NEW LONDON, Conn. (WTNH) – For the first time ever Connecticut College will be housing 63 of its upperclassmen and a staff member off-campus in downtown New London.

The reason for this move off-campus is because the usual 500 freshmen expected in the fall is now 660 and the school needs to make room for them on campus.

The school will lease the three-story historic Manwaring Building on State Street from downtown developer High Tide Capital once renovations on the 21 units are complete.

“A lot of our students are very engaged in the city of New London,” said Victor Arcelus, Dean of Students for Connecticut College. “Provides them with an opportunity to be really close to a lot of those opportunities and just to be part of the everyday life of the city.”

“It’s going to be economic vibrancy, youth, you know just feet on the street,” said Mayor Michael Passero, (D) New London.

Once occupied the building could generate about $100-thousand in taxes. Five times more than an empty building.

The mayor believes the expected National Coast Guard Museum, the offshore wind industry, and Electric Boat’s commitment to New London have spurred this commitment from Conn College too.

In addition to the one and two-bedroom units on the upper floors, there will be five townhouses on the first floor. They have a huge living room and kitchen area with two bedrooms in the basement.

The building is attached to a parking garage and students can use the SEAT bus or on-demand SmartRide to get to campus which could also help connect students with the broader community.

“That’s actually very exciting to hear,” said Brianna Clements who opened The Babe Cave salon on State Street with her mother in February. “As we are just opening up I feel that would bring in a lot of good clientele.”

The renovations are expected to be complete by mid-August just in time for the start of the new school year.