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MIT floats ideas for Volpe Center in Kendall Square

The 14-acre Volpe Center in Kendall Square will be redeveloped by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.DAVID L. RYAN/GLOBE STAFF/FILE

The Massachusetts Institute of Technology Thursday unveiled its first vision for the 14-acre Volpe Center in Kendall Square, including more than 1,000 apartments and condos, offices and stores across eight new buildings, the tallest of which could be as high as 500 feet.

University officials won development rights for the Volpe from the federal government in January for $750 million. MIT Investment Management Co. will first build a new research facility for the U.S. Department of Transportation, and then launch a series of new buildings on the remaining 10 acres.

The school envisions 1,400 housing units — one-fifth set at affordable rents — 1.7 million square feet of office and lab space, street-level retail and three acres of greenspace on the campus, which sits between Broadway and Binney Streets.


The plans are preliminary. MIT said it will work with city officials on rezoning the area over the coming months. A 500-foot building would be easily the tallest in Cambridge and was in early drafts of the zoning rules in 2015.

Tim Logan can be reached at Follow him on Twitter at @bytimlogan.