ACC/NU Residence Hall | 840 Columbus Ave | Northeastern University

Blackbird

Active Member
Joined
Feb 2, 2014
Messages
496
Reaction score
519
+1 on TomOfBoston's post, and also that is exactly what Northeastern plans to do. The two very next projects planned after the completion of 840 Columbus are a dorm on Ryder Lot and a dorm replacing the Burstein/Rubenstein dorms.
They can do more than that, imo. I'm imagining a total redo of the Stetsons, White, and Speare.

And yes, NIMBYs will always be a problem, but at least no one can claim that disenfranchised people are being targeted when towers go up on the Fenway side. It's at least one less hurdle compared to building on the Roxbury side.
 

Zash

Active Member
Joined
Aug 8, 2019
Messages
115
Reaction score
253
They can do more than that, imo. I'm imagining a total redo of the Stetsons, White, and Speare.

And yes, NIMBYs will always be a problem, but at least no one can claim that disenfranchised people are being targeted when towers go up on the Fenway side. It's at least one less hurdle compared to building on the Roxbury side.
Can’t redo both steast and stwest, Speare, and White. They all house way too many students at once and there isn’t any current flex space to shift those beds to.
 

Blackbird

Active Member
Joined
Feb 2, 2014
Messages
496
Reaction score
519
Can’t redo both steast and stwest, Speare, and White. They all house way too many students at once and there isn’t any current flex space to shift those beds to.
Could do them one at a time and put the displaced freshmen into traditionally upperclass housing like West Village. It might kick some middlers, juniors, and seniors off campus, but NU only guarantees housing for the first 2 years, right?

I also think the North Lot could be used for dorms. Especially if they redo Stetson, I'd expand into the current parking space.
 

Zash

Active Member
Joined
Aug 8, 2019
Messages
115
Reaction score
253
Could do them one at a time and put the displaced freshmen into traditionally upperclass housing like West Village. It might kick some middlers, juniors, and seniors off campus, but NU only guarantees housing for the first 2 years, right?

I also think the North Lot could be used for dorms. Especially if they redo Stetson, I'd expand into the current parking space.
North Lot is a part of the original IMP, haven't checked it in a bit but I think the plan was to use it as classroom flex space while they worked on other academic buildings.
 

TomOfBoston

Active Member
Joined
Mar 29, 2007
Messages
991
Reaction score
138
It might kick some middlers, juniors, and seniors off campus, but NU only guarantees housing for the first 2 years, right?
And these upper class students would then rent off campus apartments in Mission Hill or Roxbury?
 

TomOfBoston

Active Member
Joined
Mar 29, 2007
Messages
991
Reaction score
138
As they’ve done for generations.

Sorry, but I don’t understand your point.
My point is that there would be hundreds more students occupying off campus apartments than now. You are advocating increasing off ca,pus housing in the community.
 

Czervik.Construction

Senior Member
Joined
Apr 15, 2013
Messages
1,551
Reaction score
264
I never understood the dichotomy. The locals want the kids out of off-campus housing as they have the spending power to drive up rents and they don't treat the apartments well. Fair enough. Then when NU proposes a dorm to solve the problem, they complain about height, scale, whatever else they can muster. Then the development on Columbus-side gets shelved for a bit and then they propose building in the Stetson East parking lot and then the Fenway locals flip out, then they shelve that and then go back to Columbus-side. This has been going on for decades.

The Bizarre part is the locals who live on Hemenway, St Stephen, Westland, etc. get all mad. It is almost completely NU students there. Why would anyone want to live there that is not a student, that is then going to get mad at that school's expansion plans?
 

Czervik.Construction

Senior Member
Joined
Apr 15, 2013
Messages
1,551
Reaction score
264
The average student does not go to NU. Tuition is $53K per year, then add room and board, and the total is about $73K....per year....for 5 years. Mom and dad must be caked out to pay that, even with financial aid.

NU doesn’t build new dorms that the average student can afford.
 

KentXie

Senior Member
Joined
May 25, 2006
Messages
4,035
Reaction score
265
The average student does not go to NU. Tuition is $53K per year, then add room and board, and the total is about $73K....per year....for 5 years. Mom and dad must be caked out to pay that, even with financial aid.
Clearly the fact enough students are choosing to live off campus rather than pay for these luxury dorms that it's causing rent to increase in the surrounding area show that, yes the average student does go to NU. I can also attest this is true being a student at NU in the early 2010s. I agree with the students protesting here. Stop building luxury dorms that cost an arm and a leg to pay for. Build something that students can actually afford so they aren't stacking on top of their hefty student loans or having to work job/jobs on top of their schoolwork.

Honestly, universities campuses are a microcosm of the affordable housing market in Boston. It's always building more luxurious apartments so that the few people that can afford them benefits from all the amenities around and let everyone else who can't afford them fight each other to see who gets the right to jam themselves into dilapidated apartments. It's awful. If you're a poor NU student, you have to live in places like Mission Hill or beyond, away from resources such as quick access to the library, study rooms, community resource, etc. Poorer students shouldn't be disadvantaged from school resources just because they are poor and because NU isn't willing to cater to them.
 
Last edited:

TomOfBoston

Active Member
Joined
Mar 29, 2007
Messages
991
Reaction score
138
Clearly the fact enough students are choosing to live off campus rather than pay for these luxury dorms that it's causing rent to increase in the surrounding area show that, yes the average student does go to NU. I can also attest this is true being a student at NU in the early 2010s. I agree with the students protesting here. Stop building luxury dorms that cost an arm and a leg to pay for. Build something that students can actually afford so they aren't stacking on top of their hefty student loans or having to work job/jobs on top of their schoolwork.

Honestly, universities campuses are a microcosm of the affordable housing market in Boston. It's always building more luxurious apartments so that the few people that can afford them benefits from all the amenities around and let everyone else who can't afford them fight each other to see who gets the right to jam themselves into dilapidated apartments. It's awful. If you're a poor NU student, you have to live in places like Mission Hill or beyond, away from resources such as quick access to the library, study rooms, community resource, etc. Poorer students shouldn't be disadvantaged from school resources just because they are poor and because NU isn't willing to cater to them.
One thing contributing to the high rents for this building and Lightview is that they are privately owned and subject to full Boston property taxes which of course is reflected in the rent.
 

shmorkin

New member
Joined
Mar 25, 2021
Messages
6
Reaction score
4
That stretch of Columbus is looking better and better because of Northeastern's development. And the vast majority of it hasn't displaced anything except for surface parking and abandoned lots.

Also, Janey has now lost my vote. Good grief:
According to this Facebook post by the Boston Socialist Alternative, Janey's office is listed as a supporter of the dorm now, though I can't seem to find evidence for that.

 

Blackbird

Active Member
Joined
Feb 2, 2014
Messages
496
Reaction score
519
One thing contributing to the high rents for this building and Lightview is that they are privately owned and subject to full Boston property taxes which of course is reflected in the rent.
Did Northeastern own the plot that Lightview sits on and did they sell it before the building was built? In essence, that would make Lightview just any old luxury apartment building that NU happens to be renting out. And I believe they want to do the same thing with this new building, no?

Could Northeastern pass the land to the city and have them build a development like the one at Bromley Heath? A mix of city housing, restricted income, and market rate? Students could just rent spots at such a place. If Northeastern isn't going to be the owner of the "dorm" anyway, why should it go to ACC rather than the city?
 

JumboBuc

Senior Member
Joined
Jun 26, 2013
Messages
2,405
Reaction score
759
Could Northeastern pass the land to the city and have them build a development like the one at Bromley Heath? A mix of city housing, restricted income, and market rate? Students could just rent spots at such a place. If Northeastern isn't going to be the owner of the "dorm" anyway, why should it go to ACC rather than the city?
But ACC has experience and ability in this kind of project, and the City does not. Even for the proposed redevelopment of City housing like at Bunker Hill or Bromley Heath, the City contracts with third-party developers (not unlike Northeastern's contracting with ACC) to do the actual development.

Why would Northeastern want to further complicate the process by bringing in City ownership and getting tied up in City bureaucracy and politics? The City owns the Tremont Crossing land just down the street, for example, and look how well that development is going!
 

TomOfBoston

Active Member
Joined
Mar 29, 2007
Messages
991
Reaction score
138
Did Northeastern own the plot that Lightview sits on and did they sell it before the building was built? In essence, that would make Lightview just any old luxury apartment building that NU happens to be renting out. And I believe they want to do the same thing with this new building, no?

Could Northeastern pass the land to the city and have them build a development like the one at Bromley Heath? A mix of city housing, restricted income, and market rate? Students could just rent spots at such a place. If Northeastern isn't going to be the owner of the "dorm" anyway, why should it go to ACC rather than the city?
Northeastern owns the land under both buildings. Northeastern wants the buildings to be students only. If you had a family would you want to lived in a building that was half undergraduates??

Remember that the HUGE Tremont Crossing site is vacant nearby. It is about six times the size of 840 Columbus. Why can't the city build a mixed income housing development there? One reason might be that it wouldn't involve a major institution like Northeastern that the activists like to demonize for the publicity.
 

Blackbird

Active Member
Joined
Feb 2, 2014
Messages
496
Reaction score
519
Northeastern owns the land under both buildings.
Then what’s the “property tax” argument all about?

Northeastern wants the buildings to be students only. If you had a family would you want to lived in a building that was half undergraduates??
I mean, that’s already what life is like for families in Mission Hill, Fenway, and Lower Roxbury. And remember this is all about doing whatever it takes to get the cost of housing lower. If ACC can be forced to make a % of units affordable, then great!

However, we are talking about a private institution that pays little in taxes and has a $1b endowment. We shouldn’t have to beg for just a subset of its on-campus housing to be affordable.

Remember that the HUGE Tremont Crossing site is vacant nearby. It is about six times the size of 840 Columbus. Why can't the city build a mixed income housing development there?
It can and should. I believe the problem there is a massive amount of costly soil remediation, no?
 

TomOfBoston

Active Member
Joined
Mar 29, 2007
Messages
991
Reaction score
138
Then what’s the “property tax” argument all about?



I mean, that’s already what life is like for families in Mission Hill, Fenway, and Lower Roxbury. And remember this is all about doing whatever it takes to get the cost of housing lower. If ACC can be forced to make a % of units affordable, then great!



It can and should. I believe the problem there is a massive amount of costly soil remediation, no?
Northeastern owns the land but ACC owns the buildings. ACC pays full property tax on the building which is passed along to the tenants.

Please read the Tremont Crossing thread here on ArchBoston to get up to speed on that defunct project.
 

Top