No more dorms in Manhattan

University’s new Manhattan property won’t be a housing option for students


Isabel Rajabzadeh

St. John’s will no longer provide Manhattan dorms for students like the one pictured here.

The University will no longer offer dormitory options in Manhattan after it relocates to East Village later this year, according to Martha Hirst, the University’s executive vice president, chief operating officer and treasurer.

Hirst told the Torch students were advised at the time of the sale of the 101 Murray Street building last year that it was very unlikely the University would continue to provide housing in Manhattan following the 2013-2014 academic year.

“If students want to come to St. John’s as residential students there is dormitory space available for them,” she said.  “We have a lot of housing here in Queens.”

The University announced last month that it had acquired 71,000 square feet of space inside the Edward Minskoff 12-story, 400,000 square foot office building on 51 Astor Place, between Third and Fourth Avenues.

The new Manhattan campus on 51 Astor Place will not space for dorms.
The new Manhattan campus on 51 Astor Place will not have space for dorms. (Photo/Media Relations)

But unlike the Murray Street building, the university said there’s not enough space for dorms.

“We had dorm space there because there was space in the building we acquired,” Hirst said, referring to the Murray Street building. “It was available in Manhattan.”

Hirst also said most of the students that are currently residing in the Manhattan dorms are not associated with the School of Risk Management, which is based in Manhattan.

So, Hirst said, there is “no need, so there won’t be beds in Manhattan in the near term.”

Out of the 175 students who live on the Manhattan campus this school year, only 24 are part of the School of Risk Management, a university spokesman said.

“Very few, in fact,” Hirst said. “Most of them are students who said it’s a pretty cool housing option.”

Junior Melissa Brazilia, a current resident on the Manhattan campus, feels it is “unfortunate” the University is taking away housing from students. She cited its close proximity to opportunities such as jobs and internships.

“I don’t really understand the reason for relocation and I definitely don’t understand why they took out Manhattan housing altogether,” Brazilia said. “I feel a lot of us could say it’s a big disappointment.”

Dormsonline2While there is no need currently, Hirst said the University is open to adding dorms in the future if a dilemma with overcrowding presents itself.

“If there was a bourgeoning number of students here [in Queens] and in Staten Island, we might acquire some space in Manhattan near the School of Risk Management building,” she said.

As far as developments for the new campus is concerned, construction has already begun.

“We are just beginning to do the work, we’re building on its raw space,” she said. “Brij [Anand] and his team of architects, engineers are beginning to work on this right now.”

Anand, who is vice president for facilities, told the Torch he expects to finish everything by June. By August, he said the school will be ready to go.

“It being a new building, it really gives a chance to tailor it to our needs,” Anand said. “We can shape the way we want it.”