Nothing new, no commitments from Harvard

Harvard did not "present a revised neighborhood plan" at last night's meeting ("New roadways suggested in Harvard's Allston plan - The Boston Globe"). In fact, Harvard didn't really present anything more than fuzzy yellow and brown ovals on top of planning maps created by the BRA. What Harvard did was indicate general agreement with broad principles that the BRA has proposed during several months of planning meetings focused on the Holton St Corridor.

But general agreement with high-level ideas is nothing new. In the 2005 North Allston Strategic Framework, Harvard and the BRA agreed to many of the same concepts - enhance access to the river, create new housing, create "new local streets to knit the Brighton Mills district together with adjoining neighborhoods". That in 2009 all Harvard can do is generally agree with these same ideas shows how far we haven't come.

Harvard refused to provide any information about when any of their Holton St Corridor property beyond the Charlesview 6 acres could be developed. That leaves unknown the future of 22 acres and Harvard certainly didn't show any eagerness or excitement about moving forward with any of them.

Harvard was clear that not much more land has been made available for the Charlesview relocation. The BRA was equally clear that they have instructed Charlesview to lower the density, include homeownership units, and add more income diversity in addition to relocating the existing 213 apartments. Still bound by a 6 acre site, it is hard to imagine how this is possible and it would seem that we remain in basically the same situation as when the Globe wrote the following in March 2008:
Felicia Jacques, a spokeswoman for the developer, Community Builders Inc., said the nonprofit is constrained by the 6.9-acre size of the site, obtained from Harvard University in a swap for the development's current 4.5-acre locale, and by the project's finances.
"Harvard has offered what Harvard has offered," she said.
So the next CWP meeting should be particularly interesting. On June 24 Charlesview will present their first update to the public since the plan they submitted to the BRA 16 months ago.

1 comment:

  1. It's about time The Community Builders, and the Charlesview Board, Presented their ideas to the this Community.