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Old 04-25-2012, 07:32 AM   #1
dshoost88
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Northeastern University - Institutional Master Plan

Hello Archbostonians.

With the differences that exist between the "GrandMarc" project and the rest of development on Northeastern's campus, I think it's appropriate to have a special thread for the upcoming development to take place at Northeastern University. The school will be filing its institutional master plan for the next 10-15 years in several months and community discussions are underway for the project.

If anyone is interested in the NU Institutional Master Plan, the Boston Redevelopment Authority hosting a community meeting for it tonight at the Alumni Center (716 Columbus, 6th floor) at 6PM.

I'll be attending, taking notes, and sharing the information later tonight.

JUNE 14, 2013 UPDATE:

CLICK HERE to read the final Northeastern University Institutional Master Plan. (WARNING: THE DOCUMENT IS 487 PAGES)

Last edited by dshoost88; 06-14-2013 at 04:40 PM.
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Old 04-25-2012, 08:47 AM   #2
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Re: Northeastern University - Institutional Master Plan

Please share notes, as I will be watching game 7 tonight....
As a student at Northeastern, a professional in the MEP field, and as an avid follower of development, I'm most interested in what they have planned.
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Old 04-25-2012, 09:52 AM   #3
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Re: Northeastern University - Institutional Master Plan

I pray that NU will plan a new stadium and reinstate a football program.

Of course that won't happen.
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Old 04-25-2012, 11:16 AM   #4
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Re: Northeastern University - Institutional Master Plan

as the local "sports engineering firm".... I'd be all about the additional work. But, no that ain't happening.
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Old 04-25-2012, 09:11 PM   #5
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Re: Northeastern University - Institutional Master Plan

Alright, so the following are some rough notes I took from tonight's Northeastern University Task Force meeting (organized by the BRA, hosted at NU Alumni Center).

- The new NU Task Force members introduced themselves (a couple NU alumni, mostly civic association, neighborhood alliance, and former task force members in the new group, as well as a rep from NEC. My friend and I were a little disappointed there were no current NU students represented on the NU Task Force, chiefly because they would be the direct beneficiaries/users of anything discussed in a master plan).

NU vice presidents/leadership start talking
- The NU Institutional Master Plan presentation concentrated on NU in 2023. In 11 years, they see the school as a powerful global education model and a Top 50 ranked national university.
- Talked about goals for the century, including a strong sense of community, engagement, and affinity.
- 2023: make Boston a flagship campus offering PhD programs, high quality residential undergraduate program, regional campuses for graduate education (*Charlotte campus and later a Seattle campus... among others), global provider of online education.
- "Urban campus: a Footprint, But No Wall". open character, unique beautiful space, and chiefly an open campus. "What is the perception of our campus to our neighbors?" NU wants to complement the city's assets surrounding campus (Symphony, Jordan Hall, MFA, etc.). Invite the outside world onto our campus, as well as alumni, clinical patients/subjects, guests at performances.

Planning firm begins talking
- Chief planner is actually a Boston resident since 1975 (JP).
- He showed an aerial pic of NU in 1969, then compared to 2012... MASSIVE difference (as anyone on here knows). Parking and poor use of space --> massive residential campus.
- Then they showed an interesting set of slides that highlighted the decades in which NU buildings were constructed, both academic and non-academic. A very small ratio of space at NU is for academic use.
- Most useful slide of the night: a bar graph comparing square footage added to campus by use between 1998-2011, and then the proposal/goal uses from between 2012-2023.
~Between 98-11, about 2.2 million square feet of new space was added to campus. Roughly 90% of that was for residence halls/housing.
~In the IMP goal for 12-23, they're thinking 3.0 million square feet of new space to add. 2.0 million square feet is proposed for academic/research space, about 400,000 square feet for new residence hall(s), about 250,000 square feet for event/student experience space, 100,000+ square feet for athletic uses, and 100,000 square feet for support/service buildings

GOALS:
- Improve Huntington Avenue presence and experience (they explicitly showed Cabot Center having a negative presence on the Huntington pedestrian experience... AGREED).
- "Columbus Avenue is every bit as important as Huntington Avenue," and they'd like to treat it that way and contribute to both avenues' improvements. These are the major east-west corridors running through campus, they'd like to connect these two corridors through the campus and bridge the physical and psychological barrier between the two: the MBTA Orange Line and Amtrak corridor cutting through campus.
- They showed a slide with 5 or 6 very wide/large decks (you read that correctly, DECKS) over the orange line connecting south campus with everything else. (THEY TOTALLY LISTENED TO THE STUDENTS!!!).
- They want to put mixed uses on the Columbus Lot, add an athletics village/athletic facilities next to the Matthews Arena, concentrate science buildings around the existing sciences quad, engineering buildings around the existing engineering centers, and (best of all) a cultural mixed-use center where the existing Cabot athletic facility is on campus (intersection of Forsyth and Huntington). They acknowledged that the Columbus lot offers the most opportunity for development/growth (sounds like west village all over again).
- One of their major goals is how to take advantage of surface parking lots on campus for IMP development... stay in existing footprint and only go into surrounding parcels (P-3?) once NU has reached build-out. They really want the Gainsborough/St. Botolph area of campus to be the concentration of athletic facilities, both outdoor and indoor within easy walking distance from campus.
- "Possibilities for growth: selective expansion (with partners) toward lower Roxbury (mainly for office space, or so it sounded). NU wants to focus on its main campus though.


Then there was a little official BRA/Task Force talk, a Q&A among the force, and--finally--no shortage of drama from a fair share of community members. When it was recommended that the NU Task Force members should start their next meeting (on May 17th) with a 30-minute to 1-hour campus tour of Northeastern's campus, I spoke up and volunteered to give a campus to the whole task force and also urged them to take it on foot as oppose to a bus ride around the school (which was proposed, seriously) so they can get a very thorough, accurate look at NU's campus. I genuinely encourage them to accept my offer; they'd be really, really careless not to. But I digress...

The ultimate mood of the room was like every other NU task force meeting I've been to: the same curmudgeons complaining about campus development, impatient people who do not understand the community meeting process and verbally bash everyone organizing it, and then (thankfully) the sane people raising useful/important concerns about the IMP moving forward in the next few weeks.

I personally just wanted to share, for the record, that I attended the student Q&A portion of this IMP process a couple months ago where the planners and the school received feedback from about 100 students about all areas the campus can improve on. And with what was presented at tonight's meeting, I applaud the planners for actually addressing every single concern and campus inclusion that students recommended that night. I only wish I could've publicly noted this at the meeting, but we ran out of time. I'll be at the next meeting, though, so until then. :-)
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Old 04-25-2012, 09:53 PM   #6
TomOfBoston
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Re: Northeastern University - Institutional Master Plan

Thank you for the report!

In 1997 or so the Northeastern Alumni Magazine ran a big article entitled "Northeastern 2010". It was filled with grandiose plans and drawings. I thought "Yeah right, it will never happen." But it DID happen and then some.

BTW, are there any plans to demolish the Forsyth Building? It is a worse eyesore than Cabot.
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Old 04-25-2012, 09:57 PM   #7
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Re: Northeastern University - Institutional Master Plan

Quote:
- They showed a slide with 5 or 6 very wide/large decks (you read that correctly, DECKS) over the orange line connecting south campus with everything else. (THEY TOTALLY LISTENED TO THE STUDENTS!!!).
Now if the MBTA would only listen
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Old 04-30-2012, 12:45 PM   #8
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Re: Northeastern University - Institutional Master Plan

Thanks so much for the notes. I forward it to a bunch of friends and they are all very excited. Do you have any more description on the decks? That seems to be everyone's favorite part
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Old 05-01-2012, 09:49 PM   #9
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Re: Northeastern University - Institutional Master Plan

I don't have any other details on the decks other than I posted in the notes, but there will be another meeting on May 17th at Northeastern where they will discuss the Master Plan. If someone with a higher resolution camera than my iPhone wants to come to take pictures of their presentation, OR if anyone wants to send an email to the BRA to see about getting the powerpoint presentations uploaded online, I recommend you go to that May 17th meeting.
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Old 05-02-2012, 08:32 AM   #10
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Re: Northeastern University - Institutional Master Plan

Did they mention anything about the YMCA dorm?
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Old 05-02-2012, 09:43 AM   #11
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Re: Northeastern University - Institutional Master Plan

Depends who you mean by "They", because there was no shortage of "Save the Y"-T-Shirt-wearing community members that brought up the YMCA dorm at the meeting. However, the purpose of the meeting was to discuss the new IMP, not the old amended one. So the BRA, NU, and the planner didn't address the YMCA dorm.
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Old 05-02-2012, 09:49 AM   #12
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Re: Northeastern University - Institutional Master Plan

Wait so the GrandMarc isn't part of the new IMP at all?

(or does the new IMP assume that the GrandMarc is already finished?)
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Old 05-02-2012, 09:54 AM   #13
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Re: Northeastern University - Institutional Master Plan

Quote:
Originally Posted by datadyne007 View Post
Wait so the GrandMarc isn't part of the new IMP at all?
No. The new IMP hasn't been submitted to the BRA yet. The planner(s), Northeastern University, the NU Community Task Force, and all other interested parties are spending the summer submitting feedback and drawing it up, which is the reason I've been encouraging people to actually go to these meetings so they can witness/contribute to history in the making.

GrandMarc was an amendment to the school's existing master plan from 13 (14?) years ago. Here's the link to that PNF:

http://www.northeastern.edu/communit...eb-11-2011.pdf
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Old 05-02-2012, 02:02 PM   #14
KentXie
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Re: Northeastern University - Institutional Master Plan

Quote:
Originally Posted by dshoost88 View Post
No. The new IMP hasn't been submitted to the BRA yet. The planner(s), Northeastern University, the NU Community Task Force, and all other interested parties are spending the summer submitting feedback and drawing it up, which is the reason I've been encouraging people to actually go to these meetings so they can witness/contribute to history in the making.

GrandMarc was an amendment to the school's existing master plan from 13 (14?) years ago. Here's the link to that PNF:

http://www.northeastern.edu/communit...eb-11-2011.pdf
Oh wonderful. Let me just repost this onto the GrandMarc thread so that joegenius can stop using the IMP as an excuse.

How long are these meetings? I'm considering going to the May 17th one.
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Old 05-21-2012, 03:37 PM   #15
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Re: Northeastern University - Institutional Master Plan

Hey everyone!

I was really excited to learn 10 minutes ago that the powerpoint presentation from the last NU Task Force meeting is available online. Please visit this link and select "Chan Krieger NBBJ slide show presented at first Community Task Force meeting":

http://www.northeastern.edu/masterplan/documents/

I believe Slides 9, 18, 19, and 20 are the most interesting slides from the presentation with regards to the physical breakdown and outlook for buildings and uses on NU's campus. The whole presentation is really interesting, but the aforementioned four slides would most likely appeal to the archboston audience.
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Old 05-21-2012, 03:42 PM   #16
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Re: Northeastern University - Institutional Master Plan

P.S. - NU and the BRA are having another Community Task Force meeting tomorrow night at 7PM in the Alumni Center at 716 Columbus Ave.
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Old 05-23-2012, 08:30 AM   #17
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Re: Northeastern University - Institutional Master Plan

Quote:
Originally Posted by dshoost88 View Post
P.S. - NU and the BRA are having another Community Task Force meeting tomorrow night at 7PM in the Alumni Center at 716 Columbus Ave.
Tried to make it to the meeting, but had a conflict. Any news from anyone there?
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Old 05-23-2012, 02:34 PM   #18
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Re: Northeastern University - Institutional Master Plan

No news; mostly discussion among the Task Force about their campus tour and hopes for meetings coming up the rest of the year. NU will probably post notes from last night's meeting on their IMP webpage soon (see link posted in Post #15).
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Old 05-23-2012, 05:45 PM   #19
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Re: Northeastern University - Institutional Master Plan

NU architecture student here. Looks reasonable, but my question is, what is that currently nonexistant building that they term existing on the parking lot across from the Renaissance Garage? Its on one of the slides where they consider GrandMarc as existing as well. Is something specific in the pipeline there and I don't know about it?

And one of those proposed buildings better contain a new architecture studio lol. Get us out from under the buses.
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Old 05-23-2012, 06:20 PM   #20
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Re: Northeastern University - Institutional Master Plan

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Originally Posted by porter View Post
NU architecture student here. Looks reasonable, but my question is, what is that currently nonexistant building that they term existing on the parking lot across from the Renaissance Garage? Its on one of the slides where they consider GrandMarc as existing as well. Is something specific in the pipeline there and I don't know about it?

And one of those proposed buildings better contain a new architecture studio lol. Get us out from under the buses.
I believe you're referring to slide 10, right? The GrandMarc shows up on that slide because it was approved as an amendment to the previous master plan. I could be wrong, but I'm pretty sure the building bounded by Columbus, Tremont, and Melnea Cass (across from Renaissance Garage) was approved in the previous master plan as well; therefore, development on those sites will be unaffected by any changes made to the new IMP being created.

Also, I agree with you about the architecture studios. I think it's an insult to your program to have those studios in such an undesirable place.
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