About Cambridge Crossing
Formerly known as North Point, it features as one of the largest development projects at the core of the Greater Boston. DivcoWest is a California based developer that specializes in tech and life science campuses. It is pitching the project to provide residents with an alternative to Kendall Square that is located a few blocks away. Over time, Kendal rent rates have increased in a bid to fit in the big-name tech and life science campuses. Cambridge Crossing provides affordable units but offers access to a similar workforce as Kendall Square now that the new MBTA Lechmere Green Line stop was constructed near the property.
It features a 45-acre, 4.5 million square foot mixed-use development located at the heart of the Greater Boston at the intersection of Somerville, Boston, and Cambridge, a few steps from Kendall Square- the life science technology center. On completion, the property will feature 2.1 million square feet of office space that is equipped with advanced science and technology, 2.4 million square feet of residential areas, housing up to 2,400 residential units.
Cambridge Crossing also sets apart 100,000 square feet for retail, which presents an ideal space for a campus and putting up a headquarters. DivcoWest also aims at opening up the streets and connecting the complex more closely to residential sections of East Cambridge located nearby. What's more, the developer will also work on low-slung buildings that have restaurants around the open-air-plaza to provide an amenity for tenants in the next door office building.
The company's certification with the LEED Platinum shows its continued focus on sustainability. As such, the development will set apart 11 acres of green space, footpaths, and protected bike lanes. The property is also close to Logan Airport and Interstates 95, 93, and 90. On completion, the first buildings will be constructed on a 430,000 square-foot science and technology complex, featuring a 15,000 square-foot ground floor for retail use. The structures will be ready for occupancy during the second quarter of 2019.
Acquisition of the Property
DivcoWest, the developer, had acquired the property in 2015 at $291 million, a move that was expected to kick-start the long-delayed development of a hotly contested real estate market. The company had purchased the property from Canyon Partners Real Estate LLC, the corporation that had acquired the land in 2010. The purchase price included seventeen undeveloped parcels of land across Charles River.
The area is also described as Cambridge's last frontier as it is one of the largest remaining property development in Cambridge and the Greater Boston. At the time, Divo West planned to put up residential, retail, commercial offices, and life sciences on the property's 4.5 million square feet. 2.4 million square feet of the property was allocated for residential space, leaving the rest for commercial use.
Even after acquiring the property in 2015, DivcoWest only broke ground in May for its first building and officially in October 2017 in a ceremony that saw Cambridge Mayor Denise Simmons and the city manager DePasquale Luo among other commonwealth elected officials of Massachusetts attended.
The celebration marked the beginning of construction of 250 North Street in a long-awaited re-launch of their 45-acre development site renamed Cambridge Crossing. The 430,000 square-foot technology and life sciences building marks the first commercial office building to be constructed in North Point. DivcoWest had invited more than 300 guests to the celebration where it showcased its plans to develop Cambridge while launching the new brand. The company had invited Nuvu, a full-time innovation school to the groundbreaking ceremony to represent the future of Cambridge Crossing.
Delayed Development of the Property
Previously, North Point project had broken ground in March 2005 under the management of different developers, but not much development had occurred. The commonwealth had set up an attractive 8.5-acre park stretching from MBTA's Line bridge to Zakim Bridge, and two condo buildings kicked off and were completed, leaving North Point undeveloped.
North Point had an award-winning master plan drawn up by CBT Architects. It involved an experienced team of developers who would transform the former railroads in Boston, Cambridge, and Somerville into 2.2 million square feet of commercial space, a ten-acre park and put up 2,700 residential units, but the project came to a halt in the advent of lawsuits. In March 2007, Maine and Boston (Pan Am's subsidiary) sued Cambridge North Point LLC (the leading developer) for failing to commence development.
Cambridge, on the other hand, sued Maine and Boston in Delaware (where the corporations were formed) for previous development costs. The deadlock between the firms- Cambridge North Point and Boston & Maine- spawned the sale of the site in July after agreeing to sell it the entire land instead of dividing it into small parcels. Texas-based investment group Archon was ready to buy the property in November 2007 at $ 175 million, but it later rejected the deal when credit markets began to tighten up.
The project was also dogged in another lawsuit by Moot v. Department of Environmental Protection, which dated back in 2004 that involved thirteen acres of filled tidelands on the property. An appeal of the 2007 legislation was held at the Supreme Judicial Court in November to allow property constructed on filled or landlocked tidelands to be exempt from the state's licensing process for all waterfront properties.
It is a privately-owned real estate company that was founded in 1993 with offices in Boston and San Francisco. So far the company has purchased over 40.2 million square feet of commercial land throughout the U.S and is managing more than $2.5 billion in equity with its affiliates. DivcoWest operates commercial and residential properties while providing a comprehensive range of real estate services; leasing and accounting, as well as property construction and management. The company has 110 employees across its corporate offices in Boston, San Francisco and now Los Angeles.
Its acquisition of Cambridge Crossing now dubbed CX aligns to the company's goal of creating world-class developments that connect future generations of innovators while developing retail and open spaces to make the area a thriving urban neighborhood and attract commercial office tenants. DivcoWest decided to launch the project using a new name-Cambridge Crossing- to signify a game-changing moment for the Greater Boston Region.