Word thundered forth earlier this month that M.I.T. planned to convert the mammoth Metropolitan storage warehouse that it owns at Vassar Street and Mass. Ave. into dorms and other university uses. It didn't take long for questions and concerns to arise.
Residents and other observers quickly asked about such things as parking and the fortress-like expanse's facade. Will that facade, dating from the building's construction in the 1890s, be preserved? Will more parking be included? Moreover, the idea of the redevelopment is running smackdab into Cambridge's larger need for more housing and fast—and the city's need for its colleges to house more of their students on campus, thus freeing up apartments for non-collegiate residents. Are the new dorms worth possibly altering the building's appearance? Is the construction? Or the additional residents in that immediate vicinity?
We have a distinct feeling that the fun over the warehouse's revamp is only just beginning—and that it may in the end rival the redevelopment of the Sullivan Courthouse in East Cambridge in terms of development brouhahas. Stay tuned.
· M.I.T. Turning Massive Metropolitan Warehouse Into Dorms [Curbed Boston]
· Sullivan Courthouse Fight: All This for 24 Apartments? [Curbed Boston]
· Cambridge's Housing Market, Circa 2014, Explained in One Deal [Curbed Boston]