Volpe Site55 Broadway, Cambridge, MA
Status: In design
Themes: Innovation and collaboration
Completion: To be determined
MIT is working on a redevelopment project 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 has substantially completed the John A. Volpe National Transportation Systems Center on a Kendall Square site in close proximity to the MIT campus. With the new federal building now open and final completion scheduled before the end of the year, MIT is preparing to proceed (per the agreement with the GSA) with the creation of a dynamic mixed-use center on the site, incorporating the Cambridge community’s extensive planning and visioning efforts to increase housing, open space, and retail activity, while adding commercial and laboratory spaces.
The overall project began with a lengthy bidding process, after which the GSA selected MIT as its partner to construct the new federal building. The building opened in September 2023 and features conference rooms, laboratories, offices, open workspaces, specialized building hangars, a day care center, and a unique public art space created by renowned designer and sculptor Maya Lin. Currently targeting LEED Platinum certification, the building is expected to use less than half the energy of a traditional building, due to sustainability components including triple-paned glass, heat recovery chillers, electric vehicle chargers, a rainwater reclamation and reuse system, and a rooftop solar array.
MIT's plan for the remaining 10 acres of the Volpe site was approved in 2021 by the Cambridge Planning Board after a robust community engagement process. Consistent with the zoning passed by the City Council in 2017, the proposed development includes nearly 3 million square feet of space providing retail and restaurants, market-price and affordable housing units, a community center, and science and innovation facilities. The vibrant, mixed-use center will also provide pedestrian links and publicly-accessible open space expected to include a large park at the corner of Third Street and Broadway, a linear park adjacent to Sixth Street/Loughrey Way, a park adjacent to the community center, and a pocket park on Binney Street.
The design phase for below-grade infrastructure, individual buildings, and open spaces began in 2022. Design review for the initial buildings is underway as of 2023.
Construction manager: Turner Construction, Boston, MA
MIT Team: Sam Aureli, Michael Owu (MITIMCo)