Updated at 8:00 p.m. on 9/20/2011.
University President Drew G. Faust and the Harvard Corporation have approved the Harvard Allston Work Team’s five recommendations for future University development in Allston, according to a letter mailed to nearly 3,000 Allston-Brighton residents Monday.
The letter comes three months after the work team—a 14-person group commissioned by Faust to help plan the University’s next steps in Allston—released their recommendations on June 16.
“I’m pleased that things are back on track again,” said Paul Berkeley, president of the Allston Civic Association. “For the last two and a half years, we’ve been sitting on our hands to see if anything is going to happen.”
Over the summer, the University solicited feedback from the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, the City of Boston, and the Boston Redevelopment Authority as it began to flesh out the details of the Work Team’s recommendations.
In Monday’s letter, Harvard Executive Vice President Katherine N. Lapp announced the University’s intention to move ahead with a two-stage plan for developing Allston. In stage one, the University will begin planning residences and retail outlets in Barry’s Corner, designing a 700,000-square-foot Health and Life Science Center on Western Ave., and discussing the future of the existing Charlesview Apartment complex.
For the second wave of the plan, the University will look into developing an Enterprise Research Campus on Allston Landing North, slated to be a 36-acre mecca for research. It will also explore the possibility of building a hotel and a conference center on the property, which will echo MIT’s Kendall Square.
Lapp—who is heading the University’s development in Allston along with Provost Alan M. Garber ’76 and other officials—wrote that Allston residents’ responses to the Work Team’s recommendations were taken into consideration. The University gathered feedback from community members in Task Force meetings, coffee hours, emails, and one-on-one discussions.
The letter, which was also sent to over 600 recipients by email on Tuesday morning, stated that the University will host meetings to gather public input on development in Barry’s Corner. Elkus Manfredi Architects will lead the meetings and intends to craft a proposal for private developers by this March. Construction is tentatively slated to begin in 2013.
Berkeley said residents are particularly concerned with the anticipated inflow of third-party developers.
“I know a big concern residents have is how do we deal with third-party developers? There’s lots of questions about housing initiatives in Barry’s Corner,” Berkeley said. “So It’s a good opportunity to talk about these things.”
Lapp wrote that the two-staged plan will ultimately lead to a master plan to be submitted to city officials in Dec. 2012.
—Staff writer Nathalie R. Miraval can firstname.lastname@example.org
—Staff writer Rebecca D. Robbins can be reached at email@example.com
This article has been modified to reflect the following correction.
CORRECTION: SEPTEMBER 20, 2011
An earlier version of the article "Harvard Approves Allston Work Team Recommendations" incorrectly stated that the indefinitely postponed Science Complex is located on Allston Landing North. In fact, the Science Complex is located on Western Ave. to the west of this site.
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