Letter to the Editor: Parcel should be used for office space, not housing

This letter is in response to the editorial “Roxbury parcel a lose-lose for students, community” published in the July 5 edition of The News.

In my two years here at Northeastern I have been consistently pleased and encouraged by the university’s attempts to modernize and make the campus more attractive as a whole. I am also pleased at the university’s attempts to acquire Parcel P-3, as I feel it is yet a further extension of Northeastern’s attempts to improve campus life for its students.

However, I feel students and faculty alike are overlooking the real value this property would provide the university: office space.

Though I scoff at the editorial’s claim that “a big box store in the vein of Target” would enrich the community, I do agree with the author’s claim that the land would be less desirable for students as living space.

My proposal would be to build a rather large Northeastern administrative building on the land, preferably with some sort of parking facilities.

With this new real estate opened up, the now-defunct Gainsborough Garage could be torn down to make room for a rather spacious residence hall. And may I recommend that this one be taller than the woefully short West Village G – talk about a squandered opportunity.

Through this plan, students living in the new Gainsborough-area residence hall would still be located on campus, and the residents of the YMCA and all the assorted Huntington Avenue residences would have new Northeastern neighbors. At the same time, the Roxbury plot won’t be overrun by students, placating concerns about noise complaints, etc.

While this plan would certainly require further spending, I feel the monetary losses incurred would be investments for the future; after all, Northeastern prides itself on the “campus-in-the-city” model. The only way to keep this image is to actually keep students on a cohesive campus.

-Robert O’Neill is a middler communications major.

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