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BOSTON-Spaulding & Slye Colliers has selected three architects from its international design competition for the North Point project, a proposed mixed-use project on a 45-acre parcel which spans three cities and proposes to create a mixed-use, transit-oriented neighborhood in a currently industrial area straddling Boston, Cambridge and Somerville. The developers are anticipating that the project will revitalize the largely abandoned, underutilized land by creating a commercial center.

The site is located across from the Museum of Science and CambridgeSide Galleria, and is adjacent to the Lechmere MBTA Station. Spaulding & Slye Colliers, which is acting as development manager, will develop the proposed project as part of North Point Cambridge Land Co., along with Gilford Transportation.

The three teams chosen were Behnisch, Behnisch & Partner Inc. of Stuttgart, Germany and Venice, CA, in partnership with Next Phase Studios of Boston, architects Alliance of Toronto, and Steven Ehrlich Architects of Culver City, CA., in partnership with Symmes Maini & McKee Associates of Cambridge, MA.

Each of the three winning teams has been awarded the design assignment of one of 19 parcels proposed for North Point based on the conceptual design. Approximately 100 national and international architectural firms submitted statements of qualifications in June. Eight finalists were invited to present their design work on the three competition parcels that included commercial, residential, and mixed-uses in September. Construction is scheduled to start in late 2004.

The overall North Point plan is a mixed-use project that includes more than 2,000 units of housing as well as 2.1 million sf of commercial space and a retail component. At complete build out, the project will include 20 new buildings, a new MBTA station, and about one mile of new roadway and utility infrastructure. The master plan includes a transit-oriented residential neighborhood consisting of office, research and development, and retail space, a hotel, parking and more than 10 acres of green space. Multimodal public transportation improvements and connections, including a new MBTA Lechmere Green Line Station, as well as improved pedestrian access to the MBTA Community College Orange Line Station, are key components.

The Boston Redevelopment Authority recently approved its portion of North Point. The project has already received the green light from the City of Cambridge and awaits a final okay from the City of Somerville. Of the total site, approximately 85% of it is in Cambridge, about 12% in Somerville, and 3% in Boston.

The project is anticipated to be built in phases over a period of 15 years, beginning in the east portion of the site at the Gilmore Bridge.

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