The Project is envisioned as a 200,000 square foot high-rise multi-family residential building with approximately 9,000 square feet of retail space on the ground floor. There will be approximately 240 units, and of that, 31 units will be affordable units. There will be a mix of unit types including: micro-units, studios, one-bedrooms, and two-bedrooms.
The Project aims to transform Ames Street, between Main Street and Broadway, from a service street to a more active, pedestrian friendly streetscape with active ground floor uses on both sides of the street, thereby greatly improving the pedestrian experience.
The Project benefits include: (1) the delivery of much needed housing for knowledge-based workers who are employed by growing companies in the Kendall Square area, (2) the delivery of much needed affordable housing, (3) a more active pedestrian friendly streetscape between Main Street and Broadway, (4) a street connection from Third Street to Main Street, and (5) annual real estate taxes of approximately $500,000 per year with little marginal cost to the City.
The Project is located at 88 Ames Street on the south side of Ames Street across from the recently constructed Broad Institute Expansion at 75 Ames Street set in between 4 and 5 Cambridge Center
The Project marks a new phase in the Cambridge Center development. The building will not only bring much needed residential units to the neighborhood, helping create a greater sense of community, but will significantly transform Ames Street by creating a new activated pedestrian experience along the street replacing an existing street-facing service/loading area and parking garage entrance. The existing parking garage will be reduced by one bay and 22 floors of new residential units will be constructed on a parcel in front of the Cambridge Center East Garage.
The Transportation Impact Study was prepared in conformance with the City of Cambridge Guidelines for Transportation Impacts.
The project site is served by multiple transportation options including the MBTA Red Line's Kendall Square station and Central Square. There are also 4 bus routes within the project's studied area.
This project includes a significant commitment to Bicycle Transportation with the addition of 296 secure, weather protected parking spaces on-site accessible by residents and retail employees. Further, there are an additional 38 short-term bicylce parking spaces.
This project wll not increase the number of parking spaces within the MXD district.
The above images present the estimated net new shadow as a result of the Project (shown in blue) for the times of 9:00AM, 12:00PM, and 3:00PM during the Summer and Winter Solstices, and Spring/Fall Equinox. Based on the shadow studies, the Project is not expected to result in significant new shadow on surrounding public open space.
RWDI Consulting Engineers and Scientists conducted a wind study to assess the wind environment around the development in terms of pedestrian wind comfort and safety. The achievement of this objective included the wind tunnel testing of a 1:300 scale model of the proposed development with existing, in-construction, and approved surroundings.
The RWDI pedestrian wind criteria are used in the current study:
Comfortable for Sitting: ≤ 6 mph
Comfortable for Standing: > 7 and ≤ 8 mph
Comfortable for Walking: > 8 and ≤ 10 mph
Uncomfortable for Walking: > 11 and ≤ 12 mph
The findings are detailed in the Special Permit Application and can be summarized as:
- Appropriate wind comfort conditions are expected along sidewalks throughout the year.
- Wind speeds are expected to be slightly higher than desired at the lower podium level terraces if areas of passive pedestrian activity are anticipated, and at building entrances. Wind mitigation measures are suggested.
- All grade and lower podium level locations are predicted to pass the criterion used to assess pedestrian wind safety. Four locations on the highest terrace level are expected to exceed this wind criterion; wind control measures are suggested to lower the wind and gust speeds in this area.
A portion of the East Garage will be reconfigured to accommodate the Project’s building footprint, resulting in a loss of approximately 40 actual spaces; however, the garage may be operated on a managed parking basis in order to maintain its 844 vehicle parking capacity.
Per zoning requirements, the Project is allocating 0.5 spaces per unit for the project, or 140 spaces, for residents. This amount would represent the maximum parking need on weekday evenings and weekends, when garage use is light (the proposed residential use provides a great opportunity for shared parking within Cambridge Center).
During weekdays, we estimate that no more than half of the resident parkers would be located within the garage (or about 70 total weekday parkers). Even with a potential modest reduction in capacity, the East Garage will be able to accommodate the parking demand generated by the Project.
Access / Egress
The existing loading dock at the west edge of the East Garage that serves 5 Cambridge Center will be relocated as part of the construction of the Project and relocated along the southwest face of the garage with access/egress via Ames Street. This drive will serve the dual purpose of access/egress for the loading dock and egress only for the East Garage.
The Project will provide a total of 296 secure, weather-protected bicycle parking spaces on-site accessible by residents and retail employees. This supply meets the zoning requirement of 1.05 bicycle spaces for each residential unit (294 spaces) and 0.1 bicycle spaces per 1,000 sf of retail space (2 spaces).
In addition, the Project will provide on-site short-term bicycle parking (38 spaces) at the ground-level along the perimeter of the Project Site on Pioneer Way. This supply meets the zoning requirement of 0.6 bicycle spaces per every 1,000 sf. of retail and 0.1 spaces per residential unit.