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25 Beacon St © Kenneth Sutton/UU World

UUA sells three buildings for $23.6 million

Sale of 25 Beacon Street headquarters, Eliot and Pickett Houses finalized.
By Donald E. Skinner
3.20.14

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The Unitarian Universalist Association completed the sale of three of its properties on Beacon Hill in Boston on March 20 for a total of $23.6 million.

The buildings are the UUA's headquarters at 25 Beacon Street and 6 and 7 Mt. Vernon Place, known together as Eliot & Pickett Houses, a guesthouse run by the UUA. The guesthouse is immediately behind the headquarters building. Both properties adjoin the grounds of the Massachusetts State House.

UU World announced the sale in an article February 18, but the sale price was embargoed until March 20 when the sale was completed. Tim Brennan, the UUA's treasurer and chief financial officer, said he is pleased with the sale. "It's a strong price. The price was very close to what our consultants had estimated the buildings would bring when we started this process."

He said interest in the properties was high and there were ultimately 18 bids on the properties.

The UUA's fourth property on Beacon Hill, 41 Mt. Vernon St., the home of Beacon Press and other UUA offices, remains on the market.

In May the UUA will move to 24 Farnsworth St., a former warehouse building in Boston's Seaport District, about a mile away. The move will allow UUA staff to work more easily together. The Beacon Hill buildings all had challenges with accessibility, heating, cooling, communication, and other issues.

The UUA began lease payments on the Farnsworth property on September 1, 2013; it will have the option to buy the building January 1, 2015. No price has been disclosed.

Brennan said the proceeds of the sale just concluded would be set aside to finance the purchase of 24 Farnsworth at the end of this calendar year. The monies will be invested in "low-volatility, fixed-income securities," he said. He added that proceeds from the eventual sale of 41 Mt. Vernon St. will go mostly into the UUA's endowment.

The Beacon Hill buildings were purchased by Sea-Dar Construction, a general contracting firm, which will convert them into condominium units.


Photograph (above): 25 Beacon Street on a snowy February morning, with the Massachusetts State House grounds to the right (© Kenneth Sutton/UU World). See sidebar for links to related resources.

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