Wellesley College has narrowed down to 5 the number of bidders in contention for its North 40 property and the town remains in the running for it.
The College held what one attendee referred to as a “hastily called meeting,” according to the North 40 Wellesley Project blog.
The College has published the presentation from that night online, and indeed says that it hopes to make a recommendation for a buyer on Dec. 10 and announce the winner shortly thereafter.
Wellesley College received 13 proposals, none from conservancies (the Save the North 40 crowd has been pushing for a conservancy to enter the bidding and for the school to give conservancies time to cobble together a bid/funding). The College stated that conservancies didn’t consider the property a high priority in that the town bylaws already protect half the land and it doesn’t feature any real special species.
Among the remaining bidders is the outfit that developed the North Hill senior living facility in Needham (North Hill at the North 40?), according to the attendee who shared notes with the North 40 Project blog. North Hill did recently state it had made a bid.
Proposed uses from the five remaining bidders include single-family homes, apartments, age-restricted housing, assisted living and various municipal uses.
The Townsman reports that Wellesley College says the remaining bidders are all offering in the neighborhood of $25M and pledging to leave 20 to 30 acres of open space.
Those displeased with the overall process have made us aware that the Moveon.org petition pushing for the College to sell the North 40 to a conservancy now has more than 1,600 signatures. Some alums signing the petition have indicated the school’s actions could result in them cutting off or reducing donations to their alma mater. Adding insult to injury for some Save the North 40 movers and shakers: Their lawn signs were recently swiped over the Thanksgiving holiday.