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City of Cambridge

Vail Court

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Vail Court is located at 139 Bishop Allen Drive in Central Square Cambridge.

The building has been vacant for several years. Through court orders, the City has required previous owners of the property to secure and board up the building and curb illegal parking. The Police, Fire, and Inspectional Services Departments have regularly inspected the property to deter vandalism or unpermitted entry.

On September 26, 2016 an Order of Taking was approved by the Cambridge City Council to redevelop the property to provide much needed affordable, senior, and or transitional housing.

City Manager Report - September 26, 2016

Order of Taking - September 26, 2016

Vail Court Property - October 6, 2017
Update on the Vail Court property redevelopment

At the public meeting hosted by the City and Affordable Housing Trust on July 24, 2017, City staff indicated that they would hold a second public meeting in the early fall to gather additional comments from the community on affordable housing needs, how the Vail Court property could be used to address these needs, and site and building design considerations. At this time, based upon developments in the litigation filed by the former owner of Vail Court, we believe it is advisable to delay that second public meeting until we have heard from the Court and the litigation progresses.

At an August 23, 2017 court hearing concerning the request of the former owner of the Vail Court property for a temporary restraining order prohibiting the demolition of the buildings at the property, the Court had ordered the parties to submit a joint report containing a protocol that would allow the former owner and his consultants to access the buildings at the property for the purpose of inspecting said buildings and removing any personal property contained therein. Because the City and the former owner were not able to reach an agreement as to a proposed protocol or the language of a joint report, the parties filed separate reports with the Court. We are now waiting for the Court to review the respective reports and issue an order regarding a protocol that would allow the owner and his consultants to enter the property. The temporary restraining order issued on August 23, 2017 prohibiting the demolition of the buildings at the Vail Court property also remains in place until further notice from the Court.

After we hear from the Court and the litigation progresses further, City staff will be better able to assess when it would be appropriate to schedule a second public meeting. Both the City and the Trust remain committed to holding a second public meeting at the appropriate time to gather more community input to be considered in the redevelopment of the property


Vail Court Property - September 12, 2017
Status of litigation related to the Vail Court property

At an August 23, 2017 hearing concerning the request of the former owner of the Vail Court property for a temporary restraining order prohibiting the demolition of the buildings at the property, the Court ordered the parties to submit a joint report containing a protocol that would allow the owner and his consultants to enter the property for the purpose of inspecting the buildings and removing any personal property contained therein. The Court ordered the parties to provide the joint report to the Court by September 6, 2017. The City and the owner did not agree on the terms of a joint report and therefore each party filed its own respective report with the Court on September 6, 2017.

We anticipate that the Court will review the respective reports that were filed by each party and issue an order adopting a protocol that would allow the owner and his consultants to enter the property. The temporary restraining order prohibiting the demolition of the buildings at the Vail Court property is still in effect until further notice from the Court. When we hear from the Court, we will provide you with a further update.


Vail Court Property - August 31, 2017
Informational update

A hearing was held in the Middlesex Superior Court on August 23, 2017 with regard to the lawsuit the property owner has filed against the City concerning the eminent domain taking of the property at Vail Court.

At the hearing, the Court ordered the City and the property owner to submit a joint report to the Court by September 6, 2017 in order to establish a protocol to allow the property owner and his contractors/consultants to enter and inspect the buildings at the property and remove any personal property from them.

After the Court receives the report, the Court may order the parties to proceed forward with the proposed protocol, or hold a further hearing.

At this time, there is no further hearing scheduled in this matter, and the temporary restraining order remains in place.

If and when the Court removes the temporary restraining order and allows the demolition of the buildings to proceed, the City will notify abutters and neighbors as to when the demolition will occur.


Vail Court Property - August 25, 2017
Information from Superior Court hearing

At the August 23, 2017 hearing before the Superior Court, the Judge ruled that his temporary order prohibiting the City from demolishing the buildings at Vail Court would remain in effect.

The City and previous property owner were ordered to report back to the Court by September 6, 2017 with a proposal for how the previous property owner could access the property to remove any personal property before the City moves forward with demolition.

We will provide you with an update once the next hearing is complete. We look forward to moving forward with the project to redevelop Vail Court.


Vail Court Property - August 20, 2017
Demolition postponed

The demolition of Vail Court scheduled to begin on Monday, August 21, 2017, has been postponed.

The previous property owner received a temporary restraining order last week, and a hearing on the matter is scheduled for Wednesday, August 23, 2017 in Superior Court.

We will provide you with an update once the hearing is complete. We look forward to moving forward with the project to redevelop Vail Court.


Vail Court Property - July 24, 2017
Cambridge Fire Department to hold training exercises on site beginning Tuesday, July 25th

The Cambridge Fire Department will be utilizing the land at the Vail Court property to conduct training exercises beginning on Tuesday, July 25th and lasting for approximately two weeks.

While the exact dates and times the Fire Department will be on site are yet to be determined, these exercises will be conducted intermittently over the next two weeks and will not begin before 8:00am.

There would be no access into the building(s), and the exercises will be focused on training methods for how to raise a ladder to a structure. These exercises will not include controlled burns of any kind.

Fire Department vehicles, equipment, and staff will be on site during these exercises.

Please contact Tom Cahill, Chief of Operations at the Cambridge Fire Department, at 617-349-4975 with any questions or concerns.


Vail Court Property - July 10, 2017
The City and Cambridge Affordable Housing Trust to hold community meeting to discuss redevelopment of the property

The City and the Cambridge Affordable Housing Trust are hosting a public meeting on Monday, July 24th to discuss the redevelopment of the Vail Court site located at 139 Bishop Allen Drive.

City Staff and Cambridge Affordable Housing Trust members will discuss the redevelopment of the property and want to hear from the community on the following:

• City-wide affordable housing needs
• Ideas for how the Vail Court property could be used to address affordable housing needs in the community
• Building and site design considerations for new affordable housing to be built on the p
roperty

Comments and considerations provided by the community will assist the City and Trust in planning for the redevelopment of the Vail Court property.

When/where: 

• Monday, July 24, 2017 from 6pm-8pm
• City Hall Annex at 344 Broadway, 2nd floor


A second meeting with a similar agenda will be scheduled in the fall for anyone unable to attend the July 24th meeting.

For more details and updates, please visit: www.cambridgema.gov/vailcourt

Sincerely,

Cassie Arnaud
Housing Planner
City of Cambridge
617-349-4617 / carnaud@cambridgema.gov


Updates/Information for Neighbors & Community Members
June 28, 2017

Pre-demolition activities will begin on the Vail Court site next month in advance of abatement and demolition scheduled for August/early September.

During the pre-abatement and demolition effort, temporary fencing will be erected around the site and rodent control will be performed. The recommendation of Inspectional Services Department is to place bait boxes every 20’-30’ around the perimeter of the site. These bait boxes are tamper-proof when installed properly to protect children and pets.

In conjunction with baiting on the City property, the Inspectional Services Department will be inspecting properties surrounding the site for rodent activity and issuing citations to those in violation of applicable ordinances. If you are interested in having your property inspected and having rodent bait boxes provided to you at no cost, please contact Dave Power of the Inspectional Services Department at dpower@cambridgema.gov or 617-349-6119.

In addition, the City will be surveying points of houses adjacent to the site and installing vibration monitoring equipment on site. Neither of these activates will require access to private property.

The City Arborist has visited the site and determined that all of the trees on perimeter of the site on the North and West sides are to remain and be protected during construction activities to avoid any further damage.

Once abatement and demolition activities begin in August, it is anticipated these activities will last for 4-6 weeks and include the full take down of both buildings including the foundations. All debris shall be loaded on trucks and hauled off site, and trucking activities are expected to be two weeks in duration. The areas where the foundations are removed shall be backfilled and capped with crushed stone, new fencing shall be installed, and the site left clean.

Information and Assistance:
To receive future updates via email regarding this project, please contact Dan Riviello at driviello@cambridgema.gov or 617.349.4825. To view more information on this project, including the presentation from the June community meeting as well as additional updates, documents, etc., please visit http://www.cambridgema.gov/Departments/citymanagersoffice/vailcourt


Community Meeting Notice: Public Meeting to Discuss Vail Court off Bishop Allen Drive
Wednesday, June 14 at 6:30pm
 

The City of Cambridge has acquired the property located at Vail Court off of Bishop Allen Drive. Presently there are no occupants in the building(s).

As part of the eminent domain process, the City recommended redeveloping the site for affordable housing. Due to their condition, the City plans to demolish the buildings that currently exist on the site.

On Wednesday, June 14th at 6:30 pm, the City will hold its second public meeting in the Sullivan Chamber at City Hall to provide project updates, introduce the contractor selected for abatement, demolition and site work activities that are planned, and to share available details regarding the abatement and demolition process and schedule.

If you have any questions regarding this project, please contact:

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


The city is currently planning for the second Vail Court community meeting which will likely be held in mid-June.

More information will be posted here and sent to residents once details are finalized.


Community Meeting Notice: Public Meeting to Discuss Vail Court off Bishop Allen Drive
Thursday, March 23 at 6pm
 

The City of Cambridge has acquired the property located at Vail Court off of Bishop Allen Drive. Presently there are no occupants in the building(s).

As part of the eminent domain process, the City recommended redeveloping the site for affordable housing. Due to their condition, the City plans to demolish the buildings that currently exist on the site.

On Thursday, March 23rd at 6:00 pm, the City will hold a public meeting in the Sullivan Chamber at City Hall to review the project and share additional details. Members of the public are encouraged to attend this meeting as the City will be discussing next steps and listening to thoughts from the community regarding future use of this property.

If you have any questions regarding this project, please contact:

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

Please check the “Updates” tab for future schedule information and updates.


On Thursday, March 23rd at 6:00 pm, the City will hold its first public meeting in the Sullivan Chamber at City Hall to review the project and share additional details.  Members of the public are encouraged to attend this meeting as the City will be discussing next steps and listening to thoughts from the community regarding future use of this property.

On September 26, 2016, the Cambridge City Council approved an Order of Taking for the parcel at 139 Bishop Allen Drive, by eminent domain, for the purposes of affordable, senior, and/or transitional housing, as well as an appropriation of $3,700,000 from Free Cash related to the taking.

For questions about the demolition of the existing buildings:

Dan Riviello

Community Relations Manager

City of Cambridge Dept. of Public Works

617.349.4825 / driviello@cambridgema.gov  


For questions/comments about future development on site:

VailCourt@cambridgema.gov  


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Last Updated: 10/6/2017

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