Dartmouth Wants Developer for 300 Grad Student Units

Photo courtesy of Dartmouth College.

Dartmouth College is looking for a private developer for a $50 million project on land it owns in the town of Lebanon.

The college wants to build 300 units of housing for graduate and professional students on a 53-acre property it owns on Mt. Support Road. Boston-based McCall & Almy real estate advisory firm is a consultant to Dartmouth on the project.

“We are responding to a need that our graduate students have been communicating to us. They want to rent quality housing at an affordable rate,” Dartmouth Executive Vice President Rick Mills said in a statement. “Our goal is to provide as many new, high-quality apartments as possible and to do that as expeditiously as possible to help ease the chronic housing shortage in Hanover and neighboring communities.”

The school wants a developer to design, permit, build, operate and own the apartment complex, but lease the land from it. The college won’t pay to develop or build the project, and the developer would retain tenants’ rents. The school says apartments should house more than one student per unit, or be home to one student and their family members. The property, which is about 3 miles from campus, is located on the west side of Mt. Support Road, just over a mile from the Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center.

The project would be Dartmouth’s second partnership with a private developer after the $200 million Dartmouth Green Energy biomass heating plant. Massachusetts-based developer Saxon Partners is also proposing a 250-unit apartment complex in Lebanon which it will market to Dartmouth-Hitchcock Hospital employees.

The Sachem Village neighborhood, which the College built and owns, currently houses most of the school’s graduate students. Located off Route 10 in Lebanon, it has 255 units with a total of 527 beds in one-, two- and three-bedroom dwellings. The Mt. Support Road project could have as many as 600 beds in the approximately 300 units. Currently, about 30 percent of Dartmouth’s more than 2,000 graduate and professional students live in college-owned housing.

The Valley News reports local officials could oppose the project due to limited sewer capacity, however school officials say the project could substantially bring down local housing costs by reducing demand.

Proposals are due by June 11 and the college hopes to pick a winner over the summer. Those interested in information on the Mt. Support Road request for proposals can contact Sandy Tierney at McCall & Almy at 617-542-4141.