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December 3, 2004

Smith College Commits Near-Downtown Property for Rental Housing

NORTHAMPTON, Mass.—Smith College will offer to developers its property at
36 Bedford Terrace for the development of apartments in proximity to Northampton’s downtown. The move reflects the college’s commitment to replace market-rate affordable housing that will be removed for the construction of an engineering and molecular sciences building.

The 21,000-square-foot building at the corner of Bedford Terrace and State Street currently contains 19 one- and two-bedroom apartments rented to students in the college’s Ada Comstock Scholars Program. Replacement apartment housing for students will be provided on the campus, most likely through a combination of new construction and reassignment of employee housing.

Construction of the engineering and molecular sciences building will require the demolition of 26 apartments in four college-owned buildings in the area of Green Street and Belmont Avenue. Smith has committed to replacing these units with similarly priced housing. To do this, the college established in the fall of 2003 a      $3-million fund ($2.2 million for housing development, $800,000 for property acquisition, if necessary) to assist developers interested in building affordable housing. In addition to selling the Bedford Terrace property for apartment development, the college is also contacting property owners to assess their interest in increasing housing density in the West Street area near the Smith campus.

A committee advisory to the college, whose members were selected by Smith College President Carol T. Christ and Northampton Mayor Mary Clare Higgins, has been formed to help the college review developers’ proposals with regard to affordability.

By mid-January, the college will issue to developers a request for proposals for the development of 36 Bedford Terrace. Construction on the engineering and molecular sciences building is expected to begin in 2007, following anticipated conversion of
36 Bedford to non-college use.

Office of College Relations
Smith College
Garrison Hall
Northampton, Massachusetts 01063

Marti Hobbes
News Assistant
T (413) 585-2190
F (413) 585-2174

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