Development Plan & Project Benefits

The Project presents an exciting redevelopment opportunity to modernize and expand upon the existing GCP (formerly W.R. Grace) site, which consists of seven multi-story and single-story structures of various ages and uses (office, lab, hazardous chemical storage, storage, warehouse/shipping and campus-wide mechanical systems) by providing a world-class hub for research and innovation, restoring public access to the surrounding natural areas, as well as creating meaningful connections among adjacent communities.

The goal for the Project is to create a vibrant, resilient, highly connected, and inclusive community in this North Cambridge neighborhood. Two of the existing buildings, One Alewife and Building 29, will remain and will be improved as part of the Project’s proposed Buildings 1 and 2.

Project Benefits

On-Site Urban Design/Public Realm

  • Provide various public areas with programming to provide activation and community benefit to the Project Site, including a new landscaped promenade through the Project Site.

Off-site Urban Design/Public Realm 

  • Restore the MBTA Alewife Station headhouse plaza, subject to MBTA approval.
  • Improve public access around Jerry’s Pond, with raised wood boardwalk style pedestrian paths viewing stations, outdoor eating tables and seating at appropriate locations, and a new Communal Garden and Ecocenter in partnership with Green Cambridge and Mass Audubon.
  • Improve the Route 16 sidewalk by repairing and adding new lighting to path for enhanced safety.  


  • Incorporating planting of more than 688 new trees on-site.


  • Providing new, improved public pedestrian and bicycle connections to the MBTA Red Line Alewife Station, and nearby community spaces, as well as providing vehicular access/connections that mitigate cut-through traffic through both the Project Site and adjacent neighborhood.


  • Targeting LEED Gold certification by reducing urban heat island effect through high albedo roofs, green roofs, and light color paving.

Energy Efficiency

  • Incorporating high performance building design measures that target a 15% energy use reduction below code, generating on-site renewable energy through installation of PV panels on top of the enclosed penthouses of the new construction lab buildings and providing a solar array canopy at the east surface parking lot, and providing electric vehicle parking and charging stations.

Stormwater Management/Water Quality

  • Improving stormwater infiltration and retention with rain gardens and permeable paving, as well as green roof areas.

Water Resources

  • Providing efficient water fixtures selections that reduce the indoor water use and storm-water harvesting system that reduces the outdoor water use.

Economic Benefits

  • Generate a significant increase in the amount of annual real estate tax revenue for the City and significant State sales and business tax revenue to the Commonwealth.


  • Creating approximately 1,538 permanent jobs and 1,200 construction jobs in a variety of trades.

Voluntary Commitments

  • Creation of a $500,000 scholarship fund and other career building contributions, including a $500,000 contribution to Just a Start – Biomedical Career Program.
  • Maintenance of communal garden in partnership with Green Cambridge at a cost of $40,000 per year.
  • Support for public environmental education programs in partnership with Mass Audubon at a cost of $40,000 per year