Thursday, April 25, 2013

Harvard University announces Harvard Square in Allston, Boston, MA, USA

Harvard University has released an Environmental Notification Form for its planned development on the northwest corner of North Harvard Street and Western Avenue in the Allston neighborhood of Boston, MA. This intersection is near the Harvard Business School, it abuts the Harvard Stadium / athletic complex, and is less than a mile south of Harvard Square. It is less than half a mile from the Charles River.

The ENF is posted at An environmental notification form is the first step in state environmental reviews.

Project construction density is announced at 4.0. While exact definitions probably differ between the Boston code and the Cambridge code, this density is Harvard Square density.

This is not the site of the affordable housing which is being destroyed. That is the northeast corner.

A key quote, paragraphing cleaned up. I do not see the figures they talk about.


The Project involves the redevelopment of a site, to be ground leased to Barry’s Corner Property LLC (a Samuels & Associates Entity), that is north and west of the intersection of Western Avenue and North Harvard Street in the North Allston neighborhood of Boston (see Figures 1 and 2). The existing site includes most of the building known as 219 Western Avenue, a single story building containing approximately 47,500 square feet of space currently home to a number of Harvard uses including mail room services, the Harvard University Information Technology department, the Harvard ceramics studio, a Harvard University Police Department training facility, other institutional services, and storage space.

The overall Project site is 2.67 acres and consists of two areas:

(i) the 2.03 acre development site that contains the proposed buildings and will be created by subdivision and subsequently ground-leased by Harvard to Barry’s Corner Property LLC; and

(ii) the 0.64 acres area along the westerly and northerly borders of the development site, on which will be located two new privately-owned and maintained publicly-accessible streets. The newly created private streets are “Grove Street,” which will border the site to the north, and “Smith Field Drive,” which will border the site to the west (fn 1).

[fn1: These street names are illustrative only; it is anticipated that they may be re-named in the future.]

In addition, the “Smith Field Drive Extension” will continue to the north outside of the Project site but within Harvard’s campus in order to provide full service access to North Harvard Street.


The site consist of 2.67 acres of which 2.03 acres will be developed and 0.64 acres will be converted to new privately owned but publicly accessible streets.

The project will be primarily residential, 325 units. There will be first floor retail, 40,000 gross square feet. The total will be 350,000 gross square feet of floor area. 47,500 existing gross square feet will be demolished. Heights will be one to nine stories.

Resuming exact quote:


To accommodate the Project, the existing institutional uses at 219 Western Avenue will be relocated and the existing building at 219 Western Avenue, two smaller maintenance buildings (with addresses at 141 and 155 North Harvard Street), and the adjacent surface parking lot will all be demolished.

Ground Floor Uses

The ground floor podium includes approximately 40,000 square feet of commercial/retail space/retail back of house. The remaining portion of the ground floor, approximately 25,000 square feet, may contain residences, residential amenity spaces — such as resident lobbies, mail and fitness center — and mechanical, service and similar functions. A multiple bay loading dock in the north building will service both residential buildings and the retail spaces for deliveries, recycling and trash.


Relocation of many existing uses is to “the 28 Travis Street project.” Travis Street runs off Western Avenue to the south slightly east of the North Harvard / Western Avenue intersection. “Dining Services, Real Estate and Energy & Utilities” will be "relocated to other areas of the Harvard campus”.

Please see for Harvard’s most recent announcement impacting 28 Travis Street, with link.