UMass signs P&S on Bayside site; purchase price is put at $18.7m

UMass-Boston has completed the purchase and sales agreement in its acquisition of the Bayside Expo Center on Columbia Point, the university announced last week. A spokesman for the University of Massachusetts Building Authority said the purchase price is $18.7 million.

Last December, UMass signed an offer to buy the site from L&R/CMAT, which had picked up the property at a foreclosure auction last spring. The sale will be overseen by the University of Massachusetts Building Authority (UMBA), a state agency responsible for the provision of new academic, athletic, and residential facilities on UMass campuses and for the renovation of existing buildings. Construction is funded primarily through tax-exempt bonds issued by the Authority.

The Bayside property comprises 275,000 square feet of exhibition space and parking on 20 acres of land. UMass officials have pointed to the need to acquire the Bayside site to help facilitate the campus’s 25-year capital plan, which includes $500 million in on-campus construction of new and renovated facilities.

In a document released late last year, UMass described its needs: “With existing facilities and parking already strained to capacity, the University will need space to replace parking eliminated during the construction process and may in the mid-term want to relocate offices and classrooms during renovation of existing campus buildings. … The Bayside Expo Center provides a unique opportunity for the University to fill those needs and offers extensive long term potential as well.”

– ED FORRY