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Boston's Newest Real Estate Parlor Game: the Ames-Webster

We broke the news on Tuesday that there was a sales agreement for the transplendent Ames-Webster mansion in Back Bay. We've reached out to listing broker Tracy Campion for further details and have not heard back; but the MLS tells no lies: Someone or something, as of yesterday, has at least agreed to buy the 26,000-square-foot, 50-room, 28-fireplace palace dating from 1872. Whether the deal closes or not is another matter. And whether it closes for the $18 million the mansion was last listed at is also uncertain. As is who the owner might be.

First, whether it closes or not: The Ames-Webster has been on the sales market for more than 1,040 days, making it, before the sales agreement this week, Boston's oldest listing walking away. Second, whether it closes for $18 million, the last asking price (after some hefty price-chops): Luxury Boston listings have had a way of closing for under-asking in 2012, like back in April, when 80 percent of downtown's biggest condo deals traded for below the final listing price.

Finally, who might the new owner be. We should probably phrase it as what might the new owner be. The Ames-Webster currently houses 20 businesses, ranging from money management companies to law offices, in various suites throughout the palace. The buyer, then, could be a commercial entity (like the current owner, Reality Realty Trust). Or, yes, it could be some crazy-rich individual who will use it as a private home. By god, we haven't had a real estate parlor game like this in Boston since Tomsele were selling!
· Ames-Webster Mansion on Sale [Globe]
· Ames-Webster Mansion Under Agreement; Last Asking $18M [Curbed Boston]
· What Do You Get the Back Bay Mansion That Has Everything? [Curbed Boston]
· Back Bay's Ames-Webster Mansion Now $5M Off [Curbed Boston]
· Downtown's Top Apt. Deals: 80 Percent Trade for Under Asking [Curbed Boston]
· Tom Brady, Gisele Bundchen Sell Back Bay PH for $9.2M [Curbed Boston]