Dartmouth College is on track to have a 300-unit apartment complex done by 2022, adding badly needed homes for college employees and graduate students.
The college is partnering with The Michaels Organization, which will manage the complex. Dartmouth isn’t going to pay to develop or build the project, estimated at $50 million, but the school will remain the owner of the land.
Last week, Portsmouth architecture, planning and interior design firm JSA Design signed on to work with The Michaels Organization to be part of the development.
“JSA is honored to team with The Michaels Organization and Dartmouth in providing a private development solution aimed at the growing need for housing in the Upper Valley,” said North Sturtevant, Principal and CEO of JSA.
The project will consist of four four-story residential buildings on Mount Support Road in Lebanon, close to the college and Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center.
The complex is expected to house at least 500 people, with the college’s graduate and professional student population and their families getting first priority on vacancies, according to the college. The college wants to have the project open for renters by fall 2022.
Currently, about 30 percent of Dartmouth’s more than 2,000 graduate students live in college-owned housing, according to the school. The college said it is responding to the need for housing as the region deals with a shortage of affordable housing units.
According to a policy paper published by the Nelson A. Rockefeller Public Policy Center at Dartmouth College, the Upper Valley region is in dire need of more affordable housing for the two major employers, Dartmouth College and DHMC.
“(The Upper Valley is) a micropolis that includes 69 towns in New Hampshire and Vermont in relative proximity to the Connecticut River, has a substantial problem with providing ample affordable housing for its residents,” the report states.
Several hundred jobs at the hospital have gone unfilled because of the lack of affordable housing for prospective employees, according to the report.
“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 College Executive Vice President Rick Mills said previously. “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 Mount Support Road complex is expected to include a central clubhouse for the community that will include a large gathering space, a fireplace, study booths, gaming area and gym. It will be open 24-7 to all residents.
The residential buildings will have a selection of housing choices from studio, one-bedroom, two- bedroom, three-bedroom, and four-bedroom apartments.
Dartmouth already owns the Sachem Village neighborhood, which it built for graduate students. Sachem Village in Lebanon has 255 units and more than 500 beds. The Mount Support Road project could have as many as 600 beds in the approximately 300 units.