Otera Capital leads $750m construction loan for planned Tishman Speyer research campus 

The deal is the largest year-to-date construction loan originated in the US.

Otera Capital is heading a $750 million construction financing package for Tishman Speyer to build the first phase of Harvard University’s Enterprise Research Campus over the next three years.  

The June 16 deal is the largest year-to-date construction loan originated in the US and marks the second time this week the New York-based manager Tishman Speyer has sourced significant construction capital from a Canada-based funding provider. On June 15, Toronto-based investment bank RBC Capital Markets funded a $150 million construction loan for a Tishman Speyer retail renovation project in Washington, DC. 

Otera, a Montreal-based investor and debt provider, will be funding the first phase of development of the 900,000 square foot mixed-use asset. Construction will start next week and select buildings on the site are scheduled to open later in 2025 and early in 2026. 

“With financing now in place, we are set to realize a collective vision for the ERC as an inclusive community driven by innovation and human connection,” said Rob Speyer, chief executive officer at Tishman Speyer CEO, in a statement. “Together, we are creating a destination within Allston that will inspire local residents, families and visitors along with students, researchers and entrepreneurs.” 

Notably, the first phase’s capital stack includes a $30 million equity investment from 150 Black and Latino individuals and households as part of a Tishman Speyer and Harvard Allston Land Company initiative to draw more inclusionary ownership to the campus.  

The nine-acre first phase of the campus will include two laboratory buildings, a 343-unit rental apartment building and a hotel. Tishman Speyer will also develop a conference facility on Harvard University’s behalf, the mass-timber David Rubenstein Treehouse named after the Carlyle Group co-founder and co-chairman. 

Breakthrough Properties – a joint venture between Los Angeles-based investment manager Bellco Capital and Tishman Speyer – will develop, lease and operate 444,000 square feet of laboratory and office space in two of the campus buildings.  

Tishman Speyer plans to populate the ground floor storefronts with small, local, minority and women-owned retailers. The firm noted 30 percent of pre-construction costs and more than 15 percent of total construction costs have also been awarded to minority- and women-led firms as part of a diversity and inclusion initiative between the developing partners. 

The campus will target LEED Gold certification to round out its ESG components and is specifically aiming to create climate-resilient, eco-friendly buildings with low-carbon construction methods as part of that process.