Reporting Paula Ebben
CAMBRIDGE (CBS) — It’s one of the most infamous eyesores around, and a lot of WBZ viewers are asking us to find out what’s going on with the old “Faces” disco on Route 2 in Cambridge.
Dan from Burlington Declared his Curiosity saying: “I drive by it all the time and it’s a wasteland.” And Karen from Arlington adds: “It seems like it could be developed into something useful.”
Well, as we learned, the eyesore may finally become a thing of the past.
Thousands of commuters pass by the rusted, boarded up mess on Route 2 just before the Alewife Station every day.
WBZ-TV’s Paula Ebben reports.
BEEN A LONG TIME
It’s been 20 years since the disco ball stopped spinning at Faces, and the old nightclub has been deteriorating ever since.
The last time there was hope of getting rid of the mess was about two years ago, but the economy tanked and so did the development plans. But now, a sale is in the works and for the first time in a long time, it looks like a deal could work.
“What they’re going to develop is a four- to five-story, 227-unit rental apartment building,” says Rich McKinnon, a Cambridge developer. McKinnon is working with the primary developers, Criterion Partners from Bedford. It’s a $60 million proposal.
“It’s going to allow the city of Cambridge to present a good face to people coming here from the west,” says McKinnon. “You don’t want to say welcome to Cambridge and have a burned out disco,” he adds.
The city has been disappointed before, but the head of Community Development says this time it’s different.
“We’re very optimistic. It’s a great site. It’s on the edge of a lovely urban wildlife area. It’s near the T. It’s a great opportunity for housing,” says Susan Glazer of Cambridge Community Development.
Getting rid of the eyesore may also help spur the development of the Cambridge Discovery Park next door, where there are plans to add three office buildings to the two already constructed.
The old Faces disco could come down as early as next spring.
“The City Manager wants to sit on the bulldozer and do the demolition himself,” says McKinnon.
Some people are concerned about the Alewife Reservation, which is next to the site. They want to make sure the conservation area is protected. You can expect that to be a part of the permitting process.
If approved, the project will take about two years to complete.