The BPDA board yesterday approved Harvard's request to ditch all the zoning on 14 acres it owns in Allston so the university can begin figuring out exactly how it wants to build out an innovation district of its own that would include 900,000 total square feet of office, lab and hotel space and new residences.
The vote means Harvard can now negotiate directly with the BPDA over exactly how it fills in the land between the Harvard Business School and the Harvard science center now under construction, rather than worrying about zoning codes that would also require one or more hearings before the Board of Appeals at which the university would have to justify exceeding those requirements.
Harvard 's proposed Economic Research Center would also include up to 900 parking spaces.
Harvard has said it would be willing to build a temporary stop on the Worcester Line until the state finally gets around to building the permanent station it had once proposed but which it now says may have to wait until at least 2040. Harvard has also proposed letting workers and residents of the new district use its existing campus bus system.
The school has also proposed naming the main road through the district Cattle Drive, in homage to the stockyards and slaughterhouses in the area.