Lexington officials announced last week that the town is purchasing the Scottish Rite of Freemasonry organization’s headquarters, after the fraternal group accepted its offer of almost $11 million.
The Marrett Road property will be used for a community center. The agreement on the sale price was announced Tuesday night after months of negotiations, and after Town Meeting voted Monday night to appropriate the money.
Selectman Peter Kelley said in an announcement on the purchase that it is a historic moment for Lexington, as the town’s 300th anniversary approaches at the end of this month.
In a roll call vote of 173 to 2, with 6 abstentions, Town Meeting approved appropriating about $11 million and authorized the Board of Selectmen to purchase the property.Selectwoman Deb Mauger told Town Meeting that the Scottish Rite’s governing body would decide the next day whether to accept the town’s offer of $10,950,000 .
“This is a wonderful opportunity for our future,” Mauger said.
The Supreme Council of the Scottish Rite plans to move into space at its National Heritage Museum, which is next to the 33 Marrett Road headquarters property and is not being sold. The Supreme Council governs the Scottish Rite’s Northern Masonic Jurisdiction, which covers 15 states from New England to Wisconsin and Delaware.
Representatives from the Scottish Rite could not be reached for comment.
The 10-acre property the town is buying includes the headquarters building, a mansion built in 1905, and a carriage house. Lexington is considering using the property as a community center that would offer services for the town’s senior citizens and its youth.
Mauger told Town Meeting members Monday that the town first offered $8 million for the property, but increased the amount twice because of competition from other bidders.