800-Car Garage-Store Complex Is Proposed for Harvard Square

The Cambridge Community Development Department submitted a proposal to the City Council this week for a public parking facility to be built near Harvard Square.

Daniel J. McSweeney '59, director of the department, said yesterday that the mainly underground facility, to be built on Nutting Road, would offer about 800 parking spaces in an attempt to alleviate congestion in the Square area.

Oliver Brooks, director of the Harvard Square Development Task Force, said yesterday that the garage is "essentially a joint proposal of the task force and the Community Development Department, in an effort toward the comprehensive development of the Square."

Complex Issues

Mayor Walter J. Sullivan said yesterday that although the proposal involves a number of complex legal issues it appears to be a possible solution to the congestion problem.

The City Council has taken no action on the proposal, but has turned it over to the Committee on Transportation. Sullivan said he expects the committee to hold open hearings on the proposal soon. Francis H. Duehay '55, chairman of the committee, was unavailable for comment yesterday.

Donald C. Moulton, assistant view president for community affairs, said yesterday that while the proposal is a step toward the solution of the problem, the 300 parking places to be made available to the public would only replace the spaces that would be lost from the MBTA yard.

An additional 300 of the spaces would be owned by private buildings above the parking facilities, McSweeney said. Another 200 would have shared public-private ownership, he added.

Garage Foundation

The garage, which would cost about $7 million, would cost the city about $2.6 million less than an equivalent free-standing garage, McSweeney said. The buildings above would have the garage as their foundation, and the owners would pay the city the amount they would otherwise have spent.

McSweeney said definite construction will start when all the private parties reach agreement on the shared ownership. He estimated that once planning begins, the garage could be completed within two years.