Welcome to the ABC Newsletter for October, 2014. Going forward, if there are any community events you'd like to publicize in this email, please feel free to contact me.
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In Boston, Mayor Walsh announced a plan to build 53,000 new housing units in the city by 2030 including 20,000 units for middle-income residents. With the population expected to grow by 15% over the same period this is a very important plan to address the affordability and housing issues faced by our region.
On September 30th the Planning Board unanimously voted to grant the special permits needed to convert the Sullivan Courthouse in East Cambridge to a mixed-use office and residential development. There are still conditions to work out including a parking lease for the First Street Garage which will require City Council approval and likely lawsuits. It's notable that of the 24 housing units one-third will be low-income and one-third middle income.
Though not in Cambridge, the recent announcement of plans to build a new transit station as part of the development of the Allston rail yards and straightening of the Pike is significant given the proximity to Cambridge. The new West Station may eventually connect Allston with Kendall Square and North Station. This is an important opportunity to build a new neighborhood with significant housing and transit potential for our region.
The Planning Board unanimously approved the special permits to convert a parking lot near the Alewife Station into additional housing and commercial space. The developer must still work out parking details with the Traffic, Parking and Transportation Department. As part of the affordable unit allocation, the developer agreed to have six three-bedroom units designated affordable due to pressure from the Fresh Pond Residents Alliance. This is welcome news given the lack of this size of affordable units across the city.
The next A Better Cambridge general meeting will take place on Wednesday, November 12th at 7 PM. Location TBA.
The Boston Symphony Orchestra will host a free community concert at the Cambridge Public Library from at 3 pm on Sunday, October 19th.
The second annual Cycle to the Source bike ride takes place Sunday, October 26th. Sponsored by the Cambridge Water Department, the bike ride is a tour of the Cambridge watershed.
The Cambridge Housing Assistance Fund is holding a fundraiser, Open Doors for the Homeless, on Thursday, November 13th at the Charles Hotel Regattabar.
LINKS OF INTEREST
DID YOU KNOW?
Cambridge employs more people, but fewer Cambridge residents. Since 1970, the number of jobs in Cambridge grew by over 40,000. Meanwhile, the proportion of Cambridge residents employed in Cambridge fell steadily from 54% in 1970 down to 45% in 2010.