January 8, 2013
Mr. Hugh Russell, Chair Cambridge Planning Board 344 Broadway Cambridge, MA 02139
Forest City Petition to Amend Cambridgeport Revitalization Development District
Dear Members of the Board:
The CSBA supports the petition to expand the District to include the 300 block of Massachusetts Avenue and change the zoning for the following reasons:
1. The proposed change will assure an active retail street front on Mass Ave, help build needed housing, expand existing business and add jobs in the Central Square district.
2. The proposed change will replace existing underutilized structures and extend and reinforce Central Square’s retail frontage along Mass Avenue to the edge of the MIT campus.
3. The proposed change is consistent with the recommendations of the Advisory Committee regarding new zoning to encourage sustainable development that adds jobs, active and unique retail, and housing within the Central Square district.
4. The petitioner has made collateral commitments to support affordable housing and provide additional betterments in accordance with the Central Square Advisory Committee’s vision for a balance of development opportunity and public benefits.
The CSBA represents property owners and businesses who, along with the residents of surrounding neighborhoods, are the stakeholders of Central Square. We are committed to a common vision of Central Square that balances additional density and height with additional public benefits for a lively and a vibrant retail and cultural district that serves the needs of all those who work, live and visit here. We ask the Planning Board to approve this zoning petition so that we can begin to implement the collective vision for Central Square.
Mr. Hugh Russell, Chair, Cambridge Planning Board January 8, 2013 Page 2 of 2
The CSBA is confident that the subsequent building proposal, subject to on-going public and technical review, will have a significant and positive positive impact on Central Square and the surrounding communities.
Very truly yours, Central Square Business Association
George R. Metzger President