Suffolk University Plan Converts Former Ames Hotel Into a Dorm

A proposal to transform the former Ames Hotel into a Suffolk University dormitory marks another step towards the school’s more than decade-long commitment to move out of residential Beacon Hill, as well as to create more student housing in the city, according to John Nucci, vice president of external affairs for the university.

“We see it as a great opportunity for both the university and to forward city’s agenda to free up private housing by providing university housing and not putting them in private apartments,” Nucci said. “We’re moving forward with our last Institutional Master Plan from 2008 of moving most of our operations out of residential Beacon Hill, and this is another example of that.”

The project includes plans to convert the 102,073 square-foot building at 1 Court St. into 114 rooms and approximately 280 beds for undergraduate students, as well as 2,200 square-feet of ground-floor space with a student lounge and retail space. The plan provides for no on-site parking, and since there are no proposed changes to the building’s height and massing, it’s expected to have no new environmental impacts (e.g. wind, shadow, daylight). The anticipated completion date for the project is the fall of 2020 for the 2020-2021 academic year, according to a filing with the city.

Nucci said the effects of project like this that the university has undertaken with the intention of leaving residential Beacon Hill are now readily apparent in the neighborhood.

“If you looked at map in ‘08 and compared it to today, and you can clearly see a shift away from residential Beacon Hill, and this is exactly what we promised,” he said.

The Boston Planning and Development Agency is now accepting public comments on the project at http://www.bostonplans.org/projects/development-projects/1-court-street-residence-hall.

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