Tuesday, July 23, 2024

Five developers have agreed to give 15-minute presentations and answer questions Wednesday about their plans for the former Edward J. Sullivan Courthouse in East Cambridge.

“It should be a lively meeting,” said members of the East Cambridge Planning Team, which is hosting the 7 p.m. event at East End House, 105 Spring St. The team is being understated — a presentation on the courthouse’s future last month brought out a standing-room-only crowd that reminded state officials how little the 22-story building was wanted when announced and built in the 1970s and how much skepticism remained about reuse, reconstruction and safe asbestos abatement.

Several residents proposed taking “half the building off,” but it’s unlikely many of the seven named potential developers have that in mind. Even Dana J. Harrell, the acting deputy commissioner of real estate for the state’s Division of Capital Management, doubted developers would go for the idea, even if they got to add stories to a neighboring parking garage. “Anything is possible,” Harrell said Jan. 12. “But I don’t believe that’s the case.”

The presenters on Wednesday are expected to be Doug Manz of HYM; Robert Dickey of Leggat McCall; Brian Lawlor of Gutierrez Co.; Matt Zahler of Trinity Financial; and Dean Stratouly of The Congress Group. Boston Properties and Amerimar hadn’t responded to the East Cambridge group’s invitation by this weekend.

The decision on which developer is chosen to remake the former courthouse falls to the state, which owns the property, officials said.

Meanwhile, the possibility of Billerica taking the prisoners in the building’s top four floors — its sole remaining use — is hitting resistance, The Sun of Lowell reports. Town Manager John Curran is calling taking the 375 prisoners “not in the town’s best interests,” the paper said.