Charlesview misrepresents its land swap with Harvard

According to research done by Mark Ciommo and the rest of our A/B team of elected officials, the actual acreage of the current Charlesview site is 6.5 acres, not the 4.5 acres stated in Charlesview's PNF. Mark's letter to the BRA is posted here.

Project Notification Form page 1-3

"1.2.2 Proposed Development
The site of the new Charlesview development will be acquired via a land swap that has been negotiated with Harvard University. The existing 4.5-acre site, owned by Charlesview,Inc., that houses the current Charlesview Apartments will be swapped for two sites containing, in the aggregate, approximately 6.9 acres."


  1. Anonymous4:31 PM

    Do not include the playground Charlesview has on it's property because it is own by Harvard University. Just wanted to let you know because we were always told by Charlesview managment that Harvard own this land. jimmy....

  2. Anonymous2:01 PM

    Harry, the lot size in the city records is 199,580 sq ft. That comes to 4.58 acres. If you look at the assessors' map, Charlesview does not own some of the parking lot on Western Ave. Don't quite know who does.

  3. Anonymous2:34 PM

    jimmy, you are correct. the playground is 0 Hefferan St, and is about 9,000 sq ft, and is owned by Harvard.

    The two additional acres is owned by the city of Boston and is considered a public way. This land is used by Charlesview residents and guests for parking both on the Western Ave side and the Hefferan St cul de sac leading to the playground. No housing is built on these two acres.

  4. So Charlesview should be more careful with the information they provide. The image in red from Charlesview's PNF clearly includes the parking lots as part of the "existing site". If Charlesview doesn't own that land they should show the real boundaries like the the map from the assessors office.

    After Harvard acquires Charlesview's 4.5 acres, it seems likely to acquire the 2 acres currently used for parking. So Harvard ends up getting 6.5 acres and Charlesview gets 6.9 acres - almost a 1-for-1 swap of land. That is a great deal for Harvard considering the relative importance of the land being traded.

  5. Anonymous4:05 PM

    Harry, yes, Charlesview should have been more careful in its illustration of the boundaries of the current site.

    Its probably safe to say that Harvard will eventually acquire the public way property that is used by Charlesview for parking. Hefferan St. will be closed.

    But there will probably be a net loss of land for Harvard, because it will turn over the new Stadium Way to the City. The new Stadium Way from North Harvard to Western will be four lanes, plus a wide bike lane, and even wider sidewalks. So I'll guess that Boston will pick up 3 or 4 acres of new public way as a result of the new Stadium Way, and swap that for the two acres surrounding Charlesview.


  6. Anonymous4:19 PM

    Charlesview could and should have asked for more LAND but did not. I should assume that Charlesaview could have gone back and asked for more land from Harvard University,but they did not if Harvard doe's not agree to more LAND to be given to Charlesview then they should not take the LAND SWAP Because Charlesview just got screwed.