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Harvard Launches Lengthy Review Process for Phase B of Enterprise Research Campus

Phase A of Harvard's Enterprise Research Campus was approved back in 2022, and is set to include labs, a hotel and conference building, restaurants, and more in the 900,000 square-foot space.
Phase A of Harvard's Enterprise Research Campus was approved back in 2022, and is set to include labs, a hotel and conference building, restaurants, and more in the 900,000 square-foot space. By Addison Y. Liu
By Jack R. Trapanick, Crimson Staff Writer

Harvard filed a Letter of Intent to the Boston Planning and Development Agency for Phase B of the Enterprise Research Campus Project this week, kicking off an extensive approval and local engagement process for the final stretch of the next major addition to Harvard’s Allston expansion.

Development firm Tishman Speyer submitted the letter on behalf of the University, outlining the details of Harvard’s plans to develop a million square feet of labs, offices, and housing across two residential and three life sciences buildings.

The University envisions the ERC — a 36-acre, mixed-use district entirely on Harvard-owned land — as a regional hub for innovation in life sciences and technology, containing research and office space, housing, and local shops.

The project’s first phase, comprising 900,000 square feet of lab, office, residential, and commercial space, broke ground this summer after Harvard and Tishman Speyer donated millions to establish an affordable housing fund and committed to making a quarter of its residential units income-restricted — a first among private housing projects in Boston.

At the time, Boston Mayor Michelle Wu ’07 called it “one more moment of history between the city of Boston and Harvard” in a centuries-long relationship.

The project’s second phase is now set to undergo a review process where residents and officials will be able to provide comments before the project receives final approval from the BPDA.

Residents and advocates will also have the opportunity to ask Harvard to provide benefits for the area to offset the impacts of the development — benefits which could match the tens of millions promised by the University during Phase A negotiations.

In a texted statement, Cindy Marchando, chair of the Harvard Allston Task Force, said the group was “thrilled to see the LOI submitted.” She added they would work “to ensure that Harvard's ambitious expansion not only enhances the institution but also enriches the local community.”

In its Tuesday letter, Tishman Speyer committed to adding affordable housing among the new units to be built in Phase B. They also pledged to continue developing a proposed greenway intended to stretch across the ERC district as a source of open space in the “long-underutilized” area. Phase B will also include ground-level and below-ground parking.

In a statement, Carl J. Rodrigues, the CEO of the Harvard Allston Land Company, wrote that he looked forward to working with the city and other stakeholders “to ensure that the ERC becomes a vibrant and inclusive mixed-use community that will foster creativity, exploration, research, and culture.”

Harvard’s ERC project is of an enormous scale. When Tishman Speyer secured $750 million in financing for it in mid-2023, it was the largest construction financing package in the country so far that year.

The letter of intent comes amid the active development of several other Harvard projects in Allston.

The ERC Phase A remains under construction, as does a separate project at 175 North Harvard St., which will relocate the American Repertory Theater and add affiliate housing. Two other buildings in Allston — 180 Western Ave and 176 Lincoln St. — on Harvard-owned land are also waiting to begin construction.

—Staff writer Jack R. Trapanick can be reached at Follow him on X @jackrtrapanick.

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