Task Force approves plan for new residence halls, 1,800 beds

Task Force approves plan for new residence halls, 1,800 beds

Northeastern has submitted a proposal to build two high-rise residence halls that would provide housing for another 1,800 students.

The project comes on the heels of more than 18 months of meetings with community members, university administrators and city officials.

The plan is to build two 22-story towers with a 12-story connector on Parcel 18, which serves as a parking lot at the intersection of Tremont and Ruggles streets, and a single 22-story tower on the site of Cullinane Hall, an administrative building near the Curry Student Center. The building would be torn down to facilitate the development.

Both sites were among four deemed viable options for student housing and economical development earlier this year by the Community Task Force.

At least one of the remaining sites, Gainsborough Garage, will also play a role in Northeastern’s future. The proposal included provisions for future mixed-use development at the garage, as well as non-residential development on the North, Camden and Ryder lots.

The proposal was submitted last week to the Boston Redevelopment Authority (BRA), said Northeastern Communications Director Fred McGrail.

McGrail said construction for the Ruggles Street and Cullinane sites could be completed by 2009 and 2011, respectively.

Local residents now have 30 days to submit concerns about the project to the BRA, said Jeff Doggett, director of government relations and community affairs.

Northeastern officials will use this time to finalize their plans for the proposal, including the capacity and height of the towers, before a follow-up is submitted.

“At that point, I expect that we’ll have the support necessary to move to the [BRA] Board to seek their approval,” he said.

Doggett said the proposal marks the beginning of a new chapter for the task force.

“I think the Community Task Force is going to start to play a different role,” he said. “We’re going to be checking in, to make sure they know where we are in the process, and then we’ve got to start working with them on some of the other issues that have been going on over time like economical development and things of that nature.”

City Councilor Michael Ross, who has been an active participant in the task force since it was formed, “is very excited about the new residence halls,” said his spokesperson, noting that the project is “working toward our goal of having more of the students in the city living on campus.”

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