A couple of days ago, The Herald dropped that Tom Brady and Gisele Bundchen were planning to build in Brookline (having sold their penthouse in Back Bay a few months ago), though the tab did not say where exactly, hinting only that it was "thisclose" to the home of Patriots owner Robert Kraft.
We took The Herald article and gave it to our Brookline property expert, Sherlock Homes, to see if putting the ample clues in the article through the process of elimination could lead him to the correct property.
"My dear, Curbed," Homes replied, "Of course, there are thousands of lots in the town of Brookline. However, The Herald article says the property is '5+' acres and a review of Brookline public records shows only shows 54 lots in Brookline are larger than five acres. So, while it's always a possibility that Mr. Brady could combine lots to get a parcel bigger than 5 acres—as Kraft did—it's reasonable to start with these 54 possibilities."
And off Homes went! The rest from him directly:
Of the 54 5+ acre lots in Brookline, 21 are owned by the Town of Brookline or the Brookline Housing Authority. Another eight are exempt properties associated with religious organizations and colleges. Six more are colleges; four are apartment complexes; and three are owned by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. That leaves 12.
Of the 12, one is a private hospital; one is home for elderly women; one is described as a tennis court; and one is a country club.
So, assuming the Brady-Bundchen bunch have not elected to purchase the land to build on from the state, the town, a religious or educational institution—or are desirous to have properties with commercial or recreational uses re-zoned for residential—it leaves eight possible lots.
Of the eight, two are really big: 22 acres and 48 acres. What's more, they are contiguous and I am thinking that a 70-acre plot would probably involve a strategic plan a bit more complicated than building a home, so I'm ruling them out.
That leaves six.
Given that the Herald article says the home is in Chestnut Hill, two of the six possible lots can be ruled out as they are not really in Chestnut Hill. That leaves four.
Paul Fireman's Chestnut Hill home has the right-sized lot; however, it had been recently built to the tune of an $18 million real estate assessment and The Herald article says that the Brady-Bundchen clan want to go ground-up, so I'm doubting they would knock down this ultra-expensive new home. It's out.
So we are left with three parcels. The three parcels are owned by only two different people.
One of the parcels is a 20-acre parcel on Warren Street that has an assessed value of $27 million. This owner owns a contiguous parcel that is 5.13 acres and assessed at around $6 million. The lot sounds especially interesting and it is only around a half-mile from Kraft—but, I ask, would a journalist define a half-mile as "thisclose"?
I say no, so that leaves one lot, a lot on Lapland Road in Chestnut Hill. The lot on Lapland is only one-tenth of a mile from Robert Kraft's. That's "thisclose." The challenge is that the Lapland lot is 10 acres and assessed at $16 million. If that's too much land and too much money to acquire it, maybe the Brady-Bundchen clan could have it subdivided?
All I am saying is that through the process of elimination this lot seems the best fit. Is Tom Brady buying this lot, or has he outsmarted me, Sherlock Homes, like he outsmarted the St. Louis defense?
· Tom Brady Eyes Digs in Brookline? [Herald]
· Monday Morning Quarterbacking Tom Brady's Penthouse Deal [Curbed Boston]