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Dec. 15 update on status of One Broadway

Press Inquiries

Press Contact:

Patti Richards
Phone: 617-253-2700
MIT News Office

Please note: To access communications after Jan. 11, 2007, as well as full archives, please refer to the MITIMCO web site for One Broadway.

On Dec. 15, 2006, Steven C. Marsh, managing director of real estate for the MIT Investment Management Company (MITIMCO), and Michael K. Owu, director of real estate for MITIMCO, sent the memorandum below to the tenants and employees in One Broadway, updating them on the status of the building.

It has been one week since the tragic events at One Broadway. As you know NStar employee and Roxbury native Kevin Fidalgo was killed in the explosion. He was laid to rest earlier this week and our hearts go out to his family and friends.

We understand this has been a trying time for all of you. We want you to know the safety of our tenants and the continuity of their business operations are of paramount concern to us. We are working round the clock with city, state and federal officials and will update you regularly as developments occur.

The Cambridge Fire Department and Office of the State Fire Marshal have completed their investigation into the transformer explosion and concluded that it was a tragic accident. We want to take this opportunity to update you on all our efforts to re-occupy One Broadway and allow you to resume your normal business operations.

Occupancy update

Our primary goal is to ensure your safety and get One Broadway operating again as soon as possible. We have engaged a team of professional engineers and consultants to aid us in this effort and to ensure the fastest possible occupancy. We are moving on two parallel tracks.

  • First, we are working on a long term solution to restore the building's electrical systems. As you know the damage to this system was extensive. A transformer exploded and the switch gear was damaged. Fixing this will take time but working with safety officials, NStar, and our engineers, we are confident we will develop a safe and permanent solution.
  • Second, we are moving forward on a temporary occupancy solution. Working with our mechanical and life safety engineers, we are developing a plan which will allow the building to be opened and safely occupied. We are working with the Cambridge Fire Department, the city's Inspectional Services Department, and the Office of the State Fire Marshal, to finalize our approach and to ultimately gain approval of this plan. We will keep you abreast of any developments as these discussions proceed.

Because of the extent of the damage caused by the explosion and the work needed to restore service to the building, we are not able to establish a definite date for re-occupancy at this time. However as of today it is clear that the building will not be opened for occupancy during the week of December 18, 2006.

Daily access to One Broadway to start Monday, December 18, 2006

As a way to ease some of the inconvenience many of you are experiencing, we have received permission from the Cambridge Fire Department to allow limited daily access to One Broadway. All tenants should be assured environmental officials have confirmed the building is safe to enter and know that they will be accompanied at all times.

The schedule will be as follows:

10 am - 11:00 am: Floors 1 - 10
11:15 am - 12:15 pm: Floors 11-16

Meredith & Grew has developed a protocol for daily access. John F. Sullivan, Senior Vice President at Meredith & Grew (617.864.2102 or will be sending out further information to tenant representatives.

In addition, here are some guidelines the CFD has requested tenants observe during these visits:

  • Tenants will not enter the stairwells except in emergency and will be accompanied by security or building personnel
  • Tenants will not hinder the efforts of any recovery personnel in their efforts
  • No access to the basement

While this access does not mean the Cambridge Fire Department has cleared the building for occupancy, we hope it will allow you to perform basic tasks necessary to your business operations and will work with you individually to ensure you are able to complete these tasks within the time available.

Status of Environmental Assessment

We know that many of you have questions about the environmental status of the building and possible exposure to smoke from the fire. Immediately after the incident last Friday, we hired Environmental Health & Engineering (EH&E) to assist in our evaluation. We have attached a memo (PDF) detailing their initial findings and hope this will answer any questions you may have. We are continuing to test and will keep your informed of results as they become available.

Clean-up efforts

We are working diligently along with NStar to clean the building and prepare it for occupancy. Here is an update on these efforts:

  • Cleaning of the stairwells and elevator lobbies will begin today
  • All three transformers have been removed from the premises and being examined by professionals
  • NStar hired an environmental services company Clean Harbors, which is continuing to clean the basement areas

We deeply regret the inconvenience you have suffered and will continue to work hand in hand with the Cambridge Fire Department to ensure the safety of our tenants and to expedite re-occupancy of the building. We will be communicating with you on a daily basis through our management company, Meredith & Grew, and will update you on all efforts to get One Broadway up and running again. Again, safety is our paramount concern. In addition, we will be posting regular updates on the MIT news office website so that you can have access to the most recent information at all times. We hope and expect you will share this information with your employees.

We deeply appreciate your patience during this difficult time.

Attachments (PDFs):

Press release from the Executive Office of Public Safety, Commonwealth of Massachusetts, announcing the conclusion of the investigation into the fire at One Broadway, confirming the explosion was a "tragic accident."

Memorandum from Environmental Health and Engineering, Inc., of Newton, on the progress of the environmental quality evaluation currently underway at One Broadway.

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