CSBA Letter of support of MIT Petition for Kendall Square

April 5, 2013
Cambridge City Council
c/o Office of the City Clerk
795 Massachusetts
Cambridge, MA 02139
Re: MIT Petition to Rezone Kendall Square
Dear Members of the Council:
At the April 1 Council meeting, I spoke to you of the Central Square Business
Association’s support for MIT’s petition to rezone its Kendall Square property. The
following summarizes my remarks and the CSBA’s position:
1. The petition provides for a mix of housing, commercial, office, R&D and retail space
on underutilized parcels mostly within the precinct of MIT’s campus, an approach that
promotes efficient land use and minimizes institutional expansion.
2. The petition closely follows the conclusions of the Kendall Square Advisory
Committee by including significant public benefits in the form of housing, active and
accessible public space, ground floor retail use and improved streetscapes and
connections to the Broad Canal and Charles River.
3. The petitioner proposes significant collateral funding for affordable housing and
community development initiatives of general benefit to the City.
4. The petition, by its increased density in a transit- and pedestrian-oriented area, its infill
of underused parcels and its promise of a high level of energy efficiency, contributes in
an exemplary way to the City’s community-wide sustainability goals through reduced
carbon emissions and energy consumption.
5. Approval of this petition validates our shared commitment to broadly participatory
planning and acknowledges the tireless contributions of so many to envision a vibrant
and livable future for the Kendall Square area.
We understand that change is always controversial. We also understand that the demands
for technology space and housing, as well as the imperatives of smart growth and
sustainable community planning, will continue unabated if we do not meet these challenges
with creative and aggressive new policies to better shape the future of our city. To this
end, we are confident that the resulting building proposals, subject to ongoing public and
technical review, will have positive long term benefits for MIT’s urban campus, the
Kendall Square area, and the City of Cambridge. We strongly urge your support.
Very truly yours,
Central Square Business Association
George R. Metzger, President