MIT closes $750m deal to redevelop Volpe Center in Kendall Square

The Boston Globe | By Tim Logan
January 18, 2017

The Massachusetts Institute of Technology has closed on its purchase of the massive Volpe Center site in Kendall Square and will now push forward with its plans to turn the federal research park into a vibrant new hub for the booming neighborhood.

MIT on Wednesday signed a $750 million deal with the General Services Administration to buy the 14-acre site and build a new federal transportation research facility there. It will then have the rights to build on the rest of the site, set in the heart of one of the East Coast’s hottest real estate markets.

Redeveloping the tract gives the university a major role in the many changes coming to Kendall Square.

“What we have in mind is a big vision,” said MIT executive vice president Israel Ruiz. “We want to do more in Kendall Square. This enables us to do it at a level of scale.”

So far, MIT has few specific uses in mind, but zoning changes proposed for the property contemplate a mix of housing, office, lab, and retail space, and parks. The university, which plans a community meeting on the project next month, said it will work closely with Cambridge officials and residents during the rezoning.

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