<img height="1" width="1" style="display:none" src="https://www.facebook.com/tr?id=915327909015523&amp;ev=PageView&amp;noscript=1" target="_blank"> Skip to main content
You are the owner of this article.
You have permission to edit this article.

Ethelwynde, also known as the Winthrop Estate in Lenox, names Shared Estates as its property manager

Ethelwynde in Lenox was built in 1928 on Yokun Avenue in Lenox.

Ethelwynde in Lenox was built in 1928 on Yokun Avenue in Lenox. Also known as the Winthrop Estate, the 11,748-square-foot mansion has 26 rooms, 13 bedrooms, 10 bathrooms and seven fireplaces.

Jamie and Ethan Berg have a plan to make one of the most expensive properties in Berkshire County profitable.

Shared Estates, a crowdsourced real estate firm, has been tapped to manage Ethelwynde, also known as the Winthrop Estate or the Lenox Athenaeum, a great estate in Lenox. Jamie and Ethan Berg put Ethelwynde up for sale in 2020 for $5.9 million.

Shared Estates CEO Daniel Dus said his company wanted to buy the property, but, “it’s a little out of our asset class.” What resulted is something of a compromise, with all parties set to make money.

“Ethan and I decided that the best thing for the Winthrop Estate this season would be to use it, not just for ourselves and family but also to rent it out and welcome other families to enjoy the mansion and grounds,” Jamie Berg wrote to The Eagle in an email.

The Bergs did look at other people who could manage the property. But chose Shared Estates partly because of “their track record” and “their vision.”

Dus declined to get into specifics on the financials, but property managers usually make 8 to 12 percent of revenue collected on a property — Dus said the deal is comparable but a little north of that range given the magnitude of the estate. He and his company say managing the estate is another step in a mission to give middle-class families access to luxury vacations.

For a group of 24 people, Dus said, the estate would cost $185 a night per person to rent out, not including fees, so close to $5,000 a night, total.

Lenox is known for its many "Berkshire cottages," lavish estates built in the late 19th and early 20th centuries by wealthy out-of-towners attracted to the beauty of the Berkshires. Ethelwynde, at 101 Yokun Ave., has served as both a residence and as the headquarters for a water technology company.

The English Tudor-style mansion, which has also been known as the Winthrop Estate and Lenox Athenaeum, was built in 1928 on the site of another residence that had been constructed in 1875. Situated on 31 acres located within walking distance of Lenox's downtown historic district, Ethelwynde has 26 rooms, 13 bedrooms, 10 bathrooms and seven fireplaces in its 11,748 square feet of space.

The Bergs have rented out the estate for private events, and have entertained considerably, holding many public and cultural events at the estate, including hosting fundraisers, lectures and TEDxBerkshires. Both Dus and the Bergs say that these sort of events will continue under new management.

“This property has been more a ‘labor of love’ than a professional endeavor for us,” the Bergs wrote. “We did not come from the hospitality business. We have learned things over the years but will appreciate a professional hospitality team managing things.”  

“While we don’t have any events planned at The Winthrop Estate for this year, we remain supportive of many nonprofits, and I’m sure we will continue to be active in supporting local groups,” the Bergs added.

Shared Estates can boast several examples of turning a profit from expensive and storied Berkshire properties. The company bought the former Kemble Inn in Lenox in 2021 for roughly $3.1 million, and put in $750,000 worth in upgrades. The company put it back on the market last year for $5.8 million. Then there’s the Brookman in Williamstown, formerly owned by the late actor Christopher Reeve and his family, which sold for $2,350,000 in 2021 after Dus and Shared Estates had acquired it in 2020 for $925,000 and spent $600,000 on renovations.

Dus and Shared Estates are in the midst of attempting to develop part of the Greylock Glen area in Adams for glamping.

“One of the intents for the Winthrop is to establish a revenue stream because the Bergs are often in Boston and not always in the Berkshires,” Dus said. “For them to be able to rent it and get a positive cash flow out of this valuable asset is an attractive option for them. I think it would also make it an attractive option for a potential buyer.”

Shared Estates has a database of more than 40,000 guests who have stayed in their properties in the past, and the company means to access that proprietary list to let them know about the new stay option in Lenox.

The Bergs confirmed that they still hope to sell the property to new owners “when the time is right.”

“There is so much potential here, and beauty and history (and magic, in my opinion) too!” the Bergs wrote. “We have loved it for over 20 years, but we know that when the timing and fit are right with new owners, it will also be in good hands. Until then, we will take care of it and welcome not just our family but many others too!”

Sten Spinella can be reached at sspinella@berkshireeagle.com or 860-853-0085.

Get up-to-the-minute news sent straight to your device.