Northeastern University draws ire from some over plans for luxury dorm

BOSTON (WHDH) - Northeastern University is getting some pushback on its plan to construct an 810-bed luxury dormitory on a Roxbury parking lot.

NU For the Common Good – an advocacy group of students and faculty- says the high-end dorms, which could cost as much as $1,600 a month, would raise rents in the surrounding neighborhood.

“It doesn’t really provide the incentive for students who may be living off-campus in Roxbury or Jamaica Plain or Mission Hill to move into one of this student housing,” Vanessa White said.

“We deserve to have in the city a place to live, where we work, where we go to school, where we can graduate and afford to live,” Casey Howard of Boston Socialist Alternative said. “Northeastern doesn’t need a luxury dorm.”

Attorney Henry Owens has sued on behalf of minority business owners and says that under a decades-old agreement with the state, it is up to the local business owners to decide how this piece of land is developed.

“We have the development rights, Northeastern can’t do it without our participation, and right now they have excluded us,” he said.

Northeastern wrote a statement reading:

“It will be constructed on a parking lot the university has owned for 24 years; therefore, it does not represent ‘expansion’ into Roxbury. In creating more opportunities for students to live on campus, this development will actually reduce gentrification in surrounding neighborhoods.”

Mayor Kim Janey’s office says she has concerns about the project and, “the BPDA and Mayor Janey are working closely with Northeastern and the community to resolve the concerns the proposed dorm has raised, including how it will support the neighboring communities and benefit the residents of Roxbury.”

The city is taking public comment on the project as the lawsuit continues to move through the system.

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