It's another town-gown face-off in Boston.
Earlier this winter, Fisher College bought the five-story brownstone at 10-11 Arlington Street for $11.7 million. Fair enough. The college said it would eventually use the 17,000-square-foot building for faculty and staff offices as well as student services. Fair enough again. But! The building lay (lies? has lain?) more than two blocks from Fisher's main campus at 118 Beacon Street. This has ignited fears that college students will soon spill over the tony environs of eastern Back Bay, slicking million-dollar stoops with vomit, etc.
Such concerns, of course, echo recent ones in neighboring Beacon Hill. There, it was Suffolk University students who were thought to be making the insufferable neighborhood suffer and who were also said to be traipsing through the nearby North End at all hours, causing additional headaches. The police promptly responded... and found that most of the disturbances, especially in the North End, were likely coming from alumni, or just random younger folk, and not from Suffolk students. Suffolk now has plans to move eastward, which has caused great relief in Beacon Hill.
As for Back Bay, the pearl-clutching appears to be entirely preemptory. Fisher does have a master plan, though even the college admits that it's not entirely certain what that plan is, a spokeswoman telling The Herald's Greg Turner that any growth for the 818-student school would be "modest." Residents, however, have already begun challenging the college on zoning to stop it from using Back Bay properties as dorms and classrooms. Says a chieftan at the Neighborhood Association of Back Bay: "Things have shifted from how do we work this out, to how do we stop them. And the next thing is how do we get them out."
Pull up a chair.
· Fisher Buy Baits Back Bay [Herald]
· Fisher College Buys Back Bay Building [Biz Journal]
· Suffolk U.'s Move Probably Won't Give the North End a Break [Curbed Boston]
· 'Cause a North End Party Don't Stop! Despite Cops' Efforts [Curbed Boston]