July 9, 2012
Cambridge City Council Ordinance Committee c/o Office of the City Clerk 795 Massachusetts Cambridge, MA 02139
Re: Petition to Amend Cambridgeport Revitalization Development District Dear Members of the Council:
The Central Square Business Association supports expansion of the Cambridgeport Development District to include the 300 block of Massachusetts Avenue and to change the zoning for the following reasons:
1. The proposed change will provide new retail, commercial and office/R&D space and bring several hundred permanent new jobs to the Central Square district.
2. The proposed change will replace existing underutilized structures with new street level retail space and thereby 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 deliberations of the Red Ribbon Commission and the Advisory Committee regarding flexible planning policy to encourage sustainable development that adds jobs, promotes active retail, and ensures lively public space within the Central Square district.
4. Forest City’s commitment to a common vision for Central Square has been demonstrated by its participation in the Central Square Advisory Committee, support for the Red Ribbon Commission, advocacy for the Cultural District application, and hosting of this year’s Taste of Cambridge as well as Vision Central’s annual picnic and other neighborhood events.
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 the public benefits of a lively and a vibrant retail and cultural district that serves all those who work, live and visit here. We are confident that the resulting building proposal, subject to on- going public and technical review, will have a significant and positive positive impact on the east edge of Central Square and its surrounding neighborhoods.
Very truly yours, Central Square Business Association
George R. Metzger