Cambridge City Council backs Foundry plan with $6M

Wicked Local Cambridge | By Sara Feijo
May 6, 2015

101 Rogers StCAMBRIDGE The vision to convert the Foundry Building into a community-use space is one step closer to becoming a reality.

On Monday, the Cambridge City Council unanimously appropriated $6 million from free cash to facilitate necessary improvements to the facility and the board approved a 50-year lease with the Cambridge Redevelopment Authority (CRA), as well as the city’s disposition and demonstration plans for the building. “We keep talking about giving the community reasons to be in Kendall Square and the Foundry is going to give the community a reason to belong in Kendall Square,” Councilor Leland Cheung said May 4.

The demonstration plan, drafted by the CRA and city officials, outlines the project’s vision, objectives and steps toward implementation. The adoption of the long-term disposition plan, which complies with the city’s ordinance of disposition of properties, has enabled the city manager to enter into a lease with the CRA.

The city manager and the CRA will now create a seven-member advisory committee with representation by abutting neighborhood residents that will evaluate programs and significant capital changes at the Foundry. According to Evans, the advisory committee would work closely with the CRA and the developer and would report to the city manager. “A key role of the advisory committee is that they’re watching over the whys of the building but not necessarily of the whos, so they’re not necessarily getting into which organization is there,” Evans said.

The CRA will also issue a request for qualifications to encourage creative proposals and partnerships, as well as a request for proposal for a development entity to evaluate program and building design and scrutinize for financial plans. Demolishing of the interior of the building is expected to start this month, according to Deputy City Manager Lisa Peterson.

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