A big, big vote could come tonight from the Boston Redevelopment Authority, allowing Harvard to go through with some big, big plans in Allston. But, first, Boston Mayor Tom Menino would like a word.
See, Harvard wants to temporarily relocate campus services like IT, snail mail, recycling and campus cop-training to 28 Travis Street from 219 Western Avenue. The move would make room for Harvard's big, big plans: 325 new apartments and 45,000 square feet of retail at Barry's Corner (a.k.a. Western Avenue and North Harvard Street). These big, big plans are, of course, part of Harvard's gargantuan, gargantuan plans for Allston: hundreds of thousands of new square feet of residential, retail, sports and academic space over the next decade.
The city's skittishness could muck up everything. Mayor Menino, after meeting with concerned Allston residents, had his administration lay down some conditions (which Harvard apparently says are do-able). These conditions include prompter construction of a promised park; and clarifying that the 28 Travis relocation is, indeed, temporary (and that vehicular traffic to and fro would be verboten there between midnight and 6 a.m. so as not to conflict with the residential nature of the area). Should Harvard not comply, the city can withhold occupancy permits. Stay tuned.
· City Proposes Blocking Harvard From Opening New Buildings [Boston.com]
· Day of Reckoning at Hand for Barry's Corner Redevelopment [Curbed Boston]
· Paint Allston Crimson! Harvard's Details: New Arena, Offices [Curbed Boston]