Cambridge Planning Board approves Kendall Square changes

The Cambridge Planning Board unanimously approved MIT's plans to make several major changes to Kendall Square. 

The changes will increase the amount of retail space and the amount of housing in the square and convert several parking lots into open space. 

“Over two decades — thanks to the energy, creativity, and aspirations of thousands of researchers, inventors, entrepreneurs, and companies of every size — Kendall Square has gradually evolved from a semi-industrial landscape to the one of the most remarkable hubs of innovation in the world,” MIT President L. Rafael Reif said in a statement. 

The project will move the MIT Museum and the admissions office to Kendall Square. 

The square will also see a net increase of 250 graduate housing units; Eastgate is set to be destroyed after the new, larger, dormitory is completed. 

The newly built up area is expected to enjoy a more vibrant street life, a release on MIT News said. 

The new buildings will chiefly feature glass facades and will provide a backdrop to several of the existing buildings along the southern side of Main Street. One new building, which will provide both market rate and affordable housing, will be located across the street, near the intersection of Main Street and Broadway. 

MIT plans to hire a director of open space programming who will work to promote activity in the open space that will replace the existing parking lots off Hayward Street.