Good job, Cambridge, for seizing "Vail Court," a vacant property in a prime Central Sq. location (3-min walk from T). In the eminent domain proceeding, the City said it would redevelop the property for affordable housing.
Now, the City's about to demolish the building, with work expected to be finished before Halloween, according to city councilor Craig Kelley's newsletter. (That's over two years after the council approved the taking, in September 2016).
Two problems, though:
- The former property owners are suing Cambridge for taking the property, so Craig "thinks." This means the City is incurring risk as it moves toward ultimately developing the property.
- Probably relatedly, Craig's email implies that there are no immediate plans for proceeding further. (The City's Vail Court micro-site doesn't say anything about likely next steps after demolition.) Sadly, it looks like it's going to be a while before people start moving into affordable homes at this site.
What to do:
The next public meeting to discuss this site will be well-worth attending. Let's make a point of going together, and pressing for movement on this project. And for height, as many units as possible, and even for some ground floor retail. It's right off of that Prospect St thoroughfare North of Mass Ave. Seems like a perfect place to introduce some dynamic street life.