Cambridge lures startup tenants with cheap rent, short leases

NYC is competing with Massachusetts city for technology firms
April 11, 2013 03:30PM

With the initiatives put forth by the Bloomberg administration, New York City has flourished into one of the country’s leading hubs for startups and technology firms. Now, Cambridge, Mass., is taking it a step further by approving Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s $1 billion development plan on the condition that the university offers 10 percent of affordable rental space to small tenants, such as new entrepreneurs and startups, the Wall Street Journal reported.

MIT is one of the largest landlords in the greater Kendall Square area, an area long popular with technology companies such as Google and Microsoft, due to its proximity to MIT and Harvard University. These companies have revitalized the area but have also driven up rents.

MIT’s new 1.2 million-square-foot project will include offices, retail space and apartments, per the Journal. The university will set aside space ranging from 200 square feet to 5,000 square feet, with leases as short as 30 days, for startups.

Cambridge officials told the Journal that similar requirements will likely be imposed on other developers who build in Kendall Square.

Closer to home, tech communities are taking root in Midtown, Lower Manhattan, Dumbo, and other areas. [WSJ]Sanna Chu