Suffolk University, which is already looking at locations in East Boston to house its students, has notified city officials it plans to lease what is now a BU dorm in Packards Corner in Allston for at least a couple of years to house up to 350 students.
BU itself used the top five floors in the six-story building, at 1047 Commonwealth Ave., next to the Star Market, for temporary student housing.
In a proposed amendment to its "institutional master plan" filed last month, Suffolk said the switch from Terriers to Rams would displace no permanent Boston residents and should have minimal impact on the surrounding neighborhood. Among the students who would live in the building: A number of upper-class residents acting as resident assistants.
Suffolk said it has seen greater interest among its students in living in university housing even as it tries to comply with a city request it house at least 50% of its students in dorms - the university says it's now at about 25%.
Although Packards Corner might seem to be a fair hike from Suffolk's downtown buildings, the university added it is consciously trying to disperse its residences around the city, to keep students from becoming "an undue impact on any one particular area."
Suffolk's agreement with BU has a two-year option after the initial lease expires.
Suffolk's entire institutional master plan, filed with the BPDA, expires next year; the university says it is working on a new ten-year proposal.
Suffolk's request for BPDA approval (3.1M PDF).