The Beacon Hill community is in line with the city’s objective of making more housing available for non-students through the construction of new dormitories, as outlined in a report released by the Department of Neighborhood Development earlier this month.
“I think we have strong desire to see more dorms built because Boston overall needs more housing,” said John Achatz, a Beacon Hill Civic Association board of director and co-chair of its Planning and Oversight Committee. “Moving students into on-campus dormitories will free up apartments for young professionals and families.”
According to the city’s findings, 148,402 students are currently enrolled in colleges and universities citywide, with 36,305 live on campus and another 38,232 off-campus in Boston. The number of students living on campuses throughout the city, meanwhile, saw a 6-percent increase last year.
On Beacon Hill, the rental market was greatly strained in the last decade as Suffolk University made the transition from commuter college to one where many students live on or near campus. Suffolk responded to this need by building two new dormitory buildings in the theatre district, and is now selling its two remaining academic buildings in the neighborhood. The university will move these classrooms to its new facility at 20 Somerset St. in the fall, drastically reducing its already-dwindling footprint in the neighborhood.
“It’s been on part of our core planning principles to move our center of gravity away from Beacon Hill, and we’ve come a long way in that regard. ” said John Nucci, Suffolk’s vice president of external affairs. “Our relationship with our Beacon Hill neighbors improved immeasurably with the reduction of those impacts on neighborhood.”