Harvard University’s planned expansion into Allston goes well beyond the usual mix of new and renovated academic buildings, seeking to spur development of new shops, restaurants and residences that will help enliven a dreary section of the city.
A copy of the university’s plan was released Friday by the Boston Redevelopment Authority, adding further detail to a broad outline that emerged last week. The plan proposes to mix retail, residential and hotel buildings into a 180-acre section of North Allston that will also host a new basketball stadium, a science complex and several academic buildings for Harvard Business School.
Overall, the plan includes nine renovation and construction projects that will unfold over the next 10 years. In addition, Harvard intends to resume construction by 2014 of a four-building science complex on Western Avenue and a residential and retail development at Barry’s Corner, the crucial intersection of Western Avenue and North Harvard Street.
The plan places special emphasis on transforming Barry’s Corner into a vibrant commercial square, akin to Harvard Square on the other side of the Charles River.
“An increased level of density in and around the Barry’s Corner area is necessary to create a successful, vibrant, pedestrian-friendly neighborhood,” the plan states.
The corner will also host a new 3,000-seat basketball stadium that will include updated concessions areas and athletic offices. The site of the new stadium is large enough to incorporate an additional 140,000 -square-foot complex that could include some combination of housing, retail stores and offices.
Across North Harvard Street, the dilapidated Charlesview complex—which is being relocated to a nearby site in 2014—will be redeveloped into a 200,000-square-foot center for academic or administrative offices, with retail shops on the ground floor. The project includes an outdoor space for informal music performances and other community events.
The other large commercial development is planned closer to the Charles River on Western Avenue, where the university wants to build a 250,000-square-foot hotel and conference center. It has not been determined whether the hotel would be run by Harvard, and cater primarily to university events, or be developed and managed by a private company that would host a broader range of meetings and activities.
Harvard’s master plan also calls for a renovation of the Harvard football stadium—including construction of new offices, a press box and a 350-seat section for club seating. The university’s business school campus will get three new buildings, and Baker Hall will be renovated.
Casey Ross can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.