Newbury College’s 7.8-acre campus hits the market
Newbury College’s campus — 7.8 acres in a prime part of Brookline — is for sale, the broker handling the listing said Thursday.
In December, the financially strapped school said it would close after the spring semester, leading to speculation that the campus in the Fisher Hill neighborhood — including its administrative buildings, classroom space, and dormitories — would soon be put up for sale.
On Thursday, that was made official, with the real estate firm Colliers International named to broker the sale.
It’s not often that a swath of land the size of the campus goes on the market in Brookline, where real estate is at a premium.
“The Brookline address is highly, highly desirable,” said Christopher Sower, Colliers’ senior vice president. “It’s not just land, it’s an existing campus. It’s going to be extremely attractive.”
Sower said an asking price has not been set, but the property has already garnered interest from several parties, which he declined to name.
A prime prospective buyer is the Town of Brookline.
“We’re very interested in purchasing all or part of the Newbury campus,” said Neil Wishinsky, chair of the Brookline’s select board. “We’re looking at this as a really great opportunity. Once in a lifetime, really.” Wishinsky said a town advisory committee was looking into the purchase. The issue is scheduled to be discussed at an April 9 town meeting.
Colliers expects to meet with potential buyers in the next few weeks and offer tours of the campus.
The 700-student college owns six properties flanking Fisher Avenue, valued at slightly under $38 million, according to the Brookline assessor’s office.
Sower said Colliers International expects to close the sale in the summer, after Newbury graduates its final class. Any deal would require approval from Attorney General Maura Healey because the college is a nonprofit.
A Newbury spokesman, Paul Martin, said the school could not disclose how it might use the sale proceeds. He also said the administration expects the buyer to propose plans for the property that are appropriate for the residential area, which isn’t far from Cleveland Circle and the MBTA’s Green Line. Homes in the vicinity of the campus routinely sell for more than $2 million.
“Obviously, there are some uses the neighborhood would not like to see, so we’d like to be cognizant of that,” Sower said.