NU to lease more space at Christian Science Complex

December 2, 2016
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By Beth Treffeisen

Special to the Gazette

Northeastern University will soon lease additional space in the Christian Science Complex on Massachusetts Avenue for office use, and in a separate item, Northeastern officials are working to construct a small addition to the Badger and Rosen Squashbusters Center located at 795A Columbus Ave.

The First Church of Christ, Scientist offices has been reducing its operational footprint, including downsizing a small amount inside the Publishing House.

“Since this space is simply becoming available, the Boston Planning and Development Agency (BPDA) asked us to file an amendment [to the Institutional Master Plan (IMP)],” wrote Renata Nyul, vice president of communications at Northeastern University, in an e-mail.

The Publishing House is owned by The First Church of Christ, Scientist and is located on the northwestern end of the Christian Science Complex. The four-story building contains two buildings, labeled Building A, which is closer to Massachusetts Avenue, and Building B, which abuts the building at 101 Belvidere.

The university intends to lease Building B and the church will continue to occupy Building A.

Northeastern University and The First Church of Christ, Scientist intend to enter a lease agreement whereby the university will lease approximately 80,805 square feet at the Publishing House (Building B), located at 200 Norway St.

It will be made available to Northeastern University in phases over a two-year period beginning with a single floor in early 2017 and by mid 2019, Northeastern will be in control of all of the Publishing House building, according to the BPDA.

The initial term of the lease will extend through 2031, and the term could be extended by mutual agreement of the parties.

The leased space at the Publishing House will primarily be used as administrative office space for the university and include storage space. Renovation prior to occupancy will involve the interior only and will not include any exterior changes.

Parking will be made available to Northeastern University as part of the lease.

Nyul pointed out that Northeastern University already leases space in the Christian Science Complex, including 101 Belvidere St., which connects to the Publishing House building, as well as space at 177 Huntington Ave. Now that this extra space is becoming available, the school will use it for administrative purposes.

“This allows our campus to be used primarily for purposes that serve the education and research mission and contribute to the overall student experience,” wrote Nyul.

The First Church of Christ, Scientist offices will continue to occupy floors one through nine of the Building A of the Christian Science Publishing House, which is the historic building shaped like a wedding cake that fronts Massachusetts Avenue. The Christian Science Monitor will still have their offices in that building, as well.

“While we are consolidating our office space, which makes room for this leasing opportunity, we are continuing to expand on our commitment and attention to the vital role and relevance of church in the life of our city and our world – that is of paramount importance,” wrote Ingrid Peschke, the spokeswoman for The First Church of Christ, Scientist, in an e-mail.

The second building project is a small addition of approximately 3,800 square feet to Badger and Rosen Squashbusters Center located at 795A Columbus Ave. It is a four-story building of approximately 38,498 square feet that was built in 2003.

This building currently holds sports-based youth enrichment programs, as well as office and meeting space supporting the university’s athletic recreation programs.

The proposed addition is within the existing footprint of the Squashbusters building and will provide space for offices, a flexible multipurpose room, and team room space within the first floor.

The new space will support the university’s athletic and recreation programs or other Northeastern University uses.

The Boston Planning and Development Agency (BPDA) is scheduled to have a meeting of the Northeastern Task Force to discuss the proposed Institutional Master Plan amendment, and hear updates on other projects on Nov. 30, after the Gazette deadline.

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