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CAMBRIDGE, MA- A group of active and former faculty and staff from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Harvard University are branching out from academia to housing. The group plans to seal a deal this month with Extell Development Corp. to create a university-affiliated retirement community at 303 Third St. here.

The University Residential Community LLC, headed by former MIT president Paul Gray, hopes to turn the Kendall Square building into a 160-unit co-op reserved exclusively for Harvard and MIT faculty members. The co-op designation allows the property to restrict ownership to only those faculty members affiliated with Harvard and MIT, although Gray says ownership may eventually be open to faculty members from other schools as well.

The complex, which will feature a club room, fitness center and indoor pool, will have no financial backing from MIT or Harvard. It is, however, one of several similar projects affiliated with institutions of higher learning. Cornell University, the University of Michigan, and Indiana University also have affiliated retirement communities. Neither Gray nor Extell Development Corp. could be reached in time for GlobeSt.com’s deadline.

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