Boston-based realty group to take point on sale of Marlboro campus

The+Marlboro+College+Campus+laden+with+snow+in+early+February.

Media: Jakob Menendez

The Marlboro College Campus laden with snow in early February.

By Jacob Seitz, Senior Marlboro Reporter

Marlboro College selected a Boston-based real estate firm on Tuesday to aid in the promotion and sale of the 530-acre campus on top of Potash Hill.

Colliers International Group’s Boston-based team has “been tapped to bring multiple college campuses in New England to market, including Newbury College,” according to a press release from the company. Colliers said Marlboro offers “strong value for its premium location.” They are offering virtual tours of the campus and taking proposals from prospective buyers until today, April 23. It is not immediately clear what the asking price of the group is for the campus, but previous reporting valued the Marlboro campus at $10 million.

Unlike the Vermont college’s previous merger agreement with the University of Bridgeport, part of the proposed Emerson-Marlboro merger—which has yet to be finalized—was for Marlboro College campus to be sold. Emerson President M. Lee Pelton said in December that he hoped the campus would be sold by July. It is not clear if the timeline of the sale is still on track, given the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

Marlboro President Kevin Quigley declined to comment.

Randy George, a Marlboro alumnus and member of the Campus Working Group, said in a Q&A on the Marlboro website that Emerson had given Marlboro permission to move forward with offers. The Q&A has, at time of writing, been taken down from the website.

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“Emerson has given approval for the [Campus Working Group] to do the work to market the campus and negotiate with interested parties,” George wrote. “We will make a presentation to the Board of Trustees which will include a recommendation to move forward with an entity whose proposal we have reviewed.”

George said the group is looking for another school to buy the campus.

“We have been focusing primarily on trying to find an educational institution (or a partnership between a few different institutions) to take over the campus,” he wrote.

The campus working group is meeting on April 27 to review the proposals from prospective buyers, and George hopes to make a recommendation to the Marlboro Board of Trustees soon after that. 

George also said that there are no official land agreements or protections for the Marlboro campus, as the only agreements are between the college and the town. According to George, once the college vacates the campus, those protections will cease. The buyer will also not be made public until they sign a letter of intent or a purchasing document, George said. 

Colliers Senior Vice President Bruce Lusa said in the press release that Marlboro’s legacy will not leave the campus when the college does. 

“This is an exceptional opportunity to acquire a superb property, surrounded by the unparalleled beauty of New England’s natural environment,” he said. “Marlboro College faithfully served its town and the neighboring Brattleboro communities for nearly 75 years and moving forward, the campus’ location, value, and infrastructure will ensure that its new owners will continue to positively impact the area for years to come.”

 

Update April 23, 11:38 p.m.: An earlier version of this story named Colliers International Group as a marketing firm. Colliers is a real estate firm.