We as a City Council pride ourselves on being regional leaders on issues such as affordable housing, immigrant rights and environmental protections, but we are falling woefully behind our regional allies on real estate transfer fees. I am reintroducing the fee to the council a third time March 16.
The clear majority of the East Cambridge Planning Team realizes that New England Development’s proposal will transform CambridgeSide into a beautifully designed mixed-use retail center while maintaining the Lechmere Canal and access to the river.
In doing financial due diligence before allowing a proposed giant upzoning at the CambridgeSide mall, city councillors wisely voted to get an outside analysis. But it is unclear – and absolutely crucial – which pro formas will be looked at and how.
Some seem to believe that if we stop building here, Cambridge’s housing crisis will go away. But we don’t live in a bubble. Freezing Cambridge’s housing stock is fine only for those who are secure in their housing – homeowners and the wealthy.
It would be impossible to imagine East Cambridge without CambridgeSide, which provides retail outlets, cafes, restaurants, recreational opportunities and a place to create and foster community. But times change, and this area must be redesigned.