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MIT’s Volpe Redevelopment Begins Next Phase

CAMBRIDGE, MA — Several years in the making, MIT submitted a special permit application to the City of Cambridge, Massachusetts, as it launches into the next phase in the transformation of the Volpe property located in Kendall Square. MIT has teamed with VHB to provide transportation and civil engineering services and permitting assistance on the Volpe project.

The mixed-use redevelopment project will be nestled within the 14-acre lot in Kendall Square that is currently home to the U.S. Department of Transportation federal buildings and several empty parking lots. As part of the development agreement, MIT is required to first build and relocate the GSA to one new building on four acres of the parcel. This phase is currently under construction and is slated for completion in late 2023. Upon completion, MIT will begin work on developing the remaining 10 acres.

The recently submitted special permit outlines in detail the use of the additional acreage. The multi-phase project is expected to provide approximately 1,400 housing units, including 280 affordable units and 20 middle income units, an estimated three and a half acres of open space, transit and vehicular transportation improvements, Job Connector by MIT (a free workforce development hub for Cambridge residents), and the creation of a Grand Junction multi-use path on property owned by MIT.

The property will host a large site-wide blackwater system that will reduce water usage by nearly 50 percent, and MIT has committed to only using electric in the housing units, eliminating fossil fuel use, and reducing greenhouse gas emissions. With the incorporation of affordable housing valued at approximately $36 million, $8.5 million in transit improvements, a community fund of $8.5 million to serve Cambridge residents, the redevelopment also provides an expected yearly tax revenue of $23 million on the currently tax-exempt property.

“VHB is proud to be part of the Volpe project with MIT — not only does the project rejuvenate and repurpose a distressed asset, it brings a greener footprint with continued sustainability, as well as substantial benefits to the community,” said Selma Mandzo-Preldzic, PE, Project Manager and Transportation Engineer. “We are excited to see the GSA relocation phase of the project underway, and for the special permitting application to be submitted to the City of Cambridge.”

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