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Harvard to Build, Renovate 11 Sites in Boston Expansion

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Oct. 19 (Bloomberg) -- Harvard University plans to build or renovate 11 buildings over the next 10 years as part of its expansion into the Allston neighborhood of Boston, across the Charles River from the main campus.

Harvard, based in Cambridge, Massachusetts, filed documents for nine of the projects to Boston city planning officials yesterday, including a new basketball arena and a renovation of the century-old football stadium that Harvard announced last week. Construction plans for a residential and retail complex and a science center are being reviewed separately.

Harvard had ambitious Allston expansion plans, conceived under former President Lawrence Summers, that were derailed by the economic crisis that began in 2008. President Drew Faust suspended work on the $1.1 billion Allston science center in 2009, and the university said in June site preparation would resume in 2013.

“Allston presents the university with the opportunity to develop a unique innovation hub,” Harvard Provost Alan Garber said in a statement on the university’s website. “In Allston, we will build on our research expertise and entrepreneurial spirit.”

Harvard’s plans for the business school campus include replacing Burden Hall, renovating Baker Hall and a housing complex, and building a faculty and administrative office building.

Hotel Center

The documents also detailed Harvard’s intention, first announced in 2011, to build a hotel and conference center in Allston close to the science center. The university would probably begin working on the hotel in the second half of the 10-year period covered by the plan, the filing said.

Harvard envisions the center as comprising from 150 to 250 hotel rooms along with meeting space of 50,000 to 100,000 square feet for a total project of approximately 250,000 square feet. The center may be run by Harvard, or developed and managed by a third-party vendor, the documents said.

Such a vendor “might take advantage of the proximity to the Harvard campus in Allston to attract both Harvard and non-Harvard events,” the filing said.

The expansion will be funded “through a variety of sources, such as university funds and philanthropy,” Harvard said in the statement. The school is expected to start a fundraising campaign next year with a goal of about $6 billion, the Harvard Crimson student newspaper reported in April.

To contact the reporter on this story: John Lauerman in Boston at

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Lisa Wolfson at

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