Looking For Land

Harvard To Bid on Allston Railroad Yard

"There's always that question in our minds of, 'How far it will all go?'" Berkeley says. "Will Harvard end up owning it all?"

But Berkeley says he thinks a Harvard purchase of Allston Landing could help the community by beautifying an industrial wasteland.


"People have sort of looked at [the lot] as a permanent eyesore. Harvard might be able to do something beneficial for the area," Berkeley says.

Working on the Railroad

Much of the land is presently used by CSX Transportation (CSXT), and the area is littered by train cars and trucks. Even if Harvard were to buy the lot and slate it for its own development, there is no guarantee that it would be able to rid the area of these vehicles.

CSXT holds a permanent "easement," allowing the company to run its trains through the area. For the area to be built up, any developer would need to work out the relocation of these routes.

"We're selling the entire package," says Robert R. Bliss, a spokesperson for the Massachusetts Turnpike Authority. "We leave the negotiations up to whoever buys the land."

These considerations have not dissipated Harvard's interest, but they have affected planning, according to one administration official close to the planning process.

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