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Owner Files Plans To Convert Part Of Boston's Largest Hotel Into Northeastern Dorm Rooms

A rendering of Hawkin Way Capital and Värde Partners' proposed partial dorm conversion of the Sheraton Boston hotel.

The owners of the Sheraton Boston Hotel, the city's largest hotel, filed plans to convert part of the building into dorm rooms to accommodate Northeastern University students.

Hawkins Way Capital and Värde Partners filed a project notification form with the Boston Planning & Development Agency to permanently convert 250K SF of the 1.1M SF hotel. The owners plan to redevelop 428 rooms of the hotel's south tower into a dormitory that would accommodate 854 students, Banker & Tradesman first reported.

The project also plans to repurpose the hotel's ground-floor retail area and third-floor hotel area into 18K SF of student amenities, including a lounge, laundry room and fitness center.

The joint venture acquired the 1,220-room hotel for $233M in February 2022 from Host Hotels & Resorts, WCVB reported. The seller also provided a $163M bridge loan to the partnership along with the sale.

Interest in the conversion plans has been brewing since last year when the partners first proposed the idea but faced backlash from students and hotel workers, The Huntington News reported.

As more students enroll in Boston-area universities and colleges, schools like Northeastern are facing pressure from the city to accommodate their students on campus to alleviate the broader housing shortage.

“Demand for a Northeastern education has never been stronger,” Northeastern spokesperson Renata Nyul said in a statement to The Huntington News in April. “We received more than 96,000 undergraduate applications this year. When we learned that Hawkins Capital purchased the south tower of the Sheraton, we took the opportunity to house more of our students in a university-supervised setting, and reduce pressure on the city’s rental market.”