Construction of an apartment house complex next to the site of the Kennedy Library is expected to begin sometime this summer.
Daniel J. Rufo, president of Rufo Associates, which will build the apartments, said yesterday that construction will start "as soon as Baird Atomic vacates," probably by June or July. The site for the apartments lies just northwest of the MBTA car barns, where the Kennedy Library is to be built.
In a battle stretching from last spring to this fall, the Rufo firm unsuccessfully sought an amendment to the City's zoning code to allow it to build an apartment house-office building complex on the Baird site over twice as large as zoning permitted for the site.
The office building portion of the complex now appears to have been dropped, and the development will not be as massive as had been planned. Rufo Associates will build "just apartments" on the site, Rufo said. "We'll conform to the existing zoning regulations," he said.
Rufo refused to reveal the design, the method of financing, or other details of the project, saying that they would be disclosed when arrangements for them are completed, probably within a month.
During the Council hearings on the amendment his firm requested, Rufo said that--if the amendment were refused--he planned to construct a single tower of over 20 stories on the site.
Baird Atomic is vacating the site to move to a new plant in Bedford. The Bedford plant is over half finished, Baird Vice-President David Low said yesterday, commenting that the firm planned to move by mid-July as specified in its agreement with Rufo.
Title to the Baird land will be transferred when the firm vacates the property. The firm's asking price--$30 a square foot--is one of the highest ever for any property in the Harvard Square area.