BRA approves WIT Sweeney field project

The Boston Redevelopment Authority (BRA) last month approved Wentworth Institute of Technology’s (WIT) relocation of Sweeney Field to the site of the current Parker Street parking lot.

The new Sweeney Athletic Facility would allow for the redevelopment of the current field at 500 Huntington Ave. by relocating it atop a 330-space parking garage at 540 Parker St.

The 110,000 square foot project will include a new athletics playing field with seating for event attendees atop a single-story parking structure. The turf field will be used for varsity and intramural soccer, lacrosse, softball, and flag football. When not in use by the college, the athletics field will be available for community programming.

WIT estimates that the construction period will last approximately 13 months and is aiming to begin initial site work by the middle of this year so that the facility is ready for use during the fall 2016 athletic season.

The project was part of WIT’s Institutional Master Plan (IMP), filed in 2010.

The site at 500 Huntington Ave. would be redeveloped to create a six-story, 97,400-square-foot engineering and technology building, a new six-story WIT and community office building and an 18-story “endowment” building, to be leased to a third party. The 18-story tower is planned to be a “dry lab”—that is, a lab that would be technology-oriented, not medical-research-oriented.

An “endowment” building or campus means that WIT, the owner, would use the income from a long-term lease to fund potential new projects. At the end of the lease, both the land and the building would belong to WIT.

An IMP is a comprehensive development plan that describes an institution’s existing facilities, long-range planning goals and proposed projects. The institution must update and renew its IMP periodically and must amend it whenever it adds or changes any project significantly. The IMP serves as zoning approval for all its projects. A PDA functions in much the same way, except it applies to private and commercial developments.

WIT’s IMP and other planning materials are available at

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