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Harvard Chooses 3 Finalists For Allston Mixed-Use Expansion

Harvard Chooses 3 Finalists For Allston Mixed-Use Expansion
Harvard owns 358 acres in Allston, where it plans to redevelop land into a new science and innovation cluster.

And then there were three. 

Harvard isn’t wasting time narrowing down who it will pick to develop the first phase of its planned Enterprise Research Campus in Allston. Nine development teams were announced as finalists last month, but the university cut the list down to three last week, the Boston Globe reports. Alexandria Real Estate Equities and National Development; the HYM Investment Group; and Breakthrough Properties, a joint venture of Bellco Capital and Tishman Speyer, have made it to the next round. 

All three have a significant development presence in the city. 

HYM is part of the team building the 2.9M SF Bulfinch Crossing mixed-use project near Government Center. Alexandria Real Estate Equities and National Development are partnering on a life science proposal on the site of GE’s planned Fort Point headquarters. Alexandria is also a leading developer in Kendall Square, which real estate analysts expect Harvard’s Allston push to emulate. Breakthrough Properties is planning a lab project in Boston’s burgeoning A Street life science corridor. Tishman Speyer is also behind Pier 4 in the Seaport.

The winning team, expected to be announced by year’s end, will own the rights to develop 900K SF on Harvard's land. The Ivy League school already has Boston approval for a 400K SF office and lab building, a 250K SF hotel and conference center and 250K SF of residential units. 

“We want this to be a 24/7/365 destination,” Harvard Allston Land Co. CEO Thomas Glynn said last week at a Bisnow event. “We don’t want to build a suburban office park on Western Avenue.”

At the time, Glynn said the university had reviewed 1,500 pages of documents and spent nine hours interviewing the nine contenders. The three teams who made it to the next round are pushing for even more housing in their proposals, according to the Globe. 

Harvard’s approved plans included several surface parking lots that could be used for housing. Developing on those lots or any other changes beyond what Harvard already has approved would require additional review by neighbors and the Boston Planning & Development Agency.