Last Tuesday, the City of Cambridge send a letter to the Cambridge Waterfront Development, Inc (CDWI) expressing concerns about the direction of the non-profit development group after reviewing their most current report.
The City of Cambridge has recently raised concerns about the CDWI’s Cambridge Harbor’s ambitious plans. In a letter sent to CDWI on October 24, the city expressed its apprehensions about the governance of the CDWI board and the specifics of the plan.
In a Spy/ WHCP Community Radio interview, Cambridge town manager Tom Carroll, outlines those concerns, which revolve around four key points:
First, the city believes that involving a private developer with experience in handling projects of this magnitude and complexity is essential. While the development team may have the desire to undertake the project independently, the city emphasizes the need for external expertise with a proven track record. Developing a project of this scale is multifaceted and prone to costly mistakes, even for skilled developers.
Secondly, the city contends that the proposal presented in the development team’s mid-year report does not generate sufficient economic value. It falls short of meeting the community’s needs for a substantial change in its tax base. Implementing the presented plan would demand an unacceptably large public sector subsidy, which the city and county cannot afford.
The third point of concern is related to the Tax Increment Finance District, a public sector mechanism aimed at making growth financially self-sustaining. The city deems it unacceptably large and ineffective in achieving the necessary public funding for a plan that lacks economic viability.
Lastly, the city calls for increased transparency, information, and accountability in the governance of the CDWI board. As the entity responsible for setting up the organization, the city believes they should have full insight into CDWI’s actions, which they feel has been lacking.
This video is approximately four minutes in length.