By Alejandro Serrano, city editor
Boston Redevelopment Authority (BRA) board members approved Northeastern University’s (NU) proposed 812-bed dormitory building on Burke Street at a July 14 meeting, the organization said in a press release. The project will cost $160 million and will generate more than 250 construction jobs.
“We’re pleased that our board approved Northeastern’s new dormitory, as it will create significantly more on-campus housing opportunities for students,” said BRA Director of Communications Nicolas Martin in an email to The News on July 18. “The project is in line with the housing goals of the administration and what was conceived in Northeastern’s approved Institutional Master Plan.”
NU filed a letter of intent for the residence hall on Dec. 23 and previously included it in its 2013 Institutional Master Plan. Currently, the property is a university-owned parking lot for Columbus Place.
The university aims to lease the property to Austin-based American Campus Communities (ACC), according to News archives. The two- and four-person apartment-style units will be considered on-campus, and undergraduate students will be able to lease them from ACC.
“The Boston Redevelopment Authority unanimously approved the project following a period of robust community input,” said the university in a July 20 statement. “The building, which will be privately operated, will address Northeastern’s commitment—as well as the city of Boston’s desire—to bring more students into campus housing.”
Construction will commence later this year and will last approximately two-and-a-half years, according to the press release.
The new dorm may decrease the amount of students that seek off-campus housing, but it may also not make a difference, said sophomore behavioral neuroscience major Leila Habib.
“On one hand, it might decrease the amount of students going off campus and taking over housing that actual Roxbury community members live in,” she said. “If the rooms aren’t affordable, then students will continue to move off campus for cheaper housing, taking over apartments and houses that families living in Boston need.”
Northeastern and the BRA hope to ease intrusion of Boston neighborhoods by providing more on-campus living opportunities for students, Martin said.
“By expanding the number of on-campus beds for students, we hope projects such as this one begin to help alleviate pressures on the traditional neighborhood housing stock,” he said.
File photo by news staff