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College finds builder for housing

Valley News Staff Writer
Published: 12/23/2019 9:59:35 PM
Modified: 12/25/2019 9:54:53 PM

LEBANON — Dartmouth College has a deal with a New Jersey-based developer to build and manage a planned 300-unit apartment complex for graduate students on Mount Support Road.

The college chose Michaels Student Living to build the $50 million housing complex on 53 acres it owns in Lebanon, Dartmouth announced in a news release.

The company will build, manage and collect rent on the facility as part of a long-term lease with the college.

The development, which is located about a mile south of Dartmouth Hitchcock Medical Center, is expected to house at least 500 people. Graduate students will be given first dibs at renting apartments, according to the news release last week announcing the agreement.

“The project is really designed to prioritize our graduate students,” Josh Keniston, Dartmouth’s vice president of institutional projects and interim vice president of campus services, said on Friday.

However, he said, it’s possible apartments also could be made available to hospital employees or the general public.

The college announced plans to build the apartment complex early next year.

Dartmouth houses only a third of its roughly 2,000 graduate students, forcing the rest to compete for housing in the Upper Valley with other families and professionals.

There’s a need for about 1,300 new units to house the students and employees at Dartmouth College and DHMC, according to a study commissioned by the two.

Graduate students are particularly searching for multi-room apartments, the study found. Price and proximity to campus are also key factors in their decision making.

“The goals of this project are really about providing affordable housing for our graduate students and helping to relieve some of the pressures on the greater Upper Valley housing market,” Keniston said.

Michaels is proposing to build four apartment buildings, a central community building and “several small outbuildings” at 401 Mount Support Road, according to the college’s news release.

Dartmouth purchased the property in 2003 for $4 million, according to city records, which value the parcel at $69,390.

It’s unclear whether the developers have drafted parking plans.

Michaels spokesman Dale McCullough declined to comment on the project Monday.

City regulations require studio apartments to allocate at least one off-street parking spot per unit, while any larger apartment requires 1½ spots.

As of Monday, the developer hasn’t submitted conceptual plans to the city. Those are required by Friday for the project to make a Jan. 13 preliminary review before Lebanon’s Planning Board, according to David Brooks, the city’s planning director.

The project is one of several developments expected to transform Mount Support Road with higher-density housing.

Massachusetts-based developer Saxon Partners hopes to build 250 apartments on an abutting 75-acre lot. Those units would be marketed to hospital employees.

Across the street, Timberwood Commons contains 252 apartments.

Keniston said the neighborhood is well suited for housing because of its proximity to Centerra Marketplace and the hospital.

Mount Support Road is within Lebanon’s “Residential One” zoning district, which was created to “provide areas for all types of residential uses at relatively high densities,” according to the city’s zoning ordinance.

The Hannah Village manufactured home park and Renihan Meadows condominium complex are zoned Residential One as well.

The college predicts the apartments will be available in fall 2022. A meeting to inform graduate students of the project is also being planned for next month.

Tim Camerato can be reached at tcamerato@vnews.com or 603-727-3223.




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