859 Massachusetts Ave Project

The City of Cambridge has purchased the building located at 859 Massachusetts Avenue formerly owned by the Chamber of Commerce. Prior to City ownership, the Chamber and a few other small businesses occupied the building. Immediately after the City took ownership of the building the Department of Public Works started maintenance around the building which included addressing the overgrown planting beds, new signage and daily inspections of the property. Presently there are no occupants in the building.

The City has decided to move the family shelter, formerly located at 3 Bigelow Street into this location. The family shelter, which is managed by the YWCA, consists of 10 bedroom units with common kitchens and play areas for children. The YWCA will have staff on site 24/7 when in operation. The tenants are typically single mothers and their children.

This project is being designed to meet the requirements of the City’s Net Zero standards as outlined by the Net Zero Task force “Proposed Actions” adopted by the City Council in 2015. There will be a geothermal well(s) installed on site. The first well will be installed in the next few months. There shall also be photovoltaic (PV) panels primarily installed on the roof of the building. The building mechanical systems will be designed for maximum efficiency, and the building walls and roof will be efficiently insulated.

Community Meeting Notice: Public Meeting to Discuss Upcoming Project and Future Programming at 859 Massachusetts Avenue

The City of Cambridge has purchased the building located at 859 Massachusetts Avenue formerly owned by the Chamber of Commerce. Prior to City ownership, the Chamber and a few other small businesses occupied the building. Immediately after the City took ownership of the building the Department of Public Works started maintenance around the building which included addressing the overgrown planting beds, new signage and daily inspections of the property. Presently there are no occupants in the building.

The City has decided to move the family shelter, formerly located at 3 Bigelow Street into this location. The family shelter, which is managed by the YWCA, consists of 10 bedroom units with common kitchens and play areas for children. The YWCA will have staff on site 24/7 when in operation. The tenants are typically single mothers and their children.

HMFH Architects of Cambridge prepared a Feasibility Study that confirms that the family housing programming will fit within the existing building. HMFH is now preparing design documents and coordinating building programming design with the City and the YWCA staff. The building will be completely gutted inside. All exterior siding and architectural details shall be documented so that new windows, doors and siding will be replaced as close as possible to the original design, but using more sustainable and durable products.

The Architects have met with the City of Cambridge Historical Commission to review initial thoughts as to how to replicate the building’s former look and how best to incorporate a new entrance with a new interior stair on the Clinton Street side of the project.

This project is being designed to meet the requirements of the City’s Net Zero standards as outlined by the Net Zero Task force “Proposed Actions” adopted by the City Council in 2015. There will be a geothermal well(s) installed on site. The first well will be installed in the next few months. There shall also be photovoltaic (PV) panels primarily installed on the roof of the building. The building mechanical systems will be designed for maximum efficiency, and the building walls and roof will be efficiently insulated.

The first construction type activity is the public will see is the removal of some of the existing siding to expose present architectural details. In the coming month there will be pre-construction activities to locate and then drill the test geothermal well. The design should be completed and put out to public bid in early 2017, with a construction completion date anticipated for late Fall 2017.

On Wednesday, January 18th at 6:00 pm, the City plans to hold a public meeting in the Ackermann Room on the second floor of Cambridge City Hall to review the project scope and schedule, as well as potential construction impacts with the community.

The design should be completed and put out to public bid in early 2017, with a construction completion date anticipated for late Fall 2017.

The City of Cambridge has purchased the building located at 859 Massachusetts Avenue formerly owned by the Chamber of Commerce. Prior to City ownership, the Chamber and a few other small businesses occupied the building. Immediately after the City took ownership of the building the Department of Public Works started maintenance around the building which included addressing the overgrown planting beds, new signage and daily inspections of the property. Presently there are no occupants in the building.

The City has decided to move the family shelter, formerly located at 3 Bigelow Street into this location. The family shelter, which is managed by the YWCA, consists of 10 bedroom units with common kitchens and play areas for children. The YWCA will have staff on site 24/7 when in operation. The tenants are typically single mothers and their children.

This project is being designed to meet the requirements of the City’s Net Zero standards as outlined by the Net Zero Task force “Proposed Actions” adopted by the City Council in 2015. There will be a geothermal well(s) installed on site. The first well will be installed in the next few months. There shall also be photovoltaic (PV) panels primarily installed on the roof of the building. The building mechanical systems will be designed for maximum efficiency, and the building walls and roof will be efficiently insulated.

Dan Riviello
Community Relations Manager
City of Cambridge Dept. of Public Works
617.349.4825
driviello@cambridgema.gov

Department Information

Hours of Service

Monday: 8:30am-8pm
Tuesday-Thursday: 8:30am-5pm
Friday: 8:30am-12pm

City Manager:
Louis DePasquale

Deputy City Manager:
Lisa C. Peterson

Cambridge City Hall
795 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02139
Ph.617-349-4300