New building acquisition costs $7 million

Emerson acquired another building on Boylston Street. This building has three apartment complexes and the Griddler’s restaurant. Photo: Rida Ashraf / Berkeley Beacon

The college expects to complete the acquisition of 134-36 Boylston St. for $7 million by May 31.

According to an email sent to the student body by President M. Lee Pelton on April 12, the money will come from the school’s capital reserves, a fund devoted to the physical aspects of campus, like repairwork or new furniture.

The property consists of three rental apartments and the Griddler’s restaurant. Arthur Mombourquette, senior associate vice president for real estate, said there are no plans to use the space in the building, but Emerson will continue to rent it out to tenants and collect the revenue. He said this gives the college options for future use.

“Having another property directly adjacent to our campus has numerous positives,” Mombourquette said. “It gives us some local control over what goes into the building. It reserves the land under the building for any potential future use, and in the short run, it creates positive revenue.”

Mombourquette could not estimate how much revenue the spaces would bring the school.

Student Government President Annie Makielski said she was surprised by the abruptness of the announcement and said she thinks the student body had a similar reaction.

“While I understand the positive impact this will have on future generations of Emerson students, I would like to see more transparency and communication about the capital reserves budget,” Makielski said.

In his email, Pelton wrote the college was approached with the offer.

“We have the opportunity to strengthen our sense of place, while making a strategic investment that enhances our ability to support future student and faculty initiatives. This project is a sound financial investment for the College,” Pelton wrote. “As I said, it will have no negative effect on our operating budget, and will add diversity to the College’s revenue portfolio, thereby reducing reliance on tuition.”

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