From a Weedy Cambridge Railyard, a Stalled Mini-City Sprouts Anew

Stalled for 5 years, the 45-acre NorthPoint mixed use development in East Cambridge re-launches with a new development team and an updated vision for its urban form.

Development is about to start again on a 45-acre abandoned rail yard near Tufts University in East Cambridge. The NorthPoint project will include 2,900 residences, 2 million square feet of laboratory and office buildings, 200,000 square feet of retail space, as well as a number of parks. The site is located near an extension of the Massachusetts Bay Transit Authority green line.

An initial phase of construction stalled out in 2007, leaving largely vacant buildings in its wake. Last year, a new development team took over and revamped the plans, including better urban design elements and pedestrian facilities. As Cambridge City Council member Ken Reeves put it, ""The development team knows the difference between building more buildings and making a great place," Reeves said. "I think we're on the precipice of welcoming a great new neighborhood here.""

The project has received City Council approval, although building design must go through further review. The development will begin early next year with a 19-story residential and retail tower.

Thanks to Rachel Proctor May

Full Story: Construction of NorthPoint mini-city in Cambridge to Resume

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