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Northeastern tops off 17-story, 720-bed 'GrandMarc' dormitory set to open in 2015

Posted by Matt Rocheleau  October 21, 2013 03:07 PM

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(Brooks Canaday / Northeastern News)

President Joseph E. Aoun, Boston Mayor Thomas Menino, and members of the construction crew signed the final white beam of the GrandMarc dormitory building Friday.

Northeastern University added the final steel beam to a 17-story, 720-bed dormitory it plans to open in January 2015, campus officials said.

Work on the “GrandMarc” building began about a year ago after being delayed for years as the project faced opposition by some neighbors who said it was not in line with city zoning rules and because of attempts by some to seek historic protection for a facility – a century-old YMCA gymnasium – the dorm replaced.

University leaders and local elected officials including Boston Mayor Thomas M. Menino attended the topping off ceremony for the new dormitory along St. Botolph Street on Friday afternoon, officials said.

People affiliated with the project, including construction crews, Northeastern president Joseph E. Aoun, Menino, State Representative Jeffrey Sanchez, and City Councilor Michael Ross, signed the dorm’s final white beam before it was adorned with a small evergreen tree and an American flag and raised and secured in place, officials said.

“This is an emotional moment for us,” Aoun said in a statement. “This is really a collective effort. But without the mayor, we would not be here today. We would not have a building. He made it happen.”

Aoun gave a brick from the former Y gym to Menino as a way to say thanks, officials said.

“This is a very special day,” Menino said. “Every dormitory bed we create puts four private apartments back on the streets, and that is important. The only reason this was successful is because of people working together. This is a good project for the university, the city, and the neighborhood.”

Construction is being led by Suffolk Construction and the Phoenix Property Company, officials said. Phoenix bought the property and expects to spend about $75 million to build the dorm. Northeastern will lease the building from the company with the opportunity to buy it later.

Northeastern officials said it is the first time in Boston history that a third-party is developing a college dorm.

Matt Rocheleau can be reached at mjrochele@gmail.com. Looking for more coverage of area colleges and universities? Go to our Your Campus pages.

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(Brooks Canaday / Northeastern News)

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