Through the RFP process, HALC will solicit proposals for how this area can best strengthen and complement the region. The RFP will help ensure that the ERC will build upon a robust existing innovation ecosystem.
“The RFP is open and available to all qualified developers and development teams that have a proven track record realizing projects of this type, scope, and scale,” said HALC’s CEO, Thomas P. Glynn. “Our goal is to cast as wide a net as possible to ensure that we involve new people, new groups, and new ideas. Receiving a diverse group of proposals from teams with diverse backgrounds and diverse locations is absolutely critical to ensuring the very best ideas. We’re confident that this approach will yield best-in-class developers, providing us with the ideal partner as we move forward.”
This initial phase is consistent with what was outlined during the public process in the spring of 2018, when the Boston Planning and Development Agency board voted to approve a Planned Development Area (PDA) Master Plan for an initial development phase of a total of 900,000 gross square feet (GSF) on the 14 acres on Western Avenue, which includes approximately 400,000 GSF of office and lab space, 250,000 GSF of residential space, and a 250,000 GSF hotel and conference center.
The plans are also consistent with past University planning efforts, and align with the goals outlined in the city of Boston’s own master plan, “Imagine Boston 2030,” where the ERC and Beacon Park Yard, the area immediately to the south, were included among several locations citywide for “expanded neighborhoods.”
There are no proposed projects at present, nor any identified tenants. HALC’s goal is to have a developer identified by December.
The ERC represents the latest step in Harvard’s growing presence in Allston. It builds on the entrepreneurial faculty of Harvard Business School, the innovation labs cluster, Athletics, the newly opened ArtLab, and the Science and Engineering Complex (SEC). Additionally, the American Repertory Theater (A.R.T.) will eventually move into a new state-of-the-art research and performance center in Allston. This mix of culture and entrepreneurship will provide the intellectual seed capital to attract leading-edge companies to the ERC, fostering creative collaboration and closer ties to Harvard’s research and teaching mission.
As planning continues for the state Department of Transportation I-90 project, Harvard remains deeply engaged and continues to work closely with the administrations of Governor Charlie Baker and Mayor Martin J. Walsh, the community, and others, through participation in I-90 Task Force meetings. The University firmly believes that the project, which is directly adjacent to the ERC, represents a generational opportunity for transformation and has the potential to improve connectivity between neighborhoods, enhance mobility of all kinds across Allston and the region, and unlock development and place-making opportunities important to Harvard and the region.
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