The Boston Redevelopment Authority on Thursday approved a sweeping master plan for Harvard University’s expansion into Allston.
Called an "Institutional Master Plan," the blueprint approved Thursday includes three new buildings, the renovation of another at the Harvard Business school, a 200-room hotel and conference center, a major renovation of Harvard Stadium and a new facility for the university's basketball teams, according to the Harvard Gazette.
“Taken together and considered alongside the science building soon to be back under way on Western Avenue, and the residential and retail complex soon to break ground at Barry’s Corner, the program represents important progress toward the long-term vision of a more integrated, expansive, and lively presence for Harvard on both sides of the Charles,” Harvard President Drew Faust was quoted as saying in the Gazette.
The Harvard Crimson reported that the plan envisions nine projects that will be completed over 10 years. The plan covers 1.4 million square feet of new development and 500,000 square feet of renovations, the Crimson said.
Individual projects will still face review by the city, but the approval Thursday represents a big step forward in an oft-contentious process that has unfolded over more than 20 years.
Harvard began pushing for an expansion in Allston in the late 1980s, and it now owns 359 acres in Allston, nearly double the size of its Cambridge campus.
In late 2003, Harvard envisioned a massive 250-acre campus in Allston that included academic space, student housing, entertainment facilities, and the transformation of Barry’s Corner, at Western Avenue and North Harvard Street.