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UMass Boston Wants To Bring Harvard Square To Dorchester

UMass Boston

It’s an Olympic Village, it’s a soccer stadium, it’s … Harvard Square?

The UMass Building Authority issued a request for information Tuesday for ideas for the best use of the former Bayside Expo Center. The RFI looks to remake the 20-acre plot into a modern-day Harvard Square next to the UMass Boston campus, according to the Dorchester Reporter

UMass bought the Bayside parcel for $18.7M in 2010 after it went into foreclosure. The Boston 2024 Olympics bid labeled the site as the ideal home for an Athlete’s Village. Once the bid was retracted, New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft emerged as a potential developer, as he has long pursued a stadium in the urban core for his New England Revolution Major League Soccer franchise. 

The site is near the JFK/UMass MBTA station and the old Boston Globe headquarters, which is expected to be acquired by Nordblom Co. in the fall. The UMass RFI reveals the college is also looking to ongoing mixed-used projects like Boston Landing and MIT’s Volpe Center redevelopment as inspiration. 

Developers have until Oct. 6 to file responses to the nonbinding RFI.