After years of planning, the first phase of the Harvard Enterprise Research Park in Boston is about to break ground after Tishman Speyer secured $750 million in financing, the largest packaging construction financing package in 2023.

The 900,000-square-foot mixed-use development is a partnership between Tishman Speyer and Harvard Alston Land, according to a release.

The financing package, led by Otera Capital, is reportedly the largest to date in the US in 2023. Now that all necessary permits have been obtained, construction on the first phase of the ERC is scheduled to begin next week, with the building expected to open to the public in late 2025-early 2026.

The initial phase of the ERC will cover nine acres and will include two laboratory buildings dedicated to scientific research and development, a 343-unit rental apartment building, a hotel, and David Rubin’s massive timber building. Stan Tree House, which will serve as a campus meeting facility.

Adjacent to Harvard Business School and the Harvard Science and Engineering Center in Allston, the ERC will also feature street shops, restaurants and more than two acres of open space for public events such as farmers markets, concerts and outdoor fitness classes .

Affordable housing is an important part of the plan. As part of an agreement with the City of Boston and the Boston Planning and Development Authority, 25 percent of the new units in Phase One will be affordable to individuals and families earning between 30 percent and 100 percent of the area median income.

This commitment goes beyond Boston’s existing 13 percent inclusive housing development policy, ensuring that the ERC is affordable for all types of local residents.

Tishman Speyer’s joint venture, Breakthrough Properties, in partnership with Bellco Capital, will develop, lease and operate 440,000 square feet of laboratory and office space within two ERC buildings, catering to the needs of biotech and pharmaceutical companies at various stages of development.

ERC projects planned by well-known master planning and architecture firms are also notable for their focus on diversity and inclusion. More than 30 percent of pre-construction costs and more than 15 percent of total construction costs have been awarded to minority and women-led firms. In addition, Tishman Speyer will curate a ground floor experience highlighting small, local, minority-owned and women-owned retailers.

The ERC aims to achieve environmental sustainability and is targeting LEED Gold certification. It will prioritize low-carbon building methods for climate-resilient, eco-friendly buildings, contributing to a sustainable future for the region.

Tishman Speyer has been busy this year. Earlier this month, it secured a $485 million loan deferment for its 300 Park Avenue office building, months before the loan was sent to special services.

The company received an extension on a CMBS loan backed by a 26-story midtown office tower — the debt is due to mature in August. The extension only adds one year to the due date, but Tishman Speyer has the option to extend this until August 2025.

According to Trepp, which tracks securitized mortgages, the loan entered special servicing in March due to an “imminent balloon/maturity default.”

Ted Glazer

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *