Boston Hotels Could Become Dorms as Colleges Seek Socially-Distant Housing: Report

Boston hotels are working with Northeastern University, Suffolk University and the New England Conservatory of Music, among others, to provide additional student housing

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Boston hotels are partnering with local universities in Boston to provide housing for students as they return to campus for the fall semester amid the coronavirus pandemic, the Boston Globe reports.

In order to grapple with coronavirus-related challenges, universities have been working to provide students with socially-distanced housing as they prepare to welcome back students.

Northeastern University, Suffolk University and the New England Conservatory of Music are among the schools that have asked Mayor Walsh for approval to lease out hotel rooms and, in some cases, entire hotels and buildings, the paper reported.

Moreover, Boston University is looking to rent out apartments on Commonwealth Avenue to provide increased housing space.

Under the plan Suffolk University would lease floors in the Hyatt Hotel on Devonshire Street, the Doubletree on Washington Street and the Wyndham on Blossom Street, the Globe reported. The university also plans to use the entire Boxer hotel in the Bulfinch Triangle.

Northeastern reportedly plans to lease 11 floors of the Westin and will rent 147 apartments in buildings close to campus.

"It makes perfect sense," John Nucci, senior vice president for external affairs at Suffolk, told the paper. "Universities get to provide a safe environment for their students. And the city’s struggling hotels get a much-needed boost."

Rachel Roginsky, principal at Pinnacle Advisory Group, a hotel consulting firm in Boston, told the paper that the deals would help hotels as well, which have been hit hard by the pandemic.

"A hotel can pay the mortgage and the taxes and keep the lights on," said Roginsky. "This isn’t going to get better this year, and probably not in the first quarter of next year, either."

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