FPRA Meeting on Wed., Oct. 26, 6:30-8:30pm

There are significant changes that are coming to our neighborhood. Learn about what’s going on, and help us shape our response to some proposals that would have a concerning impact to our community, both for current residents as well as for our children and grandchildren.

Come hear updates about big developments and planning in the Fresh Pond/Alewife Area, discuss important issues with the rest of our community that affect us all such as climate change and ensuing risks, emergency preparedness/community mobility, transportation, etc., and connect with neighbors to create change.

We look forward to seeing you next Wednesday, 26 October from 6:30-8:30 PM at the Tobin School Auditorium (197 Vassal Lane).  Please help get the word out about this important community meeting.

All are welcome!  Bring your friends and neighbors!


Fresh Pond RA meeting on Sept. 21, 7:00pm

Our first fall Fresh Pond Residents Alliance Meeting is scheduled for Wednesday, Sept. 21st, 7-9 PM, in the Tobin School Auditorium197 Vassal Lane.

Come hear updates about big developments and planning in the Fresh Pond/Alewife Area, discuss related issues with the rest of our community:

The developers of 211 Concord Turnpike (Gateway Inn/Lanes & Games site) will give a brief presentation with a Q&A and discussion.

We will review developments in the Fresh Pond/Alewife Area – recently constructed and in various stages of proposal and permitting.

There will be updates on progress on transportation and climate change resiliency in our area and the Envision Alewife group (part of the city’s master planning process).

We look forward to seeing you! All are welcome!

Join us for FPRA Meeting on June 7th at 6:30

The developer of 605 Concord Avenue (the former Bank of America building) has asked for a meeting with the community and members of the FPRA in order to gather feedback on their latest plans for the project. Phil Terzis of Acorn (the developer) has reserved the auditorium at the Tobin School on Tuesday, June 7th at 6:30 pm. The main agenda item is a review of Acorn’s latest design, with a question & answer session to follow the presentation.

At the same meeting, Mike Stanley will also give a short presentation on his Transit X project. This is an innovative attempt to solve a number of major transportation problems currently faced by the Fresh Pond-Alewife region and other, similarly dense urban areas. The effort proposes the development and construction of an automated transit network with high-capacity and low visual impact using personal pods running on an elevated track. More information on the concept is available at https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/transitx-carbon-free-mass-transit#/ and at http://www.transitx.com/.

If time allows, we would also like to use this opportunity to update the community on the current status of a number of other pending efforts, including:

o   HURON A: http://www.cambridgema.gov/theworks/cityprojects/detail.aspx?path=%2fsitecore%2fcontent%2fhome%2ftheworks%2fcityprojects%2f2010%2falewifesewerseparationproject

o   HURON B: http://www.cambridgema.gov/theworks/cityprojects/detail.aspx?path=%2fsitecore%2fcontent%2fhome%2ftheworks%2fcityprojects%2f2012%2falewifesewerseparationprojecthuronb

o   CONCORD AVENUE: http://www.cambridgema.gov/theworks/cityprojects/detail.aspx?path=%2fsitecore%2fcontent%2fhome%2ftheworks%2fcityprojects%2f2013%2falewifesewerseparationconcordavenueneighborhood

o   NEW STREET: http://www.cambridgema.gov/theworks/cityprojects/detail.aspx?path=%2fsitecore%2fcontent%2fhome%2ftheworks%2fcityprojects%2f2014%2fnewstreetstreetscapeimprovements

Finally (also if time allows), we may also take the opportunity to consider what might come next for our area:

Note that this will be our final meeting prior to the Summer break. We look forward to a lively and constructive discussion. Thank you for your continuing support of our efforts.

Message to the FPRA from Doug Brown, VP.

Minutes of FPRA Summer Meeting

Nearing completion on Cambridgepark Dr: The Fuse apartments (244 units)

Nearing completion on Cambridgepark Dr: The Fuse apartments (244 units)

Minutes of our last meeting are attached here: FPRA Meeting minutes 7-22-15

Our next public meeting will be on Thursday, October 1st at 7 pm at the Tobin School (197 Vassal Lane).
The agenda includes (so far):
1. Presentation by CDD staff on a draft urban agriculture ordinance (they are seeking residents’ input)
2. Discussion of a petition on accessory use housing (details to come when petition is filed on 9/21).
3. Continuation of the discussion of the Tokyo project (conversion to auto repair) prior to BZA hearing on 10/22
We expect to hear soon when the Alewife master plan study will officially begin and how community input will be solicited.

Fresh Pond Residents Alliance to Meet 7/22

The future of the former Tokyo restaurant remains uncertain

The future of the former Tokyo restaurant remains uncertain

The Fresh Pond Residents Alliance (FPRA) will hold a public meeting on Wednesday, July 22nd at 6:30 pm at the Tobin School (197 Vassal Lane, Cambridge). The minutes of the FPRA’s June 16th meeting are attached here.

The July 22nd agenda will include a discussion of the city’s master plan process and a preview of the proposals by the 3 design firms competing for the contract, and a continuation of our discussion of the proposal to convert the former Tokyo restaurant into an auto repair garage, which will come before the Board of Zoning Appeals on August 13th. In addition Pardis Saffari of the city’s Economic Development Department will brief us on an upcoming retail customer intercept survey in the Fresh Pond/Alewife area. Other topics on the agenda will include Harvard’s plan to reduce the outdoor open space on Holyoke Plaza.

Minutes of 4/14 FPRA Meeting

IMG_8868Here are minutes of the FPRA’s April 14th public meeting held at the Tobin School.

Jan Devereux, FPRA President, gave some area development updates:

  • Tokyo Restaurant (on Fresh Pond Parkway near Tobin School) – the City was contacted by FPRA about the lack of maintenance of the site (snow not being removed from sidewalks this winter, graffiti on the wall, and the “temporary” metal fence falling over onto the sidewalk). The generally derelict condition of the building is also of concern. It is uncertain if the new owner intends to develop the site. Post-meeting update: Staff at the adjoining auto repair business unofficially reported that their boss Eli, who acquired the Tokyo property last fall, said recently that he is thinking of extending the auto repair bay over the Tokyo property. We believe this would require a special permit because it is in the Parkway Overlay District. There is now a policy order on the 4/27 Council agenda, asking the manger to report on the possibility of acquiring the site for affordable housing. Stay tuned.

Continue reading

FPRA Meeting on April 14 at 7 pm

Construction continues on the 244-unit at 165 CambridgePark Dr.

Construction continues on the 244-unit building at 165 CambridgePark Dr.

The Fresh Pond Residents Alliance will hold a public meeting on Tuesday, April 14 at 7:00 pm at the Tobin School (197 Vassal Lane, Cambridge). We will share updates on various development and planning projects in our area. All welcome.

FPRA Public Meeting, Wed. Oct. 29, 7 pm

Will this site be redeveloped as 100% affordable housing? How many units?

Will this site be redeveloped as 100% affordable housing? How many units?

The Fresh Pond Residents Alliance will hold a public meeting on Wednesday, October 29 at 7 pm at the Tobin School (197 Vassal Lane).

Staff from the city’s Community Development Department will talk about car-sharing in Cambridge, improvements to bike and pedestrian facilities, and sustainable transportation initiatives. The discussion also will cover recent initiatives by the City Council on affordable housing; the future of the former Tokyo restaurant and Masse’s corner properties; updates on the New Street and Fern Street street-scape redesigns; the status of the Silver Maple Forest action; and what can be done to ensure the safety of pedestrians in the Fresh Pond mall parking lot. SunBug Solar will be on hand with materials about solar installation.

Many of these topics are actively discussed on the FPRA’s listserv. To join, please email freshpondresidents@gmail.com. The FPRA also has a Facebook page and a Twitter profile (@FreshPondRA)

Fall Kickoff Meeting on 9/10

Nearing completion. Phase II on the way.

Nearing completion. Phase II on the way.

It’s back-to-school/work/life and the Fresh Pond Residents Alliance (FPRA) is gearing up for the fall political season. Please join us for a neighborhood meeting on Wed., Sept. 10 at 7 pm at the Tobin School.

We need everyone’s help to protect & improve our neighborhood’s quality of life for current and future residents. Among the big challenges we all must confront are: Continue reading

Meeting May 13th, 7 PM: Join Us!

180R Cambridge Park Dr. rendering

130 Cambridge Park Dr. rendering

Progress! With the City Council’s unanimous approval of the Carlone-Maher policy order earlier this week, Cambridge is one step closer to developing a new master plan. So what’s next?

The Fresh Pond Residents Alliance will hold a public meeting on Tuesday, May 13, at 7:00 PM at the Tobin School (197 Vassal Lane). All welcome!

City Councilors will be present to update us on the master plan initiative. (Dennis Carlone, Nadeem Mazen and Marc McGovern are confirmed; others may attend as well.) We will discuss how to make the most of the series of community meetings that will take place with an independent consultant over the next two months. We will talk about next steps, goals and strategies. We invite you to share your greatest hopes and concerns for Cambridge as a whole as well as for our area. This is the moment for neighbors and neighborhoods to come together and talk about the big picture — we must capitalize on this opportunity to weigh in on the future of our city.

BUT while we wait for a plan — what’s on the development horizon?

We also will provide updates on the proposed 93-unit development at 75 New Street, which comes before the Planning Board on May 20, on the status of the Tokyo project, and on the proposed 388-unit development at 180R Cambridge Park Drive, which was approved by the Cambridge Conservation Commission and will come before the Planning Board on June 17.

180 Cambridge Park Drive is on the right

180 Cambridge Park Drive is on the left

Another view of 180R Cambridge Park Drive

Another view of 130 Cambridge Park Drive