A boost for Somerset Street

December 14, 2010
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The long empty Suffolk University building at 20 Somerset Street will be reincarnated into an academic building by Suffolk University with an infusion of $68 million.

Last week, Suffolk got the official go-ahead for the rehabilitation of the former MDC headquarters.

How this new academic building received its right to exist is the result of a long, arduous and complex process between the Beacon Hill Civic Association and the university.

Many, many studies and hours of intense negotiations over many months between the university and the BHCA led to the final plans for the rehabilitation of the structure.

These final plans include $2.5 million in improvements to the plaza at the location.

When Suffolk began negotiations, the plans were for a much larger building to replace the aging structure.

Neighborhood activists led by the BHCA said no way. Negotiations ensued. Hearings were held. Leaders of the university met with members of the neighborhood and its various organizations.

In the end, the new building is a win win for Beacon Hill residents and for the university.

What will be displayed in this new structure and its plaza are the result of tough and high minded talk and decisions arrived at by Suffolk University officials and neighborhood leaders and officials.

The net result is that the university and the neighborhood are thinking more in line with one another’s interest.

This is good news for Suffolk and for those living on the Hill closest to it.

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