Suffolk looks to add more dorms, but maybe in East Boston, South Boston or Charlestown

The Suffolk Journal reports the university is looking to increase the percentage of students it currently has room for in dorms from 25% or so and quotes honcho and former City Councilor and East Boston native John Nucci on how it might make sense to look outside of the incredibly expensive area around the school at places that are just a ten-minute subway ride away - in particular East Boston, South Boston and Charlestown.



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East Boston? This might have

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East Boston? This might have been a great idea five or ten years ago, but good luck finding a plot of land that doesn't abut a residential area which could be had for "cheap". Without sounding too NIMBY-ish, I'm not sure who would want to live next to dorms, or if it's fair to drop hundreds of students into a residential area. The hole on Bennington near Orient Heights may be the best solution since that side of the street doesn't have much (if any) homes that would be disturbed by the increased foot traffic, assuming of course they're using Orient Heights instead of Wood Island.

...because if you can solve

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...because if you can solve the issue of adding dorms, and minimizing impact on existing neighborhoods, why on earth wouldn't you take that route, especially when land not immediately abutting current neighborhoods may very well be cheaper? But hey, good luck finding cheap land in the already heavily-populated spaces in East Boston. They're all right on the water, and have all been $3000mo/2BR developments. Outside of random lots that could fit a triple decker here and there, there are slim pickings on plots in EB that aren't already developed or already have a plan of development.

One of the great things about

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One of the great things about South Boston is that there are little to no students. Let's keep it that way.

Bennington Street

Looks like there's a fair amount of low-value commercial land use near there that could be replaced by a dorm: Dunkin Donuts, Burger King, Rent-A-Center, gas stations, a drive-thru bank branch, etc. (If the dorm is built in place of the DD, a new DD could be put on the first floor.)

That Dunkin

Just went through a half million dollar renovation, including the addition of a Drive Thru. You may consider that land low-value (which it definitely isn't), but I'd think the investment they just put in and the business they do have quite a high value.

But as someone else has said,

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But as someone else has said, they just put a ton of money into that DnD and those other places provide jobs for the residents of the neighborhood which I think is an incredibly valuable thing as opposed to students coming in.

Also, have you noticed how few gas stations are in certain neighborhoods of Boston? It is a PITA when I'm at work and trying to direct tourists to the "nearest" one in Charlestown on Rutherford Ave.

I have nothing against Dunkin Donuts

But it could easily occupy the first floor of a larger building, instead of being in an one-story building surrounded by asphalt. (The same goes for several of the DDs here in Somerville.)

Remember when there was a gas

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Remember when there was a gas station right behind Haymarket? It wasn't cheap... but it was there!

Ran out of fuel at the entrance to the tunnel

I pulled aside out of traffic. Grabbed my gas can and ran!

1989 I believe.

Some guy yells "they're gonna tow you right away!". I got back in less than 5 minutes ... if a truck was sent, I never saw it.

I was just wondering about that the other day - can't do that anymore!

Commercial St

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There used to be one on Commercial St - near Hanover St, if I recall correctly.

301 border street East Boston

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301 border street East Boston been up for sale for 6 months for $5.5 million , bought for $3.5 m I guess owner is trying to make a $2 m profit.
That will make a great area for suffolk university to house students.
Right near the Chelsea border. They can use the Chelsea creek for rowboating.

That side of Border is one of

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That side of Border is one of the most crime ridden streets in all of East Boston . I wouldn't have my college age daughter walking down there at night , fucking soft!! and I have lived in Eastie my whole life!

Charlestown Won't happen

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And Eastie seems kind of odd - given the water barrier between the neighborhood and the city. For real though - if they start housing college kids in Southie, then the St Paddys Day Parade's gotta go...because that neighrborhood is looking like nothing more than a College Town 10-15 years down the road. Damn shame.

We could still have late

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We could still have late night T service if the many colleges in the area kicked in a little bit of dough each. Its not like they are paying property tax...

While we can and should have

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While we can and should have late night TRANSIT, late or all night T service runs into a very real and very practical barrier - we don't have double tracked trains, so when does track maintenance happen if not overnight?

Close one half of one track,

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Close one half of one track, and one half of the other on the corresponding leg. Perform maintenance on 50% of the track one night, 50% of the track the other night. Can still run multiple trains due to trains if necessary. Or just run two trains (one in each direction) and have 15-30 min wait times. Still better than no trains.

emphasis on "little bit"

as you state yourself, a pittance compared to what most would pay if legitimately taxed, especially those that own lucrative real estate that has been devolped as commercial property.


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I responded to the request by Kinopio that the non-profits "kick in a little bit" by pointing out that they do.

Don't move the goal posts, please.

late night transportation

Regardless of T proximity, Suffolk would probably have to adopt the model of private shuttle bus service (in use at BU, MIT, Harvard) to get students from their housing to the downtown campus. BU, for example runs shuttles between main and medical campus, though the last scheduled routes each way are 11:30 pm with no late Sat evening or any Sunday service. There is a late night\weekend bus that serves Charles river campus only. MIT and Harvard run uses on both sides of the Charles to serve Harvard Medical area as well as MIT residences in Boston. The question is whether Suffolk will have the money to implement a shuttle service?

University shuttle bus

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If it's a dorm, the school should provide shuttle bus service to it. Most spread-out campuses have shuttle buses to get students around. BC even has a shuttle bus that goes to the Reservoir T stop. For the tuition Suffolk students pay, it's the least they can expect.

I'm generally not

a NIMBY. but in this case:

in particular East Boston


The neighborhood is already being overridden by luxury condos, overpriced restaurants, and skyrocketing rents and property taxes (thanks in large part to said development and students flocking there). The Blue Line is also hitting critical mass not only during the morning commute, but often on off-hours as well. Hard pass on building actual dorms there.

Suffolk would do well to

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Suffolk would do well to build student dorms in Revere and provide a shuttle for students in and out of Boston. Charlestown and Southie are way too expensive. East Boston seems reasonable by comparison.

Quantum Change

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What quantum change took place that made people suddenly discover East Boston? Suffolk has been where it is for years (Tremont Street expansion notwithstanding). East Boston has been where it is for years. And Suffolk just noticed the proximity? Likewise all the people who suddenly want to live in proximity to downtown or "live and work in the city" and have flocked to East Boston and all the luxury housing that has sprung up. I used to laugh that people had the mistaken notion that East Boston was "out of the way", and was basically ignored and left alone as if if were some remote outpost. I guess that notion is a thing of the past.

Some data

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From Trulia:

Charlestown real estate is currently $688 /sqft

Southie, $655 /sqft

Eastie, $460 /sqft

(I get that they're not buying condos, but you get the point)

Why not Dorchester? $384 /sqft and room to build. Just a short jump on the redline.

Isn't the problem with

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Isn't the problem with Dorchester is the areas that are bringing that price per square foot down are places that aren't a "short jump" to the Red Line, and mostly in the area west of Dorchester Avenue and east of Blue Hill Ave? I don't think there'd be a ton of cheap land near JFK/UMass and Savin Hill.

East Boston is becoming Alllston

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East Boston is veering dangerously close to becoming another Allston. In the past few years there have been flocks of students, hipsters, well-heeled millennials starting out on their first real jobs, and other notoriously transient populations taking up residence there. The Central Square Shaw's has sprouted an alarming number of man-buns in recent times.


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How dare young people try to live in neighborhoods that they can afford.

Why not..

Chelsea, quick shuttle over the bridge, good revitalization effort, everyone wins

Any reason Roxbury isn't being considered?

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Any reason Roxbury isn't being considered? Plenty of cheap land in a neighborhood that could use a boost. Plus, on the Orange Line which stops at Downtown Crossing within a short walk of Suffolk.