Harvard to fill out one corner of its Allston holdings

Construction underway at Harvard’s Allston campus.
Suzanne Kreiter/Globe Staff
Construction underway at Harvard’s Allston campus.

Harvard University took the next step to filling out the former rail and truck yards it has acquired over the years in Allston, submitting plans Thursday for an “Enterprise” campus in one corner of the vast property.

The proposal filed with the Boston Planning & Development Agency is for a 14-acre section across Western Avenue from Harvard Business School, part of a bigger tract of land the school acquired over the years from the state and railroad operator CSX.

Harvard envisions turning this section into a 900,000-square-foot, mixed-use complex, known as the Enterprise Research Campus. The filing details four buildings of offices and labs, apartments, a hotel and conference center, with ground-level spaces for shops and restaurants. The school will look for private developers to lease the land and build the campus.


“Harvard is extremely excited to launch the public process around the development of the Enterprise Research Campus,” spokesman Kevin Casey said.

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Harvard is developing other sections of the neighborhood and is working toward a much bigger buildout of the former CSX property, which has a long looping portion of the Massachusetts Turnpike running through it. The school’s long term vision for that area is a mixed-use neighborhood, with residential, retail, hospitality and office uses blended together.

Instead of releasing plans for the Enterprise Research Campus portion of its lands, Anthony D’Isidoro, president of the Allston Civic Association, said he would prefer Harvard undertake more comprehensive planning for all its Allston holdings.

“We’re designing our community one development at a time with spot zoning,” D’Isidoro said

The state is planning to straighten the turnpike where it curves through Harvard’s property, which would make it easier to redevelop the land around it. But last week transportation officials surprised community activists with the disclosure that a long-anticipated train and bus station at the center of the area would not be built until 2040.

Jon Chesto can be reached at Follow him on Twitter @jonchesto.