According to a post on the UU World Web site, the UUA Board has approved a lease-to-buy agreement for 24 Farnsworth St. in Boston. Ms. M. sent along the posting of the property on Bostonofficespaces.com, which gives the following information:
“The Barkan Companies and The Commonwealth of Massachusetts Department of Children and Family already occupy this building. A private courtyard with seating, high ceilings and abundant natural lighting make 24 Farnsworth Street an attractive building. Other amenities include efficient floorplates, handicapped lift, underground parking with 25 covered spaces and card key access.”
From my point of view, this is a much better neighborhood for the UUA than Beacon Hill. You can walk from South Station, and it’s easy to get to from I-90. The Institute of Contemporary Art and Boston Children’s Museum are only a few blocks away, and you can walk to Fort Point Channel and pick up a water taxi (how cool is that?). Admittedly, the neighborhood isn’t quite as cool as it was in the mid-1990s, when it was home to some edgy galleries and artists like the Mobius Artists Group; when I worked as a carpenter, I did a job for an artist in the Mobius building, and it was a more exciting place back then; it was also a lot grungier and less safe. In recent years, rents have been going up and the neighborhood is increasingly respectable, but it’s still interesting. 24 Farnsworth Street will be a much more suitable home for the UUA than stuffy old Beacon Hill.
And what will happen to the UUA’s properties on Beacon Hill? They should sell for a pretty penny. I wouldn’t be surprised if at least one of the buildings was bought and converted to a single residence — a decade ago I got invited to an event in a building a few doors down from from 25 Beacon Street, and about the same size — all six floors were a single residence for one couple (and their servants, of course). Bet the UUA turns a tidy profit on this deal.
All in all, this is about as good an outcome as we could hope for.