Emerson College used to have all of its campus in the Back Bay. Then, in the 1980s, they considered the idea of moving to … LAWRENCE. I kid you not. Did you know this? They went as so far as to have architectural drawings of their new campus (on the Merrimac River) drawn up.

Fortunately, they smartened up (a theater school in the middle of nowhere?), and decided to stay in the Back Bay.

Then, they decided to move into the Theater District (because the Back Bay was so far away?), and bought up a bunch of real estate in that area (as did Suffolk University), including the Little Building (where dentists used to go to get their supplies), which they turned into dorms (good re-use of space).

This week, real estate agent (extraordinaire) Tracey Campion confirmed that the last four Back Bay Emerson buildings are under agreement. The properties are at 6 Arlington, 96 Beacon, 100 Beacon, and 132-134 Beacon streets, and Emerson is expected to collect roughly $50 million on the sale (tax free?).

Yes, expect condos to take the place of dorms and classrooms. However, we’ll have to wait to see how much money is put into the renovation. The buyer bought at the height of the market, and, while the luxury market is still healthy, the high purchase cost, and extensive renovations, might mean it’ll be difficult to turn a profit.

More details: Emerson nears Back Bay deal – By Scott Van Voorhis, The Boston Herald

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Updated: January 2018

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