388 Ventures acquires historic properties in Lenox, Mass.

The main building in the complex is the Church Street Inn, a property that dates back to 1771. Photo credit: Life House

New York-based real estate investor 388 Ventures has closed on the acquisition of a portfolio of historic bed-and-breakfasts in Lenox, Mass. The portfolio was assembled through three separate off-market transactions and includes 65 rooms and suites, a restaurant, a bar and public space areas. 388 Ventures has partnered with boutique hotel company Life House to provide hotel- and restaurant-management services, branding and interior design. 

Life House will operate the three properties under the existing branding through summer 2021. After the high season, the properties will undergo renovations and improvements ahead of relaunching as a cohesive collection in spring 2022. 

The main building in the complex is the Church Street Inn, a property that dates back to 1771 when owner John Whitlock—an early settler in Lenox whose farmlands occupied much of what became Lenox Village—opened his house as an inn.

The Birchwood Inn is in the northern side of town, and is the first residential property in Lenox deeded by the Massachusetts Bay Colony in 1765. The core of this house was built by Israel Dewey, a member of Lenox’s Continental Congress Committee when the town was incorporated on March 11, 1767. 

Rounding out the portfolio is the Rookwood Inn, which first opened as the Williams Tavern in 1825 and is located at the southern point of town. When Lenox stood as the judicial seat of Berkshire County before Pittsfield assumed the distinction, the tavern was a watering hole for the judges and lawyers who worked the local courthouse. In the 1880s, the property was purchased by Frederick Constance Peters, a businessman from England, who repurposed it into ancillary lodging for owners of Lenox’s famed Gilded Age estates.

“With a growing list of unique independent hotels under management in top New England destinations from Nantucket to Martha’s Vineyard, Lenox was a natural target for the continued expansion of our portfolio,” said Bryan Dunn, head of growth at Life House. “We are thrilled to partner with 388 Ventures on this strategy and look forward to exploring opportunities to expand together throughout the Berkshires and beyond.”