New plans unveiled for Cambridge prison

June 6, 2012 by  

After putting the redevelopment of the jail in East Cambridge out for tender a second time, a group of real estate developers have reorganized themselves and have again come forward to with a fresh bid and enthusiastic plans.

The group of seven applicants, several of which were involved in the first bid for the job on the former jail, include Boston Properties, Bulfinch Thorndike Investors, the HYM Investment Group, Legall McCall Properties, The Congress Group and Trinity Financial.

The original group had eight member companies. Two dropped out, and a new player in the redevelopment group stepped forward. That company is Divco West, a smaller organization with some holdings in the Cambridge area. Print companies will take note that whenever tenders are put forward there is an opportunity to reproduce blue prints, which require larger format equipment.

The state of Massachusetts tossed out the original bid after several companies in the group did not provide the appropriate financial paperwork. The group is said to have plans to redevelop the building to be used as space for laboratories, a proposed use that is not popular with area residents and businesses. Locals are more inclined to support a mixed-use space, comprised of commercial, community and residential units, and parking is also a concern. Some would also like to see the 22-story jail demolished.

The top floors of the building still house inmates and are at present overcrowded. Plans to relocate the prisoners are in the works, but no location has been found as yet.