BPDA Board Approves Project Proposed For Harvard Club Site

Boston Planning & Development Agency board of directors approved a 133-unit residential project proposed for the site of the Harvard Club of Boston in the Back Bay at its monthly meeting held virtually on Thursday, Dec. 14.

A rendering of the residential project proposed for the site of the Harvard Club of Boston in the Back Bay.

Boston real estate developer Trinity Financial intends to redevelop 415 Newbury St. and 374 Commonwealth Ave., which are both currently owned by the Harvard Club of Boston, along with an adjacent surface parking lot, into two new buildings. The smaller, three-story, 37-foot building would contain 38 units of mixed-use housing, including 23 affordable home ownership units, as well as 125 residential parking spaces. (The Harvard Club will manage and own the on-site parking.) The larger, 11-story, 120-foot building will contain 95 units of market-rate rentals, along with Harvard Club amenity space. (Approximately 64,000 square feet of existing Clubhouse will remain.)

The transit-oriented project, located less than 500 feet from the MBTA Hynes Convention Center Station and an MBTA bus route, will create a new dedicated bike lane on Newbury Street between Massachusetts Avenue and Charlesgate East as part of its community-benefits package. The redeveloped site will include a minimum of 133 indoor bike parking spaces for residents and employees and at least 35 bike parking spaces for visitors. The project will also contribute $75,000 to fund a new 19-dock bikeshare station on or near the site, according to the BPDA.

During the public process for the project, some neighbors had raised concerns that it could require the creation of the first Planned Development Area (PDA) in the Back Bay Historic District. (PDAs are overlay districts for sites of at least one acre that establish special controls for large or complex development projects.)

The proposed redevelopment of the Harvard Club site was one of seven new development projects, accumulatively comprising approximately 2,346,848 square feet, approved by the BPDA board at its Dec. 14 virtual meeting, These new projects will create a total of 1,871 residential units – 707, or 37 percent of which, will be designated income-restricted, according to the BPDA.

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