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Suffolk takes a lesson from BU and buys a hotel for use as a dorm

The Globe reports Suffolk University is buying the Ames Hotel across from the Old State House and will convert it into a dorm - much like BU did decades ago with a couple of hotels in Kenmore Square, such as the old Myles Standish Hotel.

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Will turn it into Dorms

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Must not have been doing well as a hotel.

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Judging by the headline, the second "hotel" in the article should be "dorm".

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The Globe reports Suffolk University is buying the Ames Hotel across from the Old State House and will convert it into a hotel -

What does "buying a hotel and converting it into a hotel" entail?

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First line of article says dorm.

In a sign of how far Boston schools will go to add student housing these days, Suffolk University appears poised to buy a well-known downtown hotel and convert it into a dormitory.

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Yeah, a stupid mistake, now fixed.

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Suffolk sets aside a few floors for some homeless vets a few doors up...

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In all seriousness -- why is it that a non-profit focused on societal betterment is the organization to perform some other public interest that has nothing to do with it's mission? Why not expect that every for-profit company making a real estate deal to make more money do it instead?

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Did you use the wrong word in a blog post???!

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The old Grahm Junior College did the same thing with the Hotel Kenmore; and Berklee did it with the Sherry-Biltmore. I'm sure there are other examples, if I wanted to think harder.

Of course, all those hotels -- and BU's Myles Standish, too -- were on their last legs when the schools bought them. But the Ames Hotel is a recent conversion from an office building, and an expensive project at that; so I'm surprised that Suffolk is able to afford the purchase. Maybe the hotel wasn't working out as well as the investors had hoped?

On the other side of the river, Harvard erected a building as a hotel ("The Inn at Harvard") with the intention that it might later be converted to a dormitory, which it eventually did.

And then BU put up the fancy Hotel Commonwealth; I wonder if that will ever be turned into a dorm?

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I'm surprised that Suffolk is able to afford the purchase.

You should see what they are able to afford to pay the University President!

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Berklee also did it with the Hotel Bostonian at 1140 Boylston Street and (sort of) at the former rooming/boarding house at Parkview Chambers at 98 Hemenway Street.

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What happened w/ the DoubleTree Suites hotel off Storrow Drive at the Mass Pike in Cambridge/ Boston? I drove by the other day and realized it was a hotel now.

Didn't this get bought by BU or Harvard and privatized? It's probably been back to being a hotel for a long time now but I didn't notice.

Anyone?

Oh, and Scullers is still open???!

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It has had more than one name (I recall it opened as Embassy Suites Hotel, and later Guest Quarters Suites) but I don't remember it ever being anything other than a hotel. Harvard probably is the landlord.

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It's never been anything but a hotel. I've been riding past it for 20+ years daily. Pretty much unchanged since at least the late 90s. It might even pre-date Harvard's land-grab.

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I lived in Lower Allston when it was built (as a hotel.) I moved out in ‘91, so it was built sometime before that.

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I seem to remember a plan in the early aughts to convert it to condos. Then I think they figured out it would be a hard sell with it being surrounded by roadways. Might be easier to convert now. Just sell it to out of town investors who really won't see the problem.

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Thanks for the replies.

Got it. Harvard bought the building in 2005 through the "400 Soldiers Field Rd Nominee Trust", which still owns, it appears, although Hilton Hotels is listed as the owner's address.

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I think the article had it right. Suffolk found it cheaper to buy a hotel than to build a new dorm.

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More lost tax revenue ...wheeee!

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Hotel-stayers expect new and modern, if not posh and lavish.

Building a new hotel, using it as a high end, then mid end for several decades, and then converting it to housing (that's what a dorm is, after all), makes a ton of sense.

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But it just opened 10 years ago as a hotel and was renovated 2 years ago.

"The historic Ames Boston Hotel,{snip} recently completed its $6 million redesign of the hotel’s public spaces by New York City-based architecture and design firm Glen and Co. Architecture. Constructed in 1893 as the headquarters for the Ames families’ agricultural tool company, the 114-room boutique hotel opened in 2009 near Boston’s busy Financial District"

SRC: https://lodgingmagazine.com/ames-boston-hotel-finishes-6-million-renovat...

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The Ames only opened 10ish yrs ago.

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Thats not at all what happened in the Ames case.

It was designed to be luxury boutique, appealing to moneyed hipsters looking for something vaguely historically authentic in downtown urban accommodations. Much like the Liberty.

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College students are an awesome tax generator. They spend a ton of money locally and they require almost no government services. Students don't apply for welfare, they have kids needing to go to public school, and the urban ones don't drink and drive. They don't even vote locally so they aren't going to throw a Boston city election.

I know there's a lot of college-hate in the city but it's misplaced.

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BU converted the Howard Johnson's on Commonwealth Ave, just west of Kenmore Square, to a dorm. Many decades earlier, they converted the Sheraton Hotel on Bay State Road to a dorm called Shelton Hall.

Harvard converted the Quality Inn on Mass. Ave. to a Harvard Law School dorm (after demolishing a piece of it, I think).

The Buckminster Hotel in Kenmore Square became a Grahm Junior College dorm for a while, then was re-converted to a hotel.

The MIT dorm now called Maseeh Hall, formerly Ashdown House, at Memorial Drive and Mass. Ave. in Cambridge, was originally built as a hotel. Further west on Memorial Drive, MIT's Burton-Conner dorm also started life as an "apartment hotel".

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Sounds like a great idea! I think I read that that hotel was struggling anyway. Lucky students!

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This was the site of the morgue for "Crossing Jordan". I don't know if they ever filmed inside the building, but the facade is in the opening scenes.

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