The long-empty Boston Tech Center property could soon have new life: Harvard University has reached a deal with the development firm Berkeley Investments to build on the five-acre site on Lincoln Street in Allston.
The massive warehouse overlooking the Massachusetts Turnpike has sat empty since it was rebuilt in the early 2000s to house a telecom company that went bust before it was finished. Harvard purchased the building in 2006 for $16 million, part of its broader expansion into Allston, but did little with it until seeking developers last year.
On Tuesday, after months of talks, Harvard confirmed it had selected Berkeley to “partner” on the project.
“The university continues to envision an exciting mixed-use project that takes full advantage of the intersections of various opportunities in and around the neighborhood, and that will resonate with people wanting to move into, and stay, in the area,” Harvard said in a statement.
The agreement was first reported by the Boston Business Journal.
A veteran Boston developer, Berkeley has worked on housing and office projects in Boston’s Fort Point and Charlestown neighborhoods and in Malden Center and Waltham. Its plans for the Allston site were not immediately clear Tuesday, but president Young Park said the company hopes to file a letter of intent with the Boston Planning & Development Agency this summer to begin the planning process.
“We very much look forward to working with the local residents and neighborhood associations, the city and state representatives and the BPDA on this mixed-use development,” he said in a statement.
The project is in what has become a red-hot part of Boston. To the north, on Western Avenue, an apartment building just opened along Birmingham Parkway, and plans are moving ahead for Harvard’s Enterprise Research Campus near the Charles River.
Across the turnpike to the south is New Balance’s Boston Landing campus, and a huge apartment development is being planned by Stop & Shop on land it owns along Everett Street.