The City Council approved a $1.4 million “friendly” eminent domain taking of 859 Massachusetts Ave. at Monday’s meeting. The building was home to the Cambridge Chamber of Commerce, which moved out in mid-May.
A “hip and trendy” 150-room hotel and restaurant is coming to the fast-growing Alewife area, with plans to open its doors in September. The brand goes to Boston next, but already has its seventh U.S. location in nearby Medford.
The city is looking at a multimillion-dollar expansion, renovation and relocation of offices at City Hall and three surrounding buildings that could change life significantly for employees and elected officials with a four-year schedule of design and construction.
The city manager had a warning Monday for city councillors: “What I was told is that if this goes down, Lechmere Station won’t happen at all,” referring to the over budget green line extension light rail project.
Cambridge is expected to contribute $25 million to construction of the green line light rail extension and Somerville is projected to put in $50 million to close a funding gap that has threatened to shut down the project entirely.
Two Cambridge institutions are expanding in coming months, as a Darwin’s Ltd. sandwich and coffee shop plans to expand seating by 300 percent – including onto a new loft dining area – by taking over and building in the space occupied by University Stationers.
A move to get professional lobbyists to register and disclose their work in Cambridge was complicated by lingering anger from the past election, with the Cambridge Residents Alliance citizens group getting compared to the NRA by city councillor Craig Kelley.
Pocket parks, a farmers market, free Wi-Fi and more public art, as well as sidewalk improvements, real-time T and bus arrival information and a Business Improvement District for Central Square could all be before the City Council as a package soon.
We need to make sure we’ve learned the lesson of lighting at the Zinc luxury apartment building by ensuring that its display stay off and that whatever ordinance is passed prevents such lighting anywhere in the city.
Remaking the school and community complex on Cambridge Street is likely to cost the city some $26 million more than expected – but for a good reason: It could house school district administrators, long relegated to a crumbling leased building in East Cambridge.