Authority Announces New MTA Yard Bids

The University has bid $667,000 for an additional 61,000 square feet of the Bennett St. MTA Yards put up for sale by the Authority three weeks ago, MTA General Counsel Edward J. McLaughlin announced yesterday.

The strip of property runs down the center of the Yards and was not included by the MTA with the rest of the 12-acre site last December. According to the sale agreement, the land will be leased back to the MTA for storage purposes.

Harvard's bid for the entire site is now $5,677,000, almost $1 million below the final offer of Samuel P. Coffman, Boston real-estate developer and the high bidder on the property. Coffman bid $25,000 for the extra parcel of land.

Sullivan Still Low

Cambridge developer John Briston Sullivan upped his bid the most, but his final offer of $4,750,000 is still considerably behind the highest bids. Francis J. Roche, a Cambridge attorney, has a final bid just under $6 million, but his offer is apparently not taken seriously by the MTA.

The MTA Board of Trustees meets this afternoon to consider the four final offers for the property, although they will make no decisions. The trustees will also have a detailed report on the financial reliability of the backers of each of the bidders. The report was prepared last week by McLaughlin.

McLaughlin stressed yesterday that relocation of the MTA facilities is the greatest obstacle to sale of the property and said that "it is becoming a more complex problem every day."

The MTA hopes to move most of its switching and storage facilities to the Codman Yards on Galvin Blvd, in Dorchester, but the plan has met opposition from residents of the area who fear that the MTA facilities will harm the neighborhood.

Harvard officials have consistently stressed that the University's bid is more than the property is worth, and that Coffman and Roche cannot possibly put up enough buildings on the land to justify their higher bids.

The University bases its statements on the advice of several prominent real estate developers and claims that the proximity of the land makes it worth more than its fair market value to Harvard.

It eventually intends to construct two residential Houses on the property and use the rest for taxable apartment buildings, commercial structures, and an office buildings.

The final decision on the sale of the Bennett St. yards rests with the three-man MTA Board of Trustees. The state Senate is currently studying a bill that would replace two members of the Board--one of whom is known to be hostile to Harvard--with two men chosen by Gov. Peabody and the MTA Advisory Board.