CAMBRIDGE, MA-Harvard University is acquiring three buildings here on Pleasant Street to develop as a 120-unit housing facility. The university plans to use the complex for its students and faculty.

According to Joe Wrinn, spokesperson for Harvard, the university is paying $40 million for the two-acre site and the buildings, which is being developed by a partnership of the Polaroid Corp. and Spaulding & Slye Colliers. The property has the approvals needed to develop the units in the three buildings. Wrinn tells that the university is currently going through the final stages in the process to acquire the property.

In a released statement, the university emphasizes that the acquisition is one of its first major purchases in the city in recent years. The university also emphasizes that the project is part of Harvard’s response to the city’s call to Harvard to increase housing for its students and faculty and relieve pressure on the local housing supply. As required by city law, 18 units or 15% of the development will be developed as affordable housing.

The remaining 102 units will initially be made available as rental units to Harvard faculty graduate students. Eventually, the university plans on selling the units–which will range in size from studios to three-bedrooms–to junior and senior faculty members. Because the development will be sold as condominiums, it will not be eligible for tax exemption. This program will be initiated in approximately two to three years and Harvard plans on selling roughly 10 units per year.

Harvard’s 159,500-sf housing complex, which will include underground parking, will be adjacent to two new office buildings under construction on the front portion of the Polaroid headquarters site. The office buildings will buffer the residential buildings from Memorial Drive.

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