Harvard Enterprise Research Campus to create affordable housing in Allston-Brighton

by Liz Hughes

The Boston Planning & Development Agency has given the greenlight to the first phase of the Harvard Enterprise Research Campus which will create affordable housing in Allston-Brighton.

Located at 100-112 Western Ave., the Harvard Enterprise Research Campus will bring a new mixed-use development with new housing, office/lab space, a hotel, conference center, restaurant and retail space, as well as nearly three acres of public open space.

The approval of the first phase of the project follows an 18-month community engagement process, which will not only bring affordable housing to the area but also commits $25 million to establish an Allston-Brighton Affordable Housing Fund to support affordable housing, affordable homeownership and housing preservation. Harvard will also donate land at 65 Seattle St. for the creation of more affordable homeownership opportunities. 

The development will include 345 residential units, with 25% or 86 of them being income-restricted. The commitment to the affordable units within the project from Harvard and developer Tishman Speyer is the largest percentage of income-restricted units in a single project by a private developer in Boston, according to Mayor Michelle Wu’s office. All the income-restricted housing will be located onsite to increase the direct affordable housing supply in the Allston-Brighton area and will meet a range of incomes from 30% to 100% of the Area Median Income. 

Mayor Wu said the scale and scope of the Harvard development will impact and shape generations to come.

“We must get this right for our communities,” she said. “The package before the board for this first phase represents a remarkable step forward for housing affordability, green space, workforce development and community planning resources to ensure careful alignment with neighborhood needs. I’m grateful to the many community leaders and activists who have shaped this agreement and who will continue to steer our focus for sustainable, equitable development.”

The first phase of the project will also significantly expand both open space and neighborhood areas with three acres of space, along with the creation of the Allston Greenway, which will connect to Ray Mellone Park to the west and toward Soldiers Field Road in the east. 

Other significant project investments include prioritizing safe transit improvements for pedestrians and cyclists on Western Avenue, 600 bike parking spaces and two BlueBikes stations with 23 docks each. 

Harvard has also agreed to contribute up to $1 million for an Allston-Brighton Community Needs Assessment and $1 million for a city-led planning and rezoning study for the 22 acres of the Enterprise Research Campus outside the existing 14-acre site.

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