LightView event promotes new student apartments


Chris Butler and Nick Hirano

Hundreds of students lined up along Columbus Avenue Saturday to celebrate the opening of the new LightView Apartments leasing office.

The kickoff event included live music, free food and a $10,000 scholarship raffle to encourage students to sign leases for the new building and walk through the model unit housed within the office. Some students began signing leases early on in the kickoff.

“I really was not excited for LightView at all until I saw how much they were hyping it up.” said Mollie Harmon, a second-year neuroscience major. “I definitely think this event was a good selling point.”

The 825-bed apartment complex, located across the street from the Badger and Rosen Squashbusters Center, is slated to open in August 2019. It will be available exclusively to students third-year and above.

However, it will not be a part of the university’s on-campus housing lottery. Instead, students will lease the apartments through American Campus Communities, or ACC, an independent company.

The elaborate event represented ACC’s first push to sign leases for Fall 2019. Before students could partake in the festivities, they had to submit detailed contact information online and tour a model apartment.

Lightview Apartments will be operated by ACC staff, including community assistants similar to resident assistants. While separate from Northeastern Residential Life housing, LightView and ACC will maintain a “collaborative” relationship with the university, said Dan Barry, the regional vice president of ACC for the Northeast.

“We work closely with the university because students are here for an education, and we want your academic success,” Barry said. “That’s why we’re partnering with NU and that’s why NU chose us.”

The NU-LightView partnership arose from the university’s need for more housing, Barry said.

Some students see LightView as a step toward alleviating housing difficulties on campus and in the city at large.

“They didn’t have enough housing for the sophomores last year so hopefully this will supplement that, because no one wants to live on 1110 Commonwealth,” said Sam Hochstat, a second-year civil engineering major, referencing a much-derided university housing unit located three miles from the main campus.

Student Government Association President and third-year political science major Nathan Hostert believes the complex could potentially benefit nearby neighborhoods.

“Any time we’re pulling students out of the surrounding communities and back to campus and students aren’t contributing to rising rent prices for residents in places like Roxbury, that’s a good step,” Hostert said. “That’s in line with what the university is trying to do, and what the city of Boston and Marty Walsh are trying to do.”

While Barry declined to comment on the event’s budget, the kickoff featured giveaways for high-ticket items such as an Apple Watch and a 4K TV every half hour of the six-hour event. In addition, ACC raffled off a $10,000 scholarship.

“We’ve given away a $10,000 scholarship at the opening of all of our communities around the country. One of our core values is that we put students first,” Barry said. “You look at the turnout here — we wanted to make sure we had a successful event and I think the budget was well-spent.”