UPDATE (September 10, 2014): The College is working with a developer who has been selected for the Rollins Lot.
Wellesley College is beginning the process of selling the land commonly known as Rollins Lot.
By selling this property, Wellesley will gain additional financial resources to support our Campus Renewal plan, which includes repair and maintenance efforts as well as modest expansions on existing buildings.
The land of Rollins Lot will be sold to a private developer to create five residential buildings. At this time Wellesley College has not chosen a development partner but the community can expect any developer to follow the appropriate development approval process, which will include public hearings and community meetings.
Since we met with neighbors in May, we have completed a tree survey of the property and a stormwater assessment. The stormwater assessment indicates that the Rollins Lot is not currently sending water to other parts of the neighborhood, but is a current recipient of water from the street.
The information from both the tree and stormwater surveys will be available to potential developers. The College will clearly indicate that we prefer developers who will make every effort to maintain existing trees in keeping with the neighborhood (in addition to complying with the town's tree bylaw) and who will honor the town's stormwater guidelines.
In addition, we are providing a set of design guidelines to potential developers as part of the RFP process. These guidelines, developed by local architect Michael Collins, make it clear that we prefer proposals that will "fit in" with the neighborhood in look, scale, and materials. Furthermore, the RFP will establish our expectation that the successful developer employ neighbor-friendly construction practices.
In early August, we will be reaching out to a pre-vetted list of potential developers, with suitable past experience for a project of this nature, letting them know our goals and soliciting their proposals for site development. Our evaluation will consider the developer's substantive proposal, financial terms, their ability to effectively address issues raised by the neighborhood, and their commitment to the development principles we have outlined. We believe this process is both in keeping with our fiduciary duty to use the College's assets to best support the College's mission and is respectful of our nearby neighbors.
While Wellesley College does not expect to be actively involved with the planning and development process, we expect to identify responsible development partners who are sensitive to community needs and concerns. Should you have any questions regarding the sale and reuse of Rollins Lot, please contact us through our feedback page.