First Street Garage Project

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The City of Cambridge has proposed disposing of a leasehold interest in 420 unassigned parking spaces of the total 1,100 parking spaces and approximately 7,000 square feet of ground floor area intended for retail use in the City-owned First Street Garage property located at 55 First Street. The garage will continue to be used as a municipal parking facility, subject to the proposed new lease for parking and renovated first floor retail space.     

This web page is a central repository for information about the future of the First Street Garage and the City’s efforts to engage with the community as to what particular ground floor retail uses would be best for the immediate neighborhood and surrounding community.

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  • Status Update to City Council 11-20-18
  • Received Proposal from LMP GP Holdings LLC dated 11-19-18 for RFP8268 First St. Garage Disposition
  • Project Timetable Handout at Community Meeting of 10-30-18
  • Initial Community Meeting was held on 10-30-18 Seeking Public Input on what ground floor retail uses would be best for the immediate neighborhood and surrounding community.
  • Status Update to City Council 10-29-18
The First Street Garage has approximately 1,100 parking spaces and the City proposed disposition of a leasehold interest in 420 unassigned parking spaces and approximately 7,000 square feet of ground floor area intended for retail use in the City-owned First Street Garage property located at 55 First Street. The garage will continue to be used as a municipal parking facility, subject to the proposed new lease for parking and renovated first floor retail space.
  • See RFP 8268

     Real Estate Disposition: Parking Spaces and Ground Floor Retail Space - First Street Garage

     
    advertised on 10-18-18 and due 11-19-18; 
  • See Addendum1 to RFP8268

Below is an overview of the proposed First Street Garage Disposition process in compliance with State Law (G.L. Chapter 30B) and Municipal Ordinance (Chapter 2.110 of the Cambridge Municipal Code) in order to dispose of this property, and projected timetable.

Process for the RFP Under G. L. Chapter 30B

Components of the 30B process that were required before the RFP could be advertised:

  • The statute required the City Council to declare the property available for disposition and declare any reuse restrictions (completed)
  • The City had to determine the value of the property using methods considered valid by the appraising profession (completed)
  • An RFP was advertised on October 18, 2018 pursuant to the provisions of Chapter 30B. 
  • Bids were open on November 19, 2018. Under the terms of the RFP, an offeror’s proposal will remain in effect: for 180 calendar days from the deadline for submission of proposals (i.e. 180 days from November 19, 2018, which was amended from 120 days in the original RFP), or until  a proposal is formally withdrawn, or a contract (lease or memorandum of agreement) is executed or the RFP is cancelled, whichever occurs first.
  • If a bid is awarded to a successful offeror, a conditional lease or memorandum will be executed between the City and the successful offeror, which will also be subject to the City’s compliance with the provisions of the City’s disposition ordinance, Chapter 2.110 of the Municipal Code.  

Process Under the City’s Disposition Ordinance, Chapter 2.110 of the Cambridge Municipal Code

  • Under Chapter 2.110 of the Cambridge Municipal Code, the City Manager must hold a community meeting, which was held on October 30, 2018 at the Cambridge Multicultural Arts Center in East Cambridge.  Please note, a second community meeting will be held.
  • The City Manager must issue a detailed report regarding the proposed disposition to the City Council, the Planning Board, and the City Clerk for public dissemination. We anticipate that the report will be completed by spring 2019.
  • The Planning Board must hold a public hearing no sooner than two weeks or more after receiving the report and must submit recommendation to the City Manager for submission to the City Council.
  • Thereafter, the City Council must hold a public hearing before the final disposition is approved by the City Council. The disposition requires a two-thirds vote of the City Council.

For general questions and comments regarding the disposition of the 420 parking spaces and the 7,000 square feet of ground floor retail space, email citymanager@cambridgema.gov.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Does the City have any parking demand studies that include the East Cambridge neighborhood?

As discussed at the City Council meetings on November 5 and November 19, 2018, the City is currently commencing a parking planning study for the First Street area. The results of this study will be included in the report that is required under Municipal Ordinance 2.110. The City does have Traffic Impact Study documents, but none of them are specifically parking demand studies. Those studies are posted on the Community Development Department's webpage.


In Section VI of the RFP, there was a numerical error in the amount and other information that needed clarification. Has this been corrected?

Please see Addendum 1 in the Documents Section of the Project Page, First Street Garage

Are any of the 420 parking spaces equipped with electrical charging stations, and if not, may the offeror install them?

Currently, no spaces are equipped with electrical charging stations but an offeror would be welcome to propose installing them.  Any capital improvements would be performed by the City pursuant to the public bid laws.

Can you clarify terms used in the RFP, such as "expressed needs of the neighborhood," "incompatible with the surrounding neighborhood," "community enhancement," and "green initiatives?"

These terms will be used according to their common meaning.

What are the sizes (standard, compact, HC) and locations within the garage of the 420 parking spaces?

A map of the parking levels was provided in the RFP.  The successful proposer will be provided with 420 parking access passes, but will not be assigned specific parking spaces. Please see page 3 of the RFP: “The Leasehold Interest to be disposed of includes the Parking, consisting of the 420 parking spaces, that are not in assigned locations and that can be accessed by use of an electronic access pass.

Where can I find a copy of the UDAG (HUD Office of Urban Development Action Grant) Agreement?

The UDAG Agreement can be found in the Documents section of the Project Page, First Street Garage

What retail uses are appropriate for the ground floor retail space?

Please see Addendum 3, Question 7, “Uses within the retail space” which addressed use restrictions in the Documents Section of the Project Page, First Street Garage

Who are the Members of the Evaluation Committee referred to in Section III of the RFP?

The evaluation committee consists of the Assistant City Manager for Finance, the Assistant City Manager for Community Development,  the Commissioner of Public Works, the Director of Assessment, the Director of Traffic, Parking, and Transportation, and the Purchasing Agent.

Page was posted on 7/17/2018 9:52 AM
Page was last modified on 12/4/2018 5:47 PM
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