I am forwarding a document Councillors have been asked to use to provide info for the Foundry Cost-Benefit analysis requested by the Council last month. I am loathe to answer the questions because, as I said at the Council meeting, I think we’re setting the wrong frameworks for discussing the future of this building by having it related so directly to cost/benefit. Obviously, the City can’t spend its entire budget on this property, but equally obviously (to me, at least), any cost/benefit should really just focus on the running of the building. The City got the building essentially for free, in exchange for a pretty significant rezoning of property that will impact East Cambridge more than other communities and I’d like the City to handle the renovation out of the City’s budget and then when we have a building plan that works, have it run by a non-profit for non-profits. My thought is that we really need to make sure this space is open to arts and community uses and I worry that those will become a side-show of 10,000 square feet in the much larger building. Kendall Square is increasingly a vibrant hub of all sorts in Cambridge yet it lacks ready access to youth centers, a library, community space and so forth. Having the discussion starting off with cost/benefit will, I worry, take us in the wrong direction.
Here’s the CDD note:
From: Hemmerle, Lisa [mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org]
Foundry – request for additional information
Members of the City Council:
CDD is working with the City Manager’s office to a develop scenarios related to the Foundry Building. All options would retain at least 10,000 square feet for community use. In order to accomplish this, I am asking each councilor to please send me up to five building scenarios related to the Foundry (i.e., innovation use, artist use, combination, etc.). We will then review the scenarios to provide a proposal to the council of the top 4-5 scenarios with cost analysis and possible funding mechanisms.
In proposing scenarios, please keep in mind that the HMFH reports notes that the current total “rentable” area is 53,000 square feet of the building’s total 76,000 square feet of gross area. Any usage reconfiguration of the 53,000 SF would be a cost in addition to the Option A ($7.6M) or Option B ($8.5M) which are necessary to meet code requirements for the structure. Tenant improvement costs will also be in addition to Options A or B. Sandra and I will work together to set up tours for the four facilities described in a previous email, which include: • Jamaica Plain Brewery • The Center for Arts at the Armory • Artisan’s Asylum – Somerville • Watertown Arsenal
Best regards, Lisa Lisa Hemmerle, CPA Director of Economic Development Economic Development Division Cambridge Community Development 344 Broadway, 3rd Floor Cambridge, MA 02139 Phone: 617-349-4616 Fax: 617-349-4638