Construction at Northeastern’s GrandMarc Student Dorm is 50 Percent Completed
- Oct 28, 2013
By Veronica Grecu, Associate Editor
Construction at Northeastern University’s GrandMarc, a residential building currently under construction behind the YMCA of Greater Boston on Huntington Avenue, has reached its halfway point as the final steel beam was added to the 17-story structure. The topping-off was celebrated last week by President Joseph E. Aoun, Mayor Thomas M. Menino, representatives of Phoenix Property Company and Suffolk Construction and other people affiliated with the project.
GrandMarc broke ground in August 2012 after two years of delays caused by some lawsuits filed by neighbors who did not agree with the site’s zoning plans, Boston.com reported. In an effort to meet the community’s wish to preserve the century-old gymnasium, several weeks before the groundbreaking the YMCA of Greater Boston and Phoenix Property Company reached a mutual beneficial agreement: YMCA of Greater Boston sold a chunk of its real estate—the gymnasium building and the Hastings wing—to Phoenix for $21.5 million, and the original gymnasium located at 316 Huntington Avenue avoided demolition. Furthermore, the agreement stated that Phoenix could start building the student dorm behind the YMCA property and then lease it to Northwestern, which could buy the residence hall at a later date.
Designed by locally based DiMella Shaffer Architects to achieve LEED Gold certification, the 220,000-square-foot private dorm will accommodate up to 725 first-year students and upperclassmen enrolled at Northwestern. GrandMarc will offer a combination of individual bedrooms and two-bedroom units with shared bathrooms, along with student lounges on each floor and four classrooms located at basement level.
According to an official statement from Northeastern University, besides the $21.5 million spent with the YMCA acquisition, Phoenix invested another $75 million to build this residence hall. The dorm is set for completion in January 2015.
Once open for occupancy, GrandMarc is expected to solve Northeastern’s need for residential space. As reported by The Huntington News, in 2006 the university made a commitment to the city of Boston to add 1,800 beds. In fall 2009 Northeastern opened its International Village, a 480,000-square-foot mixed-use complex that includes 1,200 student beds in more than 1,000 rooms, a dining hall with 450 seats, six classrooms, a five-story administrative office building and nearly 3,500 square feet of retail space. GrandMarc will most probably fill that gap.
YMCA Greater Boston Building image via Google Maps; rendering of GrandMarc Residence Hall courtesy of DiMella Shaffer Architects