Dear Brookline Community,

For decades, the Brookline Community Foundation (BCF) has called the building we own at 40 Webster Place home. Over the past several years, BCF leadership has discussed how 40 Webster Place is not meeting the needs of the organization. It does not provide the kind of working space we need, it is not ADA accessible and our operations shifted to support remote and hybrid work — calling into question the need for a large office.

Two years ago, we began a due diligence process to determine whether we wanted to continue using and owning our building. Today, we are announcing that we have closed on the sale of our current building to DND Homes, a real estate developer with several successful projects in the greater Boston area.

Please read on for information about the sale, the buyer, and most importantly how BCF is planning to engage the community in determining how we reinvest these proceeds back into Brookline to have the greatest positive impact on the entire community.

With appreciation,

Aba Taylor
Executive Director
Gioia Perugini
BCF Board President

Why are you selling the building now?

BCF building Brookline 2024We are acutely aware of rising economic inequality and growing community needs — some of which were compounded due to the Covid-19 pandemic and the pandemic’s enduring economic aftershocks. Through our community engagement work around ARPA funding, we heard firsthand the interwoven needs community members were facing. Through our Understanding Brookline research, we saw the data behind those needs — data that confirmed widespread economic insecurity and the rapidly rising cost of living crisis.

These challenges require transformative investments at the community level to create lasting sustainability and a thriving, vibrant Brookline. Selling our building will enable us to shift operations to an accessible and size-appropriate space and reinvest significant resources back into our community.

How did you reach this decision?

BCF conducted a thorough due diligence process, which included consulting with many of our closest community partners to help us reach this decision. We explored several scenarios, and ultimately agreed that selling 40 Webster Place would put BCF in the best possible position to make transformative investments in the near future while also creating the sustainability that will enable us to invest in Brookline for the next 100 years.

Who is the buyer?

DND Homes is a real estate development company with several successful projects in the greater Boston area. DND Homes currently owns 40 Kent Street, the parcel adjacent to 40 Webster Place. While BCF will not be involved in any of the development decisions for 40 Webster Place going forward, the development will be subject to all Town ordinances and bylaws that govern private development.

Where will BCF’s new office be?

At present, our plan is to keep our offices at 40 Webster Place through at least June 2024. We are actively exploring new office spaces in Brookline, both as short term solutions and for a more permanent home.

We are also working on shifting our operations to be location agnostic prior to any move to ensure that there will be no disruption of communications, programming or other support during this time. We already switched to Zoom phones and set up a P.O. Box for mail.

Additionally, BCF is working closely with DND Homes to determine how long we and other tenants of 40 Webster Place can remain in the building. More importantly, we are committed to supporting current tenants with identifying new office spaces and will be contributing to their relocation costs through special grant funding taken from the sale proceeds.

How will BCF decide what to do with the proceeds?

This sale represents a once-in-a-generation opportunity for BCF to make significant investments in both community organizations and in our long-term sustainability to ensure research, grantmaking, and convening work continues for decades to come.

One of our values is “lead by listening,” and we are committed to live into that and all our values in determining how to reinvest in Brookline. In the coming weeks and months, we will develop and share a detailed community engagement plan so every member of the Brookline community can help shape this strategy.

We are confident that — guided by community voice and insights, and working with a network of local nonprofit organizations and community groups — we will reinvest proceeds from this sale to catalyze economic mobility, create dedicated pathways to opportunity and advancement for those most impacted by economic and social inequities.