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Call for New 'Working Group' on Sullivan Courthouse Redo

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Cambridge City Council member and state Rep. Tim Toomey (yup, he's both) has written a letter to Leggat McCall, the would-be redeveloper of the old Sullivan Courthouse in East Cambridge, asking them to come back to the drawing board to discuss resident concerns about the scope of their plans. Recall that Leggat McCall would create out of the existing building 460,000 square feet of office space; 15,000 square feet of retail; and 25,000 square feet of residential space that would be comprised of at least 24 one- and two-bedrooms. It seemed last spring like everything was settled (we even got the snazzy rendering above), but opposition to the project's height and glass facade flared anew this winter.

Toomey, who has the backing of others on the City Council, asked Leggat McCall in his letter dated March 10 to join what he calls a "working group... to bring interested parties back to the table," including "direct abutters to the courthouse who wish to participate." The letter also makes it seem as if redevelopment at the current height is up in the air: "While many opinions remain unchanged, I hope that the working group can serve as a unifying part of the process as we continue to explore options for redeveloping the Sullivan Courthouse." No word yet on a response from Leggat McCall. Toomey's full letter is below. Stay tuned.

UPDATE: A representative of Leggat McCall executive VP and partner Rob Dickey sent us this statement on Thursday morning:

As we've said from the beginning, Leggat McCall is committed to this project. We welcome any chance to participate in an ongoing constructive dialogue with residents and city officials as we are confident this project will transform what has been an eyesore for East Cambridge and deliver overwhelmingly positive lifestyle and economic benefits to the neighborhood and city. · East Cambridge's Sullivan Courthouse: Yeah, Apartments [Curbed Boston]
· 'Insanity' Plea: Cambridge Group Wants Shorter Courthouse [Curbed Boston]
· Cambridge's Sullivan Courthouse, Always With the Controversy [Curbed Boston]

Edward J. Sullivan Courthouse

Thorndike Street, Cambridge, Massachusetts 02141