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Episcopal Divinity School’s Harvard Square sale hits a serious snag (updated)

A not-so-silent partner

Episcopal Divinity School

The news that the Episcopal Divinity School was shopping its 8-acre campus at 99 Brattle Street in Cambridge’s Harvard Square dropped like a thunderclap in late May.

Given its location alone, never mind the size, it appeared the parcel had the potential to be one of the Boston region’s most important sales in living memory.

Yet, there’s a potential snag to any smooth sale: Lesley University co-owns several of the campus’ buildings through a nearly decade-old condo agreement with the divinity school.

It was already known that Lesley and Episcopal had a property agreement. It turns out that that deal is much more intimate than previously thought—and, per Cambridge Day’s Marc Levy, it doesn’t look like Lesley is as keen to sell as Episcopal.

“It’s an important part of Lesley’s campus, and we have no plans to sell,” a Lesley spokeswoman told Levy.

That position seriously clouds any deal for the entire 8 acres; and might even complicate a piecemeal sale.

Stay tuned.

Update June 21: The Episcopal Divinity School has released a statement regarding a potential sale and the campus’ ownership. It reiterates that nothing has been finalized. From the statement:

No negotiation with any potential buyer for the purchase of EDS’s property in Cambridge has yet begun, but one thing we can promise: We will not attempt to sell property that EDS does not own.