With the agreement that created the parking garage and building across from the Charles Hotel, for example, the University ran into many problems.
"It was a very contentious arrangement with the developer," Levitan says. "There were houses on the site and people were evicted. Harvard has an interest in that property. The outcome of the building was altered because of Harvard stepping in, and the result is something that is significantly improved because of its location."
The future of Harvard's development, says Director of Community Relations Kevin A. McCluskey, lies with Allston.
"The acquisition of the 52 acres of land in Allston was done with an eye toward the future and Harvard's future growth," McCluskey says. "That has been the most significant growth spurt in Boston in the last decade."
The University is also considering other options for expansion.
"The hypothetical scenario," McCluskey says, "involves the possibility of a few of Harvard's graduate schools moving from Cambridge to Allston."
Though Harvard is involved in cooperative discussions with the Allston community, the University is not anxious to overstep its bounds.
"It is a natural course of what has been a rational growth pattern for the university over several decades time," McCluskey says. "The University has to take a very long view of its land need and use."