Harvard's Allston Development
Last week CREW Boston hosted a discussion of Harvard’s ongoing Allston campus reinvention with expert insight from Thomas Glynn, CEO of Harvard Allston Land Company and Marika Reuling, Managing Director for Allston Initiatives at Harvard. While most people associate Harvard with it’s Cambridge campus, the Allston area is, in fact, larger at 360 acres compared to 240 across the river. As other neighborhoods in Boston have begun to transform the opportunity within Allston has grown. Western Avenue, long home to an industrial area and the Allston Rail Yards provide prime space for development. The location, so close to Kendall Square, Longwood Medical, and other areas of innovation puts Allston in the middle of an impressive regional context. The goal of Harvard’s master plan in Allston is to create an area connected to transit and neighbors that can be a hub of innovation.
Under construction now in Allston is Harvard’s already impressive Science and Engineering Complex. The massive project will cost the university around $1 billion and feature 535,000 square feet of academic space. The building has been thoughtfully designed to integrate with the community at large, not just college students and faculty. The first two floors of the building have been designed as public space with 70,000 square feet of green space surrounding the project. The Science and Engineering Complex is set to open its doors in Fall 2020
Other new projects include the recently completed Harvard ArtLab which was designed as temporary space and can be moved in the future if needed and the under-construction District Energy Facility. This 58,000 square foot project will provide heating, cooling, and electricity to support Harvard's academic and research activities in Allston. Harvard has also focused on growing the community by working to bring local businesses to the area and adding streetscape improvements and more bike lanes to the neighborhood. They also opened the Harvard Ed Portal, bringing various education and enrichment programs directly to the Allston community.
Up next for development will be The Harvard Enterprise Research Campus. The master plan for the first 14 acres of this site was approved by The Boston Planning Board last March. These plans include 400,000 square feet of office/lab space, 250,000 square feet of hotel/conference center space containing 200 rooms and 250,000 square feet of residential space containing 250 units. Glynn told the crown and RFP will be issued “soon” and Harvard will look to partner with third parties for the residential, commercial, and retail spaces. With another 22 acres of development potential on the Enterprise Research Campus, Harvard aims to create the next epicenter of research, discovery, and innovation.