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Business Owners and Residents Alike Feel Right At Home In Kendall Square

By Pamela Sosnowski

The Kendall Square neighborhood of Cambridge was once home to a vulcanized rubber plant and several factories. When these businesses closed, the area went through a period of dormancy. In recent decades, however, Kendall Square has grown into one of the most vibrant and sought-after areas of Cambridge, for employers, residents, and small businesses alike. Helping to promote it as an ideal place to live, work, and play is Rachael Gross, the owner of Lola Grace Events, which organizes large-scale events for communities and neighborhoods.

"The atmosphere at Kendall Square has an energetic and innovative buzz that really encourages the community to engage with their surroundings, one another and themselves," she states. "You can do everything from admiring art and sculpture, to supporting local farms, to cozying up to a good book at one of the neighborhood's many coffee shops."

The Kendall Square area encompasses 10 acres of space that is home to developed office space, apartment buildings, restaurants, retail shopping, landscaped open space, plus a 8,400 square-foot skating rink that stays open seven days a week. Its close proximity to MIT has made it a draw for the college's students. Dining options suit everyone's taste and budget, from Smokeshop BBQ to Cafe ArtScience, which utilizes molecular gastronomy to create unique menu items, and a modern era Jewish deli.

"Exploring the city while kayaking in the warm weather, running along the Charles River or skating beneath the growing skyline in the New England chill are all at your fingertips," adds Gross.

Businesses that have made Kendall Square their corporate headquarters include Genzyme Corporation, a pharmaceutical giant that resides in its 13-story building called the Genzyme Center. The building was environmentally designed and was rated as a Platinum LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) compliant building, which is the highest rating for green structures. On East Kendall Street you'll find Ipsen Bioscience and Baxter Healthcare in a six-story building that sits atop six levels of below ground parking.

But the square "isn't just a hub of entertainment and innovation," as Gross explains. "It is the home of many down-to-earth singles, growing families and not to mention, thousands of students!" And with the red line and public transportation nearby, the neighborhood gives easy access to commuters coming into Cambridge as well as residents headed into Boston.

Besides ice skating, canoeing, and kayaking, Kendall Square also hosts a free summer concert series in North Plaza, and performing arts lovers will appreciate Constellation Center, an entertainment venue with four halls, innovative acoustics, and stages that are suitable for music, film, dance, operas, and more. In addition to several retail shops, a farmer's market featuring the freshest local food goods operates every Thursday from June through October.

As Gross explains, the businesses that have chosen Kendall Square love to give back to the community. "Whether it's bringing in public art, sponsoring a concert series, keeping up a public rooftop garden or hosting a friendly corporate pumpkin carving competition, businesses here understand that when they're communities thrive, so does their business," she says. "With community activities programmed throughout the year you are bound to feel at home in Kendall Square."

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