NEW ROCHELLE, N.Y. – Monroe College received site-plan approval Tuesday night to build a six-story dormitory at 384 Main Street in order to consolidate its residences scattered throughout the city.
“This is not increased housing; it’s a consolidation of housing,” Mark Jerome, vice president of Monroe College, stressed in presenting the amendment to a previously approved site plan Tuesday night before the city Planning Board.
Because the dorm would be constructed in a commercial district, it would be taxable property - an appealing prospect to board members.
The college was approved for a similar project five years ago that was stymied by the overall economic climate, according to Jerome. Since 2008, Monroe College has remained fiscally stable as student enrollment and housing enrollment have grown, Jerome said.
Currently the college occupies, in varying shapes and sizes, more than 30 buildings in the city. Of those buildings, 21 are residential. “The goal of the project is to consolidate that housing closer to Main Street, where the campus is,” said Jerome.
Approximately seven residences that the college is leasing short-term around the city would be closed when the new residence is built in an empty lot next to Allison Hall, Jerome said. The six-story dorm, designed by Doban Architecture, will include a cafeteria on the ground floor.
Following receipt of a building permit, construction of the new dorm, being dubbed West Hall, would begin in May. Jerome said they hope to have the project completed and occupied in August 2014.
Two New Rochelle residents who live near Monroe College spoke against the dormitory proposal, citing parking, noise and concerns about businesses possibly shunning the area.
Jerome commented that, while some parking spots would be lost with the new building, the college will take an additional 100 permits in New Roc City and possibly mandate faculty and staff to park there.
“I think it’s great what you’re doing. I think, as you said, it will animate Main Street, which is what we want,” said Planning Board Chairman Douglas Hocking prior to the unanimous vote to approve the dorm’s site plan.