Suffolk University thinking of abandoning Beacon Hill entirely for Downtown Crossing

The Herald reports on the possibility the school could move en masse to a "continguous campus" fronted on Tremont Street, which would let it increase enrollment without worrying about outraged howls of anger from Beacon Hill residents. But would they be butting heads with Emerson?

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    That building

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    Was originally slated to be a 22-story dorm, which I think is what got Beacon Hill screaming.

    Call me a pessimist but I

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    Call me a pessimist but I don't see this happening. First, Vornado is going to want a lot of money for the site. And second it would be dependent on Suffolk being able to sell off a number of their properties and purchase other properties on Tremont Street. Then they would have to go through the City's review process to amend their master plan and get separate approval for the new building on the Filene's site. That all adds up to a lot of time and lots of money.

    Fine but eminent domain

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    Fine but eminent domain doesn't just mean the City takes it, it means the city gets it and pays "fair market value" for it. According to the Herald Vornado has invested $150 million in the site. I realize that is not the same as fair market value but financially and politically I don't see the City using eminent domain here.

    All true, but...

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    ...there is no more politically connected university in this state besides Suffolk; check the roster of legislators and local leaders who have graduated with undergrad/grad/law degrees from there. If Suffolk wants this, and can afford Vornado's asking price, I see it happening no problem.

    It would certainly have to be

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    It would certainly have to be gradual but that may be all the more reason why it won't happen. I don't claim to understand Suffolk's financing but I am skeptical that they have the funds/financing to buy the Filene's site without selling other properties and even if they did they would then have to carry the Filene's site on their books while they went through the lengthy design and permitting process for a new building on that site. I just think there are too many expensive moving parts for Suffolk to carry this off.

    Immediately shot down by city councill

    Why would the councilor be so negative? His neighbors in the North End have been screaming for relief; this seems as if it would be the perfect solution.

    City Councilor Sal Lamattina, said he wouldn’t support any student housing on the Filene’s site, which is in his district. But he could support a limited number elsewhere in Downtown Crossing.

    “A mix is fine,” Lamattina said. “But I don’t want to see it overwhelmed with students. That could be dangerous.”

    Master plan? Zoning?

    Why does the City Council get to say anything about this? Does it not fit a master plan for the area? Does it conform to zoning? Individual councilors have a right to speak, true, but isn't this a zoning and planning issue? No wonder there is still a hole there - that seems to be what these people want!

    Moving students into dorms does a hell of a lot more for keeping housing affordable in the neighborhoods than luxury condos!

    Retail & luxury condos bring tax revenue...

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    ...university owned student housing doesn't. And PILOT payments are not going to come close to the taxes lost.

    Also, it's doubtful Suffolk would house all 5,000 (likely soon to be more...) of their students there, so yes, it does put more pressure on the neighborhoods because the school is no longer a "commuter" school. So when students don't fit in the dorms, they cause the rents in the downtown neighborhoods to skyrocket, and the quality of life to tank (written by a person who has been woken by numerous undergrad rooftop parties, and even had the displeasure of one drunk dumb*** peeing off her roof)

    I am THANKFUL my City Councilor is speaking up. Too often he is quiet and acquiesces to whatever the Mayor supports.

    More or less...

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    dangerous than DC already is? I don't think Sal has walked through there in a long time apparently.

    YEAH! Downtown Crossing

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    YEAH! Downtown Crossing needs to be cleaned up and Beacon Hill needs a break from the 20-somethings that wreck the place for us over 35 crowd. I love this idea!

    How do the "20-somethings"

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    How do the "20-somethings" wreck the place? Most Suffolk students are only on the hill until about 4. Students that live on the hill learn quickly they cant get away with much. There are alot of Beacon Hill residents that act as if it has turned into party central Allston.