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Emerson College scales back plans for building on Boylston Place

Posted by Your Town  September 5, 2013 05:26 PM

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Emerson College is scaling back its plans for a multipurpose building on Boylston Place, after the Boston Redevelopment Authority objected to the height of the proposed structure.

In June, the school announced plans to build a multistory building to house a 750-student dorm, a fitness center, a dining hall, academic offices, the Emerson College Police
Department, and an equipment distribution center.

In a letter of intent filed with the BRA on June 5, Emerson associate vice president Peggy Ings wrote that the new building would be 280 feet tall.

But after the BRA expressed concern about the height of the structure, the school agreed to instead build a 171-foot structure on 1-3 Boylston Place.

Ings said today in a phone interview that the new building will now just be a dormitory, which will hold 400 students, not 750 students.

“They wouldn’t support a building any taller than 171 feet,” Ings said.

Ings said the school plans to begin building in the spring of 2014, and complete the structure by the fall of 2016. Emerson College owns 1-3 Boylston Place, which currently
holds a tavern and a nightclub.

Emerson is also in the midst of building its Los Angeles campus, which is scheduled to open on January 15. The new center will cost $85 million, and will include 200 dorm rooms, a teleconferencing room, post-production editing studios, and an outdoor space with trees, balconies, and barbeque pits.

Kevin Bright, the senior executive director and founding director of the LA campus, called the facility a “campus inside a building” in an earlier interview.

“I think the potential for the college is huge,” he said.

Katherine Landergan can be reached at For campus news updates, follow her on Twitter @klandergan.

Looking for more coverage of area colleges and universities? Go to our Your Campus pages.

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