PHOTOS: Inside the Masons' Mansion
Lexington's Town Meeting is expected to decide tonight whether to authorize the town to purchase about 10 acres of the Scottish Rite property off Marrett Road for nearly $11 million.
Town Meeting members and other interested Lexington residents were invited Sunday to tour the approximately 10 acres of the Scottish Rite property the town in interested in purchasing – a nearly $11 million expense Town Meeting will be asked to approve tonight, March 18.
The property in question, located behind the National Heritage Museum at 33 Marrett Road, includes the 17,840-square foot “mansion” or main building, a 5,260-square foot carriage house, about 88 parking spaces and additional acreage.
For a “virtual tour” of the mansion, click through the photos above.
Potential municipal uses for the property include a senior/community center, town offices and even a public safety campus. There are other bidders for the property, and it’s unclear how they would redevelop the land although residential seems the most likely use for a private developer.
Considerations about buying the property began last summer, after the Scottish Rite reportedly offered the town first dibs on the land and the Board of Selectmen approved an appraisal and study of the property.
Things heated up of late, and the selectmen’s negotiating team publicly revealed its $10,950,000 offer last Tuesday, March 12 – even prior to official approval from the board, which came Thursday night.
Town Meeting will be asked to approve a proposal for the purchase to be financed through Community Preservation Act funds and through the tax levy, the letter explains.
If Town Meeting approves the proposal, then the Scottish Rite will meet to consider the town offer tomorrow, March 19, Town Manager Carl Valente said last week.
According to officials, should the town’s bid be accepted, about $7.9 million of the funding would come through CPA, while the remaining $3 million and change would be funded through the tax levy. That funding model accounts for the fact that the town is bidding above the appraised value for this property, officials said.
So what do you think? Should the town move forward with its attempt to purchase the Scottish Rite property? If so, what would you like to see done with it?
Share your thoughts in the comment section below.