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BU sells Hamilton House residence hall

West Campus property goes for $8 million

Hamilton House, at 1110 Commonwealth Avenue, was once home to BU students, and a punk rock club. Photo by Fred Sway

On April 20 Boston University sold the Hamilton House residence hall to Alpha Realty Boston for approximately $8 million. The realty company intends to renovate the property for use as rental apartments.

In February, the University hired the real estate firm Holliday Fenoglio Fowler, L.P., to supervise proposal requests for the building, located at 1110 Commonwealth Ave., the westernmost part of the Charles River Campus, near Packard’s Corner. Revenue from the sale will be used to fund facility renovations on campus, as well as help finance construction on a new student residence at the John Hancock Student Village, which will house 962 students in a 26-story structure and is expected to be completed in September 2008.

Nicknamed “Ham House,” the six-story former residence hall consists of 78 studio apartments that at times accommodated as many as 198 students. The building was not occupied during the spring semester and in the fall semester housed only 73 students in the Center for English Language and Orientation Programs (CELOP) in 35 double rooms and 3 singles on 3 floors. The University closed the building last summer to assess the best use of the property, but reopened it in the fall because of an overflow of students who wanted to live on campus.

BU bought the property in 1977 from the Hamilton Company. It was formerly the Hamilton House Motel and Royal Crown Restaurant, which had a rooftop lounge and a health club. At one time the building housed the punk rock club Underground in its L-shaped basement, which was eventually converted into a laundry room. In the early 1970s, MIT leased rooms in the motel to house students displaced by dorm renovations.