WBZ's loss = Harvard's gain?

The major layoffs over at WBZ suggest that it is getting more likely that Harvard will soon add another piece of riverfront property to its Allston/Brighton empire.

Harvard spent $16 million to buy 5.2 acres at 176 Lincoln St, which is $3 million per acre. So how much might WBZ's 8 acres at 1170 Soldiers Field Road where 'BZ built its home in 1948 be worth? The City assesses the WBZ property at $13 million, which seems low. Harvard already owns the adjacent smaller (1.2 acre) property at 1120 Soldiers Field Road and putting that together with WBZ's property would give Harvard 9 acres just steps from Harvard's athletic fields.

The final selling price we may never know, because of Harvard's use of shell companies and $1 transactions, but based on the Lincoln Street comparison it wouldn't seem unrealistic for the WBZ property to be worth $5-10 million per acre to Harvard. A $40-80 million dollar deal would make it one of Harvard's most expensive Allston acquisitions of all time.


  1. and would Harvard pay property taxes if they purchased this land?

  2. Harvard (like any other university in Boston) pays property tax on property that is not being used for institutional purposes. So if Harvard buys the WBX property and keeps WBZ as a tenant, the building sits vacant, or some other tenant occupies it, Harvard will pay taxes on it. At the time when Harvard adds that property to an Insitutional Master Plan then it will no longer be taxed.

  3. Anonymous12:16 AM

    It's not just "more likely"... it's a done deal that's being kept quiet. Ask some local commercial realtors about it.

  4. Universities and other non-profits pay some amount in lieu of property taxes to reflect the municipal benefits they receive.