Under a $750-million agreement finalized on Jan. 18 between the U.S. General Services Administration and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, the university plans to build a new federal building and redevelop a large parcel of surrounding land, now the campus for a federal transportation center in Cambridge, Mass.

As GSA’s partner, MIT will provide a new building for the Volpe National Transportation Systems Center on about four acres of the 14-acre campus, the institute stated. Once construction is complete, MIT will purchase and redevelop the remaining 10 acres into a mixed-use site in the Kendall Square innovation district.

Israel Ruiz, executive vice president and treasurer at MIT, says, “Our [$750-million] bid included the cost to build this new federal facility as well as payment for the land that MIT will acquire through the transaction.” 

The U.S. Dept. of Transportation’s Volpe Center campus, at its current location for 45 years, includes six buildings, open areas of landscaped land and two parking lots.

In 2015, the GSA invited bids for the Volpe Center redesign project, selecting MIT as the winning bidder in November. MIT will design and construct a new federal facility. In exchange, MIT will work with Cambridge to formulate a development plan for the 10 acres that will include commercial innovation space, residential and retail facilities, and open space.