MIT shares its vision for massive Kendall Square project

New Developments News Cambridge
An artist's rendering of part of the 14-acre Volpe center project planned for Kendall Square in Cambridge. MIT

CAMBRIDGE — The big blank space in the heart of Kendall Square could soon be sketched in with a mini-city all its own.

Massachusetts Institute of Technology is pushing ahead with detailed plans for its massive redo of the Volpe Transportation Center, filing last week for a special permit with the city of Cambridge to build eight office and residential towers on the 14-acre site north of Broadway.

The filing provides the clearest vision yet of what MIT has planned for a site — which it is purchasing in a $750 million deal with the federal government — that today is mostly parking lots and fenced-in lawns amid some of the most valuable real estate on the East Coast. Community presentations last fall, and the permit filing itself, show towers as tall as 382 feet, along with more than 2 acres of open space, a community center, and new streets that will better integrate the huge block into its surrounding neighborhood.

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