Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Is Boston The Ultimate College Town?

Back Bay Dormitory Development Causing Concern

By: Jess Kaminski

In a city where population follows a September 1st move-in cycle, it looks like we can expect even more moving trucks at the end of each summer.

Fisher College, a fully accredited school looming in the shadows of behemoths BU, BC, and NU, plans to convert prestigious Back Bay real estate on One Beacon Street - smack between Arlington and Berkeley -  into student housing for approximately 300 students.  Fisher is known to have limited campus housing due to the lacking real estate; a problem well known in Boston.  Currently their four residence houses are home to 50-70 students each.  A recent study shows Fisher holds about 1,131 full time undergrads, of which 25% are living on campus.  Fisher's new plans include adding enough residential living space for 300 additional students.

Back Bay residents are concerned about the pending influx of student neighbors.  There is a general consensus in Boston that undergrads have a disruptive impact on neighborhood lifestyle; increased noise and a general disrespect toward property appearance and upkeep are top concerns.

Dorms in Boston are locally concentrated within a small number of areas in the city.  Of the roughly 24,000 dormitory rooms, only 1,700 are located in the Back Bay area.  75% of Boston's  campus housing are located in the Kenmore and Fenway neighborhoods.

The scheduled Planning and Zoning meeting between the Boston Redevelopment Authority & the Fisher College Task Force on March 28th has been postponed.  Interested residents can check in for updates at