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|Craig Kelley for Cambridge City Council in 2015|
|Because Neighborhoods Count|
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. . . the face of Cambridge is changing from low-level retail, industrial and institutional uses to condos, condos and more condos . . .
Put the brakes on runaway condo development
When the Muscular Therapy Institute on Rindge Ave moves to Watertown in a few days, it will leave behind a building destined to become a condo conversion. A few blocks away, Boyle's Liquor will be replaced by 41 condos, close to where 40 condo-style units are already under construction in Trolley Square. Also on Rindge Ave, an eight unit townhouse complex is going up where Joyce Chen's restaurant used to be, close to a 90-plus unit apartment complex that replaces Professional Ambulance and not far from where a former VFW post is being turned into nine condos.
And all that's just in North Cambridge.
From Porter Square to Cambridgeport to East Cambridge and beyond, the face of Cambridge is changing from low-level retail, industrial and institutional uses to condos, condos and more condos.
While individual changes aren't significant- there's always another liquor store nearby, just not quite as nearby as before- the overall impact on our City is huge. The loss of each school, store and church punches a hole in our City that will be hard to replace. Businesses won't feed each other as many customers. Some of the things we used to be able to walk to will require a drive. With fewer amenities, and much tighter on-street parking, neighborhoods will become less attractive and the new condos, which are rarely designed for long-term family living, will turnover quickly as young professionals cash out and move to towns with less problematic schools.
Sadly, as we lose these varied uses to permanent condo complexes, we also lose the opportunity to shape our neighborhoods into the diverse, multi-use areas that many of us think is synonymous with Cambridge. We need to put the brakes on runaway condo development before we lose too much of what makes our Cambridge neighborhoods work.
Letter to the editor