Allston, MA The Harvard Allston Land Company (HALC) and Tishman Speyer were joined on November 1st by Harvard University president Claudine Gay, mayor Michelle Wu and a host of local community leaders to celebrate the start of construction on the first phase of the Enterprise Research Campus (ERC), a nine-acre mixed-use development.
The first phase of the ERC, which was approved by the Boston Planning and Development Agency (BPDA) in 2022 after an extensive community engagement process, will encompass two laboratory buildings devoted to scientific research and development, a 343-unit rental apartment building, a hotel and more than two acres of community-oriented public outdoor space. Tishman Speyer will also develop, on Harvard University’s behalf, the mass-timber David Rubenstein Treehouse to serve as a campus-wide conference facility. The conference center will create a space for industry partners and visiting scholars and guests from around the world to collaborate with faculty and students to discuss issues at the forefront of their fields.
“Today, we move a big step closer to realizing our shared vision for an exciting expansion of the Allston community,” said Tishman Speyer CEO Rob Speyer. “The Enterprise Research Campus will be a place where creativity is sparked, and life-changing discoveries are made. This truly mixed-use development will welcome everyone – with a vibrant Greenway, new apartments, a hotel, and an active retail and food & beverage program. We look forward to delivering this special project.”
“As this new innovation corridor continues to emerge, we are fueled by some shared principles—harnessing creativity and invention for the benefit of the world, ensuring that opportunity is widespread and importantly, celebrating Allston as a place for all,” said Gay. “Each element of the ERC is the result of deep engagement with the city of Boston and with this neighborhood. The open spaces, the affordable housing, the workforce opportunities that will go on to define this community will lay the foundation for a thriving future,” she continued.
HALC CEO, Carl Rodrigues said, “This campus will be a place where ideas and people can flourish, where cutting-edge research can translate into real-world solutions. And most importantly, it will also be a welcoming place for our local community to enjoy and participate in the culture of innovation together with our students, faculty, and industry partners.”
The ERC, which is adjacent to the Harvard Business School and Harvard Science and Engineering Complex, will include local retail and restaurants, as well as actively programmed open space that will host an array of public events, such as farmer’s markets, concerts and outdoor fitness classes.
As part of an historic agreement with the city of Boston and the BPDA, 25% of all new residential units in the first phase will be affordable to individuals and families earning between 30% and 100% of Area Median Income (AMI). This commitment will ensure that the ERC is affordable to a wide range of local residents.
Breakthrough Properties, a joint venture of Tishman Speyer and Bellco Capital, will develop, lease and operate 440,000 s/f of laboratory and office space in two ERC buildings. Designed to support cutting-edge biotechnology and pharmaceutical companies across all life cycles – from early-stage to growth-stage to top global firms – the ERC will be the premier location for companies that are developing life changing technologies and want access to leading researchers and potential partners at Harvard University.
This initial phase of the ERC development is designed by an array of renowned master planning and architectural firms, including Studio Gang, Henning Larsen, Utile, Marlon Blackwell Architects, MVRDV, Moody Nolan, Arrowstreet and Scape Landscape Architecture.
The joint effort between Tishman Speyer and HALC has led to several one-of-a-kind accomplishments. The organizations collaborated on one of the largest inclusionary investor initiatives in Boston history for the project. The initiative brought more than 150 Black and Hispanic individuals and households, including a number of local Bostonians, into ownership of the ERC. The assembled group contributed over $30 million of the project’s equity investment.
Diversity and inclusion have also been integral components of the project. The procurement process resulted in more than 30% of pre-construction costs and over 15% of total construction costs being awarded to minority- and women-led firms. Tishman Speyer will also curate a dynamic ground floor experience that incudes small, local, minority and women-owned retailers.
In addition, Tishman Speyer has facilitated partnerships among construction companies as a means of ensuring that minority-owned firms meaningfully participate and derive long-term benefit from their involvement in the project. For the laboratory buildings, Turner Construction is partnering with Janey Construction Management and J&J Contractors. The residential and hotel components are being constructed via a partnership between Consigli Construction and Smoot Construction.
The ERC, which is targeting LEED Gold certification, will support the region’s sustainable future by creating climate-resilient, eco-friendly buildings using low-carbon construction methods.