Volpe Site55 Broadway, Cambridge, MA
Status: In planning
Themes: Innovation and collaboration
Completion: To be determined
MIT is working on a redevelopment proposal for the Volpe site in Kendall Square that will transform it into a vibrant mixed-use environment that supports MIT’s mission and benefits the Cambridge community.
Themes and priorities
As part of an agreement with the U.S. General Services Administration (GSA), MIT is working on a proposed redevelopment plan for the John A. Volpe National Transportation Systems Center, a Kendall Square site in close proximity to the MIT campus. In addition to a new federal building, MIT hopes to create a dynamic mixed-use center on the site, building on the Cambridge community’s extensive planning and visioning efforts to increase housing, open space, and retail activity, along with commercial, laboratory, and innovation space.
This project began with a lengthy bidding process, after which the GSA selected MIT as its partner to construct the new federal building. In exchange, following construction of the new building, the Institute will receive ownership of the remaining 10 acres, which it will then develop as a long-term commercial investment. The resulting mixed-use center will be designed to simultaneously generate future financial support for the Institute’s mission while also enhancing the local innovation ecosystem and the surrounding neighborhood areas.
In 2017, MIT worked with the City, numerous community groups, a working group of MIT affiliates, and the City Volpe Working Group to establish new zoning and design guidelines. Priorities include a mix of uses that connect the public realm, an enhanced pedestrian experience, and family-friendly spaces and programming. Other areas of focus include affordable housing, publicly accessible open space, sustainability, and transit infrastructure improvements. To date, four site plan options have been explored along with preferences for open space, retail, and amenities in a proposed community center. Details of the redevelopment plan are still evolving and will continue to be guided by input from the community as well as a formal review and approval process by the City of Cambridge.
Construction manager: Turner Construction, Boston, MA
MIT Team: Arne Abramson, Steve Marsh, Michael Owu (MITIMCo)