Boston Business Journal

Harvard Seeks to Build New Theater, Housing in Allston

Boston Business Journal/Architectural Resources Cambridge

Harvard University is moving forward with a proposal to build a performing arts center for its renowned American Repertory Theater in Allston, as well as a large new residential building for its graduate students, faculty and staff.

The school formally notified the Boston Planning and Development Agency of its plans in a filing Wednesday, after first announcing its intention to move the A.R.T. to its Allston campus in 2019. The group has long performed at the Loeb Drama Center on Brattle Street in Cambridge.

The proposal requires a change in Harvard’s institutional master plan on file with the city, which must be approved by the BPDA board. If approved, the organization would move to a new 68,000-square-foot building at 175 North Harvard St, where there is now a parking lot and a one-story building that has been used for office and other purposes. The venue would include a 700-seat theater and a 300-seat theater, as well as rehearsal, support and office space.

The 276,000-square-foot, 156-foot-tall residential building would also be built on the 2.7-acre site. That project is meant to provide more university-sponsored housing for grad students, faculty, staff and their families across its footprint. Harvard uses a lottery to determine who wins a spot in one of the units, with the number of annual applicants typically quadrupling the number of available units, according to the filing with the BPDA.

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