Ames Street Land Disposition

Ames Street Disposition Property Map

The City has proposed selling a 20-foot wide strip of public land along the eastern edge of Ames Street between Main Street and Broadway in Kendall Square (see map). The land would be sold to a private owner with the condition that it would be combined with adjacent land to enable the construction of a residential building with ground floor retail. The goals of this process are to improve the streetscape and to create new housing in the area, both of which were identified as priorities in the Kendall Square Study.

The disposition of land would be accompanied by a redesign of this section of Ames Street to reduce the total width of the public way from 100 feet to 80 feet. The street in its current configuration is wider than necessary for a city street, and reducing its width would create a more pedestrian and bicycle friendly scale while allowing enough space for two-way vehicular travel, bicycle lanes, on-street parking and sidewalks with tree plantings. The buyer of the City land would be responsible for undertaking the street improvements and the relocation of existing utilities.

Land disposition in Cambridge requires adherence to two sets of requirements. Under state laws (Chapter 30B), the City must solicit proposals from all interested buyers before selecting a final buyer. Under the Cambridge Municipal Code (Section 2.110.010), the City must prepare a report that is reviewed at public hearings by the Planning Board and City Council before the City Council may vote to approve the disposition. Both of these processes are currently underway. See below for more information and refer to the tabs for status updates.


December 9, 2013

The Planning Board held a public hearing on December 3 and issued a recommendation to the City Council, posted below. The City Council will hold a public hearing tonight, December 9 at 6:30 P.M. After holding the public hearing, the City Council may vote to approve the land disposition pursuant to Section 2.110.010 of the Cambridge Municipal Code.

November 18, 2013

The City Manager has submitted a report to the City Council outlining the considerations set forth in Section 2.110.010 of the Cambridge Municipal Code. The RFP and Boston Properties proposal were attached. The City Council referred the report for public hearings by the Planning Board and City Council.

The Planning Board will hold a public hearing on Tuesday, December 3, 2013, at 8:00 P.M. in the City Hall Annex, 344 Broadway, Second Floor. For information about the meeting, contact Liza Paden at 617-349-4647 or lpaden@cambridgema.gov.

The City Council will hold a public hearing on Monday, December 9, 2013, at 6:30 P.M. in the Sullivan Chamber, City Hall, 795 Massachusetts Ave, Second Floor. For information about the hearing, contact the City Clerk's Office at 617-349-4260.

November 12, 2013

The City has received one response to its Request for Proposals (RFP) to purchase the 20-foot strip of Ames Street. The proposal is from Boston Properties Limited Partnership and can be reviewed below:

Based on the price offered and the evaluation criteria set forth in the RFP, the City Manager has found that the proposal is advantageous to the City and will recommend that the City Council approve the disposition of the 20-foot strip of Ames Street to Boston Properties Limited Partnership, subject to necessary and appropriate conditions and limitations.

However, the final land disposition will require public hearings by the Planning Board and City Council and a City Council vote to approve the land disposition, subject to any conditions and limitations the City Council may impose, followed by Planning Board approval of the building design, City approval of the associated roadway work, the City Council’s discontinuance of the 20-foot portion of Ames Street to be disposed of, and ultimate execution of the project.

October 23, 2013

Thanks to all who attended the community meeting. The information distributed at the meeting is posted below:

A second community meeting will be held on Tuesday, November 12, 2013, beginning at 5:30 P.M. and will take place in the City Hall Annex, 344 Broadway, Second Floor. (Note: This meeting will precede a Planning Board public hearing on a zoning petition by Boston Properties to amend zoning for the Ames Street area. See Zoning Amendments page for details.) Following this community meeting, a Land Disposition Report will be completed and submitted to the City Council. After submission of the report, public hearings will be scheduled at the Planning Board and City Council in accordance with Cambridge Municipal Code Section 2.110.010.

October 9, 2013

An RFP has been issued for proposals to purchase the Ames Street Property. The deadline to receive proposals is 10:00 A.M. on Friday, November 8, 2013. See Purchasing Department web site for details.

April 22, 2013:  City Council declares land available for disposition following a proposal from Boston Properties. This initiates public processes required under state law (Chapter 30B) and the Cambridge Municipal Code (Section 2.110.010).

October 9, 2013:  Request for Proposals (RFP) issued. See Purchasing Department web site for details.

October 23, 2013:  Community meeting to discuss land disposition proposal. Cambridge Police Headquarters, 125 Sixth Street.

November 8, 2013:  Opening of proposals. See Purchasing Department web site for details.

November 12, 2013:  Additional community meeting to discuss land disposition proposal. City Hall Annex, 344 Broadway. View Meeting Notice. (This meeting will precede a Planning Board hearing on a zoning petition by Boston Properties for the Ames Street District. See Zoning Amendments web page for details.)

December 3, 2013:  Planning Board public hearing on land disposition (pursuant to Cambridge Municipal Code Section 2.110.010). 8:00 P.M. (subject to delays pending completion of other scheduled Planning Board business that night). City Hall Annex, 344 Broadway, Second Floor.

December 9, 2013:  City Council public hearing on land disposition (pursuant to Cambridge Municipal Code Section 2.110.010). 6:30 P.M. Sullivan Chamber, City Hall, 795 Massachusetts Ave, Second Floor.

For questions or information, contact Jeff Roberts at 617-349-4639 or jroberts@cambridgema.gov.