CAMBRIDGE, Mass. – Congressman Michael E. Capuano, Massachusetts Secretary of Economic Development Ranch C. Kimball, Cambridge Mayor Kenneth E. Reeves, and Somerville Mayor Joseph A. Curtatone joined hosts Jones Lang LaSalle, the MBTA, and Pan Am Systems, Inc. at this month’s groundbreaking ceremony for the next phase of development at NorthPoint.
The event celebrated the start of a new MBTA Multi-Modal Transit Station featuring the new Lechmere Green Line Station and Busway at NorthPoint. NorthPoint is a 5.2 million square foot urban community on a 45-acre parcel in Cambridge, Boston and Somerville.
The MBTA has engaged the NorthPoint project team in a rare public-private partnership to design, build, finance and operate a transit station.
Approximately 200 people were in attendance including leading state and cities officials, leaders of the business community, neighbors, and the project team. Jones Lang LaSalle Senior Vice President and National Director Thomas J. Hamill with MBTA General Manager Daniel A. Grabauskas served as masters of ceremonies for the late morning event. A reception followed at the Museum of Science in Cambridge. Jones Lang LaSalle is the Development Manager, Leasing Agent, Property Manager, and Construction Manager for this, the largest mixed-use transit-oriented development in the Northeast, representing Pan Am Systems, Inc.
In his remarks delivered at the ceremony held on the NorthPoint site, Congressman Mike Capuano said: "Today we begin another phase of the NorthPoint project, which will improve transit service for riders in the area. It also represents the future of the Green Line, one that includes the long awaited extension of service into Somerville, which has been a transit priority of mine for some time." Capuano’s eighth district includes the cities that NorthPoint connects.
“Governor Romney and I have maintained an excellent relationship with city leaders on the NorthPoint project and other economic initiatives. The NorthPoint project will help the continued revitalization of East Cambridge, and has already attracted millions in private investment,” stated Secretary Kimball.
This NorthPoint Station Phase is a key component of the project’s Master Plan. It is focused on connecting communities and will allow the MBTA to extend beyond Cambridge to Somerville and Medford. The extension of First Street to NorthPoint will connect East Cambridge with the NorthPoint neighborhood. McGrath O’Brien Highway will be reconstructed, widened to create new open public spaces. The Station with Busway will have a fresh, contemporary look featuring a complimentary in-context steel and glass façade that is transparent and open. This next phase of NorthPoint will also create an inviting gateway and focal point for the project’s live, work, and play environment.
The first two residential buildings of 99 and 230 units, and half of the 10 acres of park that are part of NorthPoint’s first phase of development, deliver starting in early 2007. Units are configured as two-story lofts and flats with open floor plans and 14’ floor-to-ceiling windows. Upper floor units feature views of the central park called NorthPoint Common, and corner penthouse units have views toward the Zakim Bridge and Boston. Units are available for sale starting in the mid-$300,000’s.
“NorthPoint goes beyond a real estate project,” said Jones Lang LaSalle’s Hamill. “It is a place, a new neighborhood within the East Cambridge fabric. A neighborhood that is diverse, vibrant, and sustainable. This combination makes this a city planner’s dream turned reality.”
“The MBTA is pleased to have found a partner in the NorthPoint team where quality residential centers are created around public transit,” said MBTA General Manager Daniel A. Grabauskas. “This unique development is the catalyst to revitalize an area with public transportation a primary component.”
Other members of the Jones Lang LaSalle NorthPoint project team include: Principals Debra J. Gould, Dermot Roe, Peter A. DeLuca, and Timothy B. Fraser, Senior Vice President Daniel Cordeau, Vice President and Project Director Lisa S.Serafin, Vice President and Project Manager Mark Garber. The marketing of the 2.2 million square feet of commercial space at NorthPoint is headed by Gould and Cordeau. The residential sales agent is The Collaborative Companies.
The NorthPoint site is located across from the Museum of Science and the CambridgeSide Galleria on McGrath O’Brien Highway, and is adjacent to the Lechmere MBTA Station. The Master Plan includes the commercial space spanning 19 city blocks, retail that supports a 24/7 city life style, a residential neighborhood, a new commuter rail station, hotel, multi-use trails that run from the Charles River to Bedford, MA, and parking. Multimodal public transportation improvements include the reconstruction of the O’Brien Highway, as well as improved pedestrian access to the MBTA Community College Orange Line Station.