Harvard Square Construction Update

As we wrap up the first month of the new decade, please accept our sincerest best wishes for a healthy and prosperous New Year.
In looking back at 2019, we acknowledge our challenges, the MBTA Bus Tunnel repair project, the demolition of the Urban Outfitter building, the closing of Out of Town News and the street and sidewalk repair at Eliot and Bennett Streets, to mention a few. Yet, despite all that, we are happy to report the final days of last year and the first few weeks of this year have been busy and exciting.   

We had several lovely events during the holiday season including the lighting of our Giving Tree with an outdoor concert by the St. Paul’s Boys Choir, our Everyone Loves Latkes tasting and a rambunctious Santa Claus Jazz Band concert to name a few. As with all our events, they were family-friendly, free and open to the public.  

We are delighted to report that the Regency project is moving along nicely. In fact, HSBA staff toured the project this week, and if all goes as planned, Harvard Square will have a new building in late fall. It is important to note that one family trust (Dow-Stearns) owned five significant buildings along Brattle Street for well over 100 years. Three are now owned by Regency Centers and two are owned by Asana Partners and all were in dire need of repair. Given the poor conditions of the buildings and the change of ownership…renovation, demolition and restoration were inevitable.   

We are also excited to share that the restoration of the Harvard Square Kiosk will likely commence this spring. When we submitted a report on its condition to city council in January of 2012, we could not have imagined it would take eight years for the restoration of the Kiosk and the plaza to get underway. However, we understand the need for public process and applaud the efforts and input from community-wide stakeholders. Having the Kiosk restored and the plaza become ADA compliant is the ultimate goal. Cambridge has allocated over 8 million dollars for the project and anticipates completion by 2022.