Dorm Construction Lifts Central Massachusetts Housing Prices

Boston housing construction is growing at its fastest pace in nearly 20 years. The Boston Globe partially attributes the surge in new properties to a growing demand for dorms. Emerson College recently began constructing a new 380 bed dorm on Boylston Street. Other colleges in the Boston area are beginning construction on new dormitories. The new construction is expected to lift housing prices in Boston, Shrewsbury and other parts of Central Massachusetts.

Dorm Construction Picks Up

City officials recently reported that dorm construction has picked up significantly over the past year. Universities throughout the city have begun construction on over 1,200 different dorm rooms. This is the highest level of construction on student housing in the past eight years.

Mayor Martin J. Walsh is enthusiastic that dorm construction has increased so much. He believes it is necessary to meet the needs of college students and stimulate the housing market in other areas.

“This is a big part of our overall plan,” Walsh told the Boston Globe. “The more student housing we can build, the better.

Impact on the Shrewsbury Housing Market

The new dorm rooms will meet the growing demand for housing for the growing number of students in Boston colleges. The construction of these dormitories is also having an impact on communities outside of these universities. Housing prices throughout Central Massachusetts are starting to rise as dorm construction continues.

The construction is going to have a number of positive impacts on the rest of the community. Creating more university housing will make Boston an even more attractive city for prospective college students, which will stimulate the local economy and boost job creation.

Efforts to construct more on campus housing will probably extend to other parts of the city. Many students have difficulty securing dormitory space, which drives many upperclassmen to seek off campus housing. Boston officials will be able to create more housing in other parts of the city to address the growing need for student accommodations.

We would be open to a plan in a non-downtown neighborhood that would help get students out of private housing,” the mayor said.

However, many Boston residents are likely to be turned off by the high housing prices in other parts of Boston. They may decide to rent properties in Shrewsbury and other cities that allow them to commute. This is likely to drive up housing prices throughout Central Massachusetts.

Shrewsbury Contractors Considering New Housing Options for Seniors

The Shrewsbury housing market has rebounded in recent years. The Shrewsbury Lantern and Massachusetts Association of Realtors are confident that the recovery will continue for the foreseeable future. While this news is encouraging for investors and residents throughout the city, there are still some lingering concerns. One of the biggest challenges is trying to create sufficient housing for retired seniors.  Fortunately, developers are exploring new options to solve the problem.

Contractors Must Respond to Community Feedback

Many contractors have recognized that there is still insufficient housing inventory for low income residents. However, community members have mixed feelings about creating new inventory. Many residents protested proposals to create new affordable housing last fall, because they were concerned that it would lead to more traffic congestion, an influx of new students at the city’s already crowded schools, higher unemployment and a host of other problems.

However, most people didn’t express the same concerns about affordable housing options for seniors. They seem to acknowledge that existing seniors in Shrewsbury are already struggling to find places to live and can’t afford many of the existing senior housing options.

New Efforts to Solve the Affordable Housing Dilemma for Seniors

Southboro-based Capital Group Properties is among the contractors that are trying to address the affordable housing shortage in Shrewsbury. They originally intended to create a 40 bedroom housing unit on Walnut Street. However, they realized that there is a serious shortage of assisted living units for seniors, so they have changed their plans and started constructing those units instead.

According to their new proposal, Capital Group Properties is going to build 150 units for low income Shrewsbury residents. The majority of these units will be dedicated to residents over the age of 55. Capital Group Properties President William A. DePietri said that the plans were changed after community feedback underscored the need for additional senior housing options in the rural community.

“As we further investigated the demand for traditional apartments with age restrictions, the feedback we received was that the real demand in the senior-living markets are for products with more services such as independent living and assisted living.”

DePietri’s new proposal should help older citizens find places to live without paying unreasonable rental fees. However, additional housing stocks will need to be created to address the problem. Other contractors are expected to construct more affordable housing units for seniors in the future as they realize that there is strong demand for them.

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