Berkeley Investments has filed plans with the BPDA for a "post-Covid" three-building campus on Lincoln Street at Everett Street that would include an apartment building with 314 units and two buildings with life-sciences R&D space and ground-floor retail.
The "innovation village," with two 7-story buildings and one 8-story building, would go up after crews first raze the site's current building - a failed earlier attempt to attract cutting-edge researchers to the 5.2-acre site, which has sat ;largely vacant for more than three decades. Harvard, which snapped up the parcel as part of its Allston land grab back in the day, eventually tried getting the Skating Club of Boston to build its new home there, but that plan failed as well.
The campus would be the latest development in a once sleepy corridor along the Massachusetts Turnpike that came to life with the construction of the New Balance complex and the Boston Landing train station.
Berkeley says the apartment building in particular is designed with virus protection in mind, both to allow for residents to work from home and to protect them as they venture into hallways and other shared spaces:
Indoor amenity spaces, located adjacent to and around the courtyards, will be specifically oriented towards offering options and flexibility to work from home, including features such as private office/work space, study nooks and conference rooms that can be reserved, and lounges with seating and circulation arranged for multiple users and groups. Interior materials selections will be guided by the latest cleaning and maintenance best practices. In addition, amenity spaces will consider the latest COVID-related design features including subtle social distancing cues integrated within the floor design, moveable furniture for more strategic separation in smaller groups, and robust air change and filtration for HVAC equipment. The amenity space will be considerate of new trends in flexible work schedules and accommodate a large portion of the resident population that will work from home at least a few days a week. Multiple ‘business centers’ that allow for office-caliber printing, scanning,virtual meetings as well as fast and reliable WiFi capabilities and secure networks designed with this emerging trend in mind.
The developer says it also had the R&D buildings designed with the threat of a potentially deadly virus in mind as well:
Whether through touchless entrances and common areas with flexible layouts and thoughtful circulation patterns,or outdoor terraces for employees and workers to use for outdoor meetings and breaks throughout the day, Buildings B and C will both house tenants working on innovative breakthrough technologies and science, as well as exemplify some of the latest best practices of safe and secure workplaces in its architectural design.
Under Berkeley's plans, the residential building would include some townhouses as well as roughly ten artist live/work spaces fronting on what is now a service road behind the current building, but which Berkeley is proposing to turn into an entirely new street, designed to allow for open-studio days and festivals. Also:
A new outdoor stage and covered atrium is designed into the heart of the Project Site, and will be a place to bring the innovations from inside the building to the outdoors. Musicians and performers from the surrounding neighborhood will be able to utilize the stage to share their music and talents with the community. Telford Street will be designed to be able to house a maker-space that can also spill out on the plaza both at this elevation and above at the Maker Court.
Berkeley further describes the proposed Maker Court:
The defining open space of the Project, the Maker Court,will be a new public ‘common’ that links the varying elements of the Project together while simultaneously linking the Project itself to the neighborhood. Dynamic with music, art, movable furniture, eating and drinking options, movie nights in the summer, and art projects being created real-time, the Maker Court will be a destination point for the larger community that brings visibility to the production and innovation that occurs within the Project’s buildings. Serving as the heart of the Project, the Maker Court will offer a way for residents and workers in the buildings to bring their activities outdoors and allows visitors and the community to share in the innovation and energy that is fostered throughout the Project Site.
A 946-space underground garage would serve tenants of the three buildings, Berkeley says.
176 Lincoln St. project-notification form (35.3M PDF).