Burke Street dormitory “topped out” in celebration with mayor

Burke Street dormitory “topped out” in celebration with mayor
Mayor Martin J. Walsh, Northeastern President Joseph E. Aoun, American Campus Communities CEO Bill Bayless and other officials watch as the final beam is hoisted to the top of the almost-complete Burke Street dormitory. / Photo by Sam Cronin

By Sam Cronin, news staff

Local officials and business leaders met Feb. 7 for the “Topping Out Celebration” of Northeastern’s 20-story dormitory building which is nearing completion at 10 Burke St.

At the event, Mayor Martin J. Walsh, Northeastern President Joseph E. Aoun and other key officials involved in the building project signed the final metal beam before it was lifted to the top floor.

The new residence hall will be privately owned and operated by American Campus Communities, or ACC, so the housing assignments will not be part of Northeastern’s lottery system. Student residents will lease from the developer independently, though they will still be subject to Northeastern’s code of conduct.

The celebration featured speeches from Jason Wills and Bill Bayless of ACC, the contractor in charge of the building’s construction.

Wills, the chief marketing officer of ACC, said the building will set “a new standard of living for students in the city of Boston.” He thanked Cube 3 Studio and Elkus Manfredi Architects, two of the development teams working on construction.

“This is truly a partnership,” said Bayless, the CEO for AAC. “This transaction moved at the speed of light.”

The residence hall will be completed in 2019 and will have 825 beds. It will reach 20 stories, and Northeastern’s website states that it will be similar to other apartment-style housing accomodations.

Northeastern’s 20-story Burke Street dormitory is currently under construction between Columbus Avenue and Tremont Street. / Graphic by Ashley Wong

Walsh emphasized the key roles workers play in keeping the project running smoothly and the construction moving quickly. He also applauded the jobs created by this project and the benefits it has had for workers and their families. He went on to praise the building for helping to fulfill his housing initiatives in the city.

“We looked at how do we create more low-income housing, we looked at how do we create more middle income housing,” Walsh said. “What Northeastern is doing will create more opportunities for student housing.”

Walsh then introduced Aoun, saying that the success of Boston depends on the success of Northeastern, and the success of Northeastern depends on the success of Boston. Although Walsh said he makes a habit of knowing all sitting university presidents in the city, he acknowledged he only recently met Aoun but has a great deal of respect for him. Aoun similarly indicated his respect for the mayor.

“This is a dream that came true because of Mayor Walsh,” Aoun said. “From the get go he asked us to work on housing… he asked us to be creative, innovative.”

In his short speech, Aoun emphasized the partnership between Northeastern and the City of Boston, which garnered applause and praise from the audience.

“The building is not a destination, the people are the destination.” Aoun said.

Leave a Reply