Article from the Boston Business Journal
July 31, 2017 1:06pm EDT
A Cambridge-based property-management firm has agreed to purchase the Hotel Alexandra, a landmark dating back to 1875, from the Church of Scientology Boston for an undisclosed price.
The Church of Scientology had long planned a rehabilitation of the once-grand, now dilapidated property at the corner of Washington Street and Massachusetts Avenue in Boston’s South End, but put the property back on the real-estate market to sell in late 2014.
The property is now under agreement to sell to Cambridge-based Common Management Corp. Eric Hoagland incorporated Common Management Corp. in 2012 as a property-management company, according to the Massachusetts Secretary of State.
Common Management’s purchase is expected to close within 12 months, said David Suny, an attorney with McCormack Suny LLC representing the Church of Scientology in the deal.
Common Management is in the early stages of determining the property’s redevelopment plan, and Hoagland said the group “is delighted” with the redevelopment opportunity.
“Like so many of the residents who have patiently waited for the building to be brought back to life, we see its beauty and promise, and very much look forward to engaging with our neighbors and other stakeholders, to restore this property to the exciting gateway building that it once was,” Hoagland said by email.
The agreed-upon purchase price was not disclosed. The Church of Scientology in 2008 paid $4.5 million to buy the hotel, with plans to build a new headquarters there. But the church eventually put the hotel back on the market and shifted its course toward a new Allston headquarters.
Boston Realty Advisors, the broker of record for the Hotel Alexandra deal, had marketed the property as a “rare opportunity to add significant value” to the hotel. The sale, which includes a 2,858-square-foot lot adjacent to the historic property, “features of 30,000 (square feet) of redevelopment potential” for luxury apartments, condominiums, office, hotel or retail, the property’s marketing materials state.
Neighbors see three potential approaches to the building, said Steve Fox, an organizer of the South End Forum, a collection of neighborhood associations in the South End. Those options are: a mixed-use development, a boutique hotel or all residential, Fox said.
Carol Blair, president of the Chester Square Area Neighborhood Association, said that the neighborhood is cautiously optimistic about the sale of the Hotel Alexandra. The group is eager to work with the new owner, she said.
“We certainly hope someone could make it worthwhile and do it in a way that serves that location,” Blair said. “It should be something that respects the history. It should be something that takes advantage of the crossroads.”
Real Estate Editor, Boston Business Journal