Harvard today filed plans with the BPDA for a large mixed-use development on 14 acres of its Allston land - near where the state recently put off any plans for a new commuter-rail station - plans that include access to a new station on the Worcester Line that just last week state planners said they wanted to put off until at least 2040.
Harvard first proposed some sort of Innovation District-like area in 2011. Its filings today fill in some details - and request that the BPDA formally throw out the existing zoning on the land to create a new "planned development area" that would be "a vibrant and exciting urban district focusing on research, entrepreneurship and innovation."
The ERC will become a hub for both large and small companies and non-profit organizations pursuing a wide range of opportunities for applied research and entrepreneurship. Its development will facilitate community and academic collaborations across the region. For some enterprises, Harvard's strengths in business, science, engineering, medicine, design, law, and liberal arts will be important attractions. These groups will also benefit from the proximity to neighboring research institutions and Boston's world leading hospitals.
Harvard is proposing 400,000 square feet of office/lab space, 250,000 square feet of hotel/conference center space, 250,000 square feet of residential space and 800 to 900 new parking spaces. Harvard would extend its existing campus shuttle-bus service to the district and let tenants use it.
The new campus would be centered on a new road to be called Cattle Drive, in homage to the area's former focus on cattle; Harvard said the campus would include bike lanes, charging stations for electric cars and ways for workers to carpool.