Plot for a parcel

Local residents and city officials attended a public meeting two weeks ago to discuss the future of a seven-acre plot on Tremont Street – one that may include a 1,400-bed residence hall.

The crowd that turned out for the three-hour meeting, held June 22 at the Boston Water and Sewer Commission in Roxbury, filled the room to capacity as three teams of developers presented their plan for the property. Half a dozen teenagers held court in the back of the packed conference room, wielding signs with slogans like “We need places to go,” and “More opportunities for youth residents.” Others stood at the entrance, handing out buttons in support of Tremont Center.

The site at stake, known as Parcel P-3, is located across the street from police headquarters and has been mostly vacant for almost half a century. But by the end of the year, the Boston Redevelopment Authority (BRA) is set to decide which developer will have the right to build there.

Northeastern has agreed to provide funding for one proposal, Tremont Center, which was submitted by Madison Park Community Development Corp. and Trinity Financial.

The deal includes leasing 300 units of apartment-style housing to the university, in exchange for $20 million it has pledged to subsidize the costs of construction.

Moving toward the center

Tremont Center is projected to be more than 240,000 square feet of commercial and retail space and would stand between eight and 15 stories tall at its highest point.

The center would include four areas of open space, including a central green with a pavilion that could be used for outdoor community events, and a semi-private courtyard to be shared by the student residents.

It will have more than 200 underground parking spaces, available to the general public at comparable rates to other garages in the area, and 85 new surface spots.

A transfer of wealth

Under the proposal, Northeastern plans to contribute an additional $2 million to establish an on-site business assistance and employment resource center, aimed at helping local residents prepare for jobs in the health care and educational industries.

In addition to student housing, the proposal includes 111 units of family housing. Half will be sold as market-rate, for-sale condos, 25 units will be sold as affordable, for-sale condos, and what remains will be used as affordable rental units.

Community expansion

Tremont Center will include a new home for the Health Careers Academy, a Horace Mann charter school operated from Hayden Hall, and the Whittier Street Health and Wellness Center, a federally-funded, non-profit community health center that leases space from Northeastern in the Renaissance Park building.

Established in 1998, the charter school, which caters to those who aspire for careers in health professions, has maintained a partnership with Northeastern that allows for its approximately 185 students to use the university’s science laboratories, physical education facilities and visual arts studios.

Preservation of local history

The proposal also calls for the construction of a community cultural center, comprising a restaurant and jazz caf

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