Emmanuel proposes new research tower, dorms

July 15, 2011
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By Rebeca Oliveira
Gazette Staff

Emmanuel College announced its real estate development plans for the next decade, including the development of a parcel on its “endowment campus” into a research facility.

The ground-leasing of the parcel in the southern corner of Emmanuel’s campus for a 360,000-square-foot research facility would generate the necessary income to finance all other construction projects, including a new dormitory and an expansion of the Emmanuel library.

“This is fantastic…potentially phenomenal,” Ed Lamperti, a Fenway resident, said of Emmanuel’s plan.

As announced at the LMA forum on June 27, Emmanuel has two parcels up for development, though only one—Parcel C—is planned in the next 10 years. The Parcel C project would involve razing Alumnae Hall, a building original to the school’s opening in 1919, and a parking garage along Avenue Louis Pasteur. In their place, Emmanuel would construct a five- to 13-story building with underground parking. That building would be leased.

Emmanuel would then take the proceeds of the lease and finance the building of a new 425- to 475-bed residence hall along the Brookline Avenue side of its property and a 65,000-square-foot expansion of its Cardinal Cushing Library on the corner of Avenue Louis Pasteur and the Fenway. No designs have been decided for any of the three proposed projects.

“We needed resources, and our land was very valuable,” Sister Anne Mary Donovan, Emmanuel’s treasurer, told the Gazette. “We decided to carve out the four acres in the back lot…If we don’t lease parcel C, we can’t build the dorm and can’t do the library.”

With its proposed IMP, Emmanuel aims to accommodate a growth of about 450 students over the next 10 years—about a 25 percent increase of its current 1,750 students. It would house 75 percent of its students on-campus. It also aims to increase academic and student life spaces on its 17-acre campus, owned by the Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur.

The Catholic university imposes one major restriction on any lessees: no research that relies on abortions.

“We make that very clear, that [any lessees] have to respect Catholic tradition. We’ve very strong about that,” Donovan said.

Emmanuel’s IMP is under review by the BRA. Comments about the projects can be sent to Katelyn.Sullivan.BRA@cityofboston.gov through July 25.

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