre expansion in Kendall Square (rendered above). The university has offered a host of changes to its plans to draw the support of City Hall.
At a Tuesday evening hearing, per Marc Levy at Cambridge Day, M.I.T. offered these sweeteners:
· Doubling the amount of so-called innovation space for startup firms from 5 to 10 percent of the office space that's developed;
· Upping affordable housing from 15 percent of proposed units to 18 percent;
· The lot at 35 Cherry Street, which one councilor described as "an eyesore," will be used for something to benefit the community (though no one's sure yet);
· The community benefits agreement will increase from $10M to $14M;
· There will be fewer parking permits available, with 10 percent of the tenants of the estimated 300 new housing units built by M.I.T. asked not to apply for a parking permit (we'll see how that works out);
· And micro-apartments! They will cover at least 8 percent of the new gross floor area of the housing, with apartments ranging from 300 to 550 square feet, and targeted toward not only young professionals and students but "interested retirees."
Deal? Not really. The whole thing is, as another councilor put it, "a work in progress," though a vote by the council could come before April 15. Stay tuned.
· M.I.T. Sweetens the Deal as Kendall Square Vote Nears [Day]
· Park It! Allston's 37 North Beacon O.K.'d with Spaces [Curbed Boston]