Suffolk University has officially opened its newest residence hall at 10 West St. Mayor Thomas M. Menino spoke at the Jan. 9 opening ceremony, which included a reception and tours of the building.

The residence hall will accommodate 274 undergraduates in suites and apartments.

Bringing new life to downtown

The mixed-use building in the Downtown Crossing area will feature an upscale coffee shop and a restaurant on the street level.

The influx of student life is seen as a boon to the Downtown Crossing area, bringing new activity to the area, day and night.

“We are pleased to offer more of our students the advantage of a full residential college experience, while at the same time contributing to the city by boosting the activity level of Boston’s traditional commercial center,” said University President David J. Sargent.

The residence hall occupies two adjacent buildings that at one time were being converted to condominiums. Students will occupy suites and apartments on the upper floors of 10 West and 515 Washington streets.

The 10 West St. facility will be the University’s third residence hall. Suffolk University began taking responsibility for housing students in 1996 with the opening of the 150 Tremont St. residence hall, just around the corner from 10 West St. With this addition, the onetime commuter school can now house more than 1,000 students, nearly 25 percent of its undergraduates.

“I’m delighted to see Suffolk University joining the Downtown Crossing community,” said Menino. “Suffolk students will greatly add to the vitality of this area and ensure that it remains vibrant at all hours of the day.”

Collaboration with city & neighbors

The University worked closely with the Boston Redevelopment Authority and area residents in planning the residence hall project.

“The cooperation of the city and our neighbors in the Ladder District really helped the University refine its housing plan, and we are grateful for their advice and support,” said John Nucci, vice president of Government and Community Affairs at Suffolk University.