The Chabad House at Harvard, an Orthodox Jewish center, has placed a $6 million bid to purchase the building at 45 Dunster Street from the Fly Club—which currently leases the space to the Bee Club—according to exchanges on final club e-mail lists obtained by The Crimson.
The Bee had already served a notice of termination on their lease to the Fly, according to an individual familiar with the situation. But this week, Bee members have solicited support and donations from many final club members via e-mail.
But the $6 million bid—which the Bee learned about “a few days ago,” according to an e-mail—is more than double the assessed value of the building and land, which the City of Cambridge placed at $2.7 million, according to 2010 property records.
“This offer is above market value for the house and is very attractive for the Fly graduate board from a business perspective,” read an e-mail that was sent over a final club list. “The Bee was informed of the offer a few days ago and the girls have been working hard to try to raise enough money to counter the offer.”
Harvard’s Chabad House, which coordinates outreach to the University’s Jewish community, currently owns a building on Banks Street near Dunster and Mather Houses, which it purchased for $1.5 million in 2003.
The Fly retained ownership of the Dunster Street building when it merged with the now-defunct D.U. Club in 1996. High-end men’s apparel boutique J.Press is a current lessee of the space, with a storefront facing Mt. Auburn Street.
Several other final clubs also own property in Harvard Square that they rent to local businesses. Sandrine’s occupies a space owned by the Porcellian Club, the A.D. Club owns the building to be occupied by TD Bank, and the Spee Club rents part of its building to Schoenhof’s Foreign Books.
Rabbi Hirschy Zarchi, a founder and director of the Chabad House at Harvard, did not return phone calls for comment. Bee Club President Mariana B. Zobel De Ayala ’11 and Fly Club President Jordan D. Feldman ’11 declined to comment on the record. Members of the clubs who were contacted for this article referred comment to the presidents.
—Staff writer Danielle J. Kolin can be reached at email@example.com. —Staff writer Naveen N. Srivatsa can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.