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BOSTON-The Boston Redevelopment Authority approved Northeastern University’s plan to develop two buildings into nearly 400 new student beds. The project, which expands the university’s campus, is an amendment to the Northeastern’s original master plan.

According to a spokesperson for the BRA, Northeastern purchased 10 Coventry St. last month. The building currently consists of 41 apartments but Northeastern plans to convert the space into 161 beds. The second property at 10 Leon St. will be built by Northeastern. The university originally planned to construct the building for classroom and office use. The spokesperson tells GlobeSt.com the new plan involves a seven-story, 102-foot building that will house 235 dorm beds, some classrooms and the John D’O'Brien African American Institute.

The projects still need permits and approval from the city’s zoning commission, as does any institutional project that deviates from the original master plan. “The main issue for many of the elected officials is that [the university] didn’t have this in their master plan,” the spokesperson says.

A spokesperson for Northeastern tells GlobeSt.com that there was a strong demand to get students out of leased housing and onto the campus. The spokesperson points out that Mayor Thomas M. Menino signed a memorandum of understanding with the university to that effect. “This is in response to community demands and the city’s needs.”

The university plans on developing at least two more residence halls on campus. Those projects are in the very early stages and have not yet been formally approved.

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