Travis Street? Why Not Romar?

For years, Allston has hosted the most unattractive parts of Harvard's campus like this maintenance yard along the east edge of Smith Field. Now, as part of its Barry's Corner revitalization project, Harvard wants to move this stuff from one side of Barry's Corner to another.

But in Harvard's vast Allston real estate empire, how can this be the best option for the community?

I mentioned a few months ago Romar's impending departure from Harvard property in Allston.

Harvard's 10 year Master Plan proposal includes less than half of the Romar site.

I went over to the Romar site this morning to see if Romar is still there. If the property is empty and not needed by Harvard for other uses in the next 10 years, it seems like a great place for Harvard's parking lots, mail room services, storage space, the University's recycling program, and maintenance and upkeep of the University's fleet of buses, vehicles, and other maintenance equipment.

Inside the empty Romar warehouse - 3:30 in the video

In defending its selection of the Travis Street location, Harvard claims that "Harvard's undeveloped property to the east of the site was also considered, but would have required new construction rather than adaptive reuse of existing structures. The selected approach [Travis Street] is seen as most desirable from the perspective of functionality, sustainability, and overall neighborhood quality of life."

How can that be true when Harvard has this empty warehouse where it would have no impact on Allston's quality of life and it would leave the possibility of some truly neighborhood-friendly use on Travis Street in the future?

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  1. Anonymous1:35 PM

    do not trample your 5th Amendment right

  2. Anonymous4:34 PM

    Oh Harry! When did you stop playing with computers and begin to fancy yourself a city planner?