The University filed its Institutional Master Plan for Allston development with the Boston city government on Friday, outlining its 10-year plan for the construction of nine projects in the neighborhood.
The 275-page document, a draft of which was filed last October, details plans for approximately 1.4 million square feet of new construction and 500,000 square feet of renovation. Proposed projects include a renovation of and addition to Harvard Stadium, the construction of a new basketball arena, renovations to Soldiers Field Park graduate student housing, and the construction of a hotel and conference center. Officials have said that the University hopes to receive approval for the master plan in October.
“The plan has benefited from eight months of public engagement and shows [the next] phase in the evolution of a campus where students, faculty, staff and the community can learn, live, work, and play together,” Katherine N. Lapp, the University’s executive vice president, said in a statement. “We look forward to continuing these discussions in the coming months.”
Neighborhood residents will have a 60-day comment period to submit feedback on the master plan. Their comments will be due to Gerald Autler, senior project manager with the Boston Redevelopment Authority, by Sept. 24, according to an email sent by Autler to community members Friday afternoon.
Harvard-Allston Task Force force member John A. Bruno said in a phone interview Friday that he views the master plan as Harvard’s “wish list” for development in Allston. While as of Friday evening he had not yet read the master plan in its entirety, he said he plans to do so over the weekend. Bruno, a Brighton resident, said that he is optimistic that the task force can make progress at its next meeting Monday, which is scheduled to include a presentation on the master plan from Harvard as well as community discussion.
“From my perspective, Harvard is part of our community; it is part of our neighborhood, and we are the neighborhood,” Bruno said. “It’s important for us to look at this IMP closely and evaluate it and make good recommendations and ask the pertinent questions. At some point, a master plan is going to be accepted by the City of Boston, and it’s up to the community and the task force to tweak it and to make it better.”
City and Harvard officials are also working with neighborhood residents to develop a community benefits package to accompany the recently submitted master plan. Task force members have spent several of their meetings this summer discussing the master plan and possible community benefits, with some questioning whether the task force is being given enough time to determine the community’s priorities for the benefits package.
—Staff writer Madeline R. Conway can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow her on Twitter @MadelineRConway.
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