The first phase of Harvard University’s plans to develop its property in Allston into “the next Kendall Square” has a few literal All-Star investors.
As The Wall Street Journal reported last week, Toronto Raptors guard Kyle Lowry, Miami Heat forward Andre Iguodala, Milwaukee Bucks guard Jrue Holiday, and Los Angeles Lakers center Andre Drummond are part of an investor group putting $30 million into Harvard’s billion-dollar Enterprise Research Campus in Lower Allston.
Located next to Harvard’s new Science and Engineering Complex on Western Avenue, the first phase of the project is slated to include 900,000 square feet of residential, office, lab, hotel, conference center, restaurant, and retail space, as well as more than two acres of green space across 14 acres of a former rail yard.
Harvard announced in December that it had picked the New York-based development firm Tishman Speyer to develop the initial phase, which is currently under review (the entire 36-acre project is waiting for state officials to decide how exactly to proceed with the massive rebuild of the Massachusetts Turnpike through Allston).
According to the Journal, Lowry, Iguodala, Holiday, and Drummond are part of a group of well-off Black and Latino investors — ranging from lawyers to doctors — all of whom are accredited investors, meaning they have individual annual incomes over $200,000 or net worths of more than $1 million, not counting their primary home.
The four NBA players also aren’t the only athletes involved in the project; four NFL players are also part of the group. However, a spokesman for Tishman Speyer said this week that their names aren’t being disclosed.
According to the Journal, Tishman Speyer reached out through intermediaries to the athletes after Harvard asked the developer to commit to selling a 5 percent stake in the project to Black and Latino people in an effort to increase the diversity of those who benefit from the project. Developers could have offered stakes to lower-income investors through a public offering, but Tishman Speyer told the Journal that doing so for “a roughly 5% interest is incompatible with the rest of the project.”