Dartmouth Buys Four Properties on West Wheelock Street

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The purchases will help develop more housing near the heart of campus.

West Wheelock Street map

Dartmouth has purchased four properties on West Wheelock Street with the plan to substantially increase undergraduate housing on and within walking distance of campus—part of President Sian Leah Beilock’s pledge to add 1,000 new beds for students, faculty, and staff over the next decade.

“Creating more walkable, on-campus housing for students is a top priority and will contribute to the well-being of our undergraduate community,” says Josh Keniston, senior vice president for capital planning and campus operations. “We know the housing shortage is a major stressor, and we are eager to meaningfully address this issue. In this tight housing market, the addition of undergraduate housing frees up rental stock for other members of our community.”

The new lots were purchased from Jolin Kish ’88, Thayer ’91, a private residential developer in the Upper Valley. They are 41 and 43 West Wheelock St., located on the north side of the street and surrounded by Dartmouth-owned land, and 14 and 16 West Wheelock St., located on the south side of the street, diagonally across from the Class of ’53 Commons dining hall and close to the Green. 

Aerial shot of Wheelock
An aerial view looking east toward the Green shows the building at 41 West Wheelock St., one of the properties Dartmouth has just acquired, and 37 West Wheelock, which Dartmouth already owns, next to Thayer Drive on the north side of the street. On the hill above them is the Class of 1982 Engineering and Computer Science Center. (Photo by Robert Gill)

On the north side, Dartmouth already owns 37 West Wheelock St., which is on the corner of Thayer Drive and West Wheelock Street and is next door to 41 West Wheelock St. Dartmouth also owns 25-27 West Wheelock, where work has begun this month on a new apartment-style residence intended for junior and senior students that, pending Hanover Planning Board approval, is expected to open in 2026. Also on the north side, Dartmouth owns 17 and 19 West Wheelock St.

The $23.5 million acquisition, which was finalized on Friday, June 21, makes Dartmouth the largest landowner on West Wheelock Street. The addition of the new lots also means that Dartmouth now owns all the land on the north side of the street between Thayer Drive and the Connecticut River. 

The investment marks a critical milestone in achieving Dartmouth’s goal of increasing housing, a key component of President Beilock’s mental health and wellness initiative. The property purchases and the plan to add apartment-style housing on the West End have enthusiastic support from the Dartmouth Board of Trustees, Keniston said.

He added that Dartmouth has been engaging with property owners on the street about the housing planned for 25-27 West Wheelock and will continue to reach out to neighbors as plans are developed for the new properties. 

Dartmouth students, along with several community members, revived a prior proposed change in Hanover’s zoning ordinance that was approved at the 2022 Hanover Town Meeting. The change allows property owners in the new Main Wheelock District, including Dartmouth, to develop high-density housing along portions of West Wheelock Street.

The purchases, coupled with the zoning change, will help facilitate infill development of much-needed housing a short walk from the Green and downtown on the West End of campus, home to the Class of 1982 Engineering and Computer Science Center, Thayer School of Engineering, Magnuson Center for Entrepreneurship, Arthur L. Irving Institute for Energy and Society, and Tuck School of Business.

“These new properties will allow us to strengthen and enlarge the residential experience in the West End, giving students living there close proximity to the Class of ’53 Commons and to the Green, the heart of campus,” says Keniston.

As part of the sale, Dartmouth sold Foley House, at 20 West St.—a 10-bed residence that is one of three living learning communities in the undergraduate house system—to Kish. Dartmouth will lease the residence from Kish for six years, and there won’t be any change to the living learning program, Keniston said. A new location for Foley House will be identified when the lease expires.

The new residences at 25-27 West Wheelock St. are expected to create about 285 beds intended for juniors and seniors in apartment-style units that will each have a full kitchen, living room, bathrooms, and storage space. The building is being designed to target LEED Gold certification and will incorporate high-performance building materials.

Dartmouth is also making progress on updating and renewing its existing residences. Zimmerman Hall and Brace Commons are being completely renovated and will reopen in time for fall term, while work is beginning this summer on a major overhaul of Fayerweather Hall, which is expected to be ready for occupancy in fall 2026.

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