By: Alejandro Serrano, deputy news editor
Northeastern University (NU) is planning to lease a site on Burke Street, on the south side of campus, to American Campus Communities (ACC) to construct an 800-bed on-campus dorm building, according to a letter of intent the university filed to the Boston Redevelopment Authority (BRA) on Dec. 23. The site is currently a school-owned staff parking lot.
“We look forward to working with Northeastern and the community to review this proposal,” BRA Director of Communications Nicholas Martin said in an email to The News. “Typically the review process takes several months. During that time we work with the proponent [Northeastern] and the community to evaluate the impacts of the proposed project and to define an appropriate mitigation strategy to offset those impacts.”
The university spokesperson did not respond for comment by time of publication.
Martin said that the proposal presents the opportunity to ease the competition between residents of the area and students seeking nearby housing. By constructing more student-specific units, some of this tension could be alleviated.
“It wasn’t too competitive to find an apartment,” third-year biochemistry major Viren Dayal, who currently leases an on-campus apartment in Douglass Park, said. “This apartment was my first choice…it’s been a pretty lax experience. In Douglass Park there are other locals in the same building, but the new dorm should be fine [regardless of other residents]; I don’t see it as a problem.”
According to News at Northeastern, the new dorms will be for undergraduate students to lease from ACC. The Austin-based developer to build and manage the building.
“I am not against the new building,” said Mahmoud Ashour, first-year computer science major who currently lives off-campus in Brookline, Mass. “Fundamentally I would consider living there, but I also need somewhere to stay when I’m not in school such as summer and winter, so I have a very specific situation.”
NU currently offers more than 20 on-campus housing options for undergraduate students, as well as on-campus leased properties from Douglass Park to Fenway, according to a university website.
“It’s cool how the proposed dorm building is sort of an off-campus, on-campus experience without the hassle of looking for an apartment,” said second-year architecture major Win Overholser, who intends on moving off-campus next semester. “It’s pretty cool that NU is expanding our campus and taking over, kind of, that side [south] of campus.”