Sunday, June 16, 2024

The East Cambridge Planning Team meets at 7 p.m. today with representatives of Boston Properties, which met with outrage for its plan to eliminate some of its Kendall Square rooftop garden to allow an expansion of Google office space.

But a press release from the team’s president, Barbara Broussard, makes its position clear:

After a review of Boston Properties’ proposed changes in public open space in the Kendall Square area to accommodate an expansion of [Google], the residential representatives of East Cambridge, Area Four, MIT and the Harrington Wellington Neighborhoods  have agreed that they could only support Boston Properties proposal if the lost area in the existing rooftop park were replaced by an expansion of the park on adjacent rooftops; and that the long-proposed housing project, immediately adjacent to 4 and 5 Cambridge Center, should go forward simultaneously with any addition for the Google project. Further, the residents opposed any transfer of the existing open space on Binney street to BP property by purchase or covenant.

The neighborhood residents are anxious that BP fulfill the obligation it took on when it accepted 200,000 square feet of additional development area, over 10 years ago, that was given exclusively for housing. The addition of this housing  will significantly enhance the 24/7 character of Kendall square. The residents noted that [Google] has recognized that housing is a good investment, as illustrated by the company’s recent proposals to build housing on Harvard land in Allston.

The meeting is at East End House, 105 Spring St., with the developer’s Michael Cantalupa, attorney James Rafferty and the Cambridge Redevelopment Authority’s Joseph Tulimeri speaking from at least 7:15 to 8 p.m., when general discussion goes until 9 p.m.