New zoning law to transform Kendall Square
|April 17, 2013||Posted by Anharris under Innovation|
Kendall Square will become a livelier business and residential area as a result of a new zoning law passed last week by the Cambridge City Council.
According to Tim Rowe, president of the Kendall Square Association and a founder of the Cambridge Innovation Center, the zoning change will:allow a new gateway to MIT facing the Kendall Square MBTA station, construction of 1.1M additional square feet of new commercial space around the T stop, hundreds of new housing units, plus additional restaurant and retail space on the ground floors of all new buildings.
The new law requires that at least half the restaurant and retail space be operated by non-chain retailers, and that 5% of all new office space be set aside as “innovation space,” defined as small (avg. 200 sq. ft.) spaces rented on a month-to-month basis, with substantial shared-space components such as kitchens and coworking areas. The requirement for “innovation space”, along with incentives to building owners who increase their startup space to 20%, address the concern that with the success of Kendall Square–which has seen considerable development in the last few years–global corporations ” might otherwise squeeze the startups out,” according to Rowe.
The law also requires MIT to create a new bike path (subject to a feasibiliy study) crossing Kendall Square that could eventually provide connections all the wya to the MInuteman bike path, which runs from North Cambridge to Bedford.
In a blog posted to the CIC community, Rowe said, “It is hard to overstate the importance of this change to the future of Kendall.”
–Anita M. Harris
Anita M. Harris is president of the Harris Communications Group, an award-winning public relations and digital marketing firm headquartered in the Cambridge Innovation Center, in Kendall Square.