BPDA Director Golden ‘Encouraged’ by Progress with Alexandra Hotel

By Seth Daniel

One week after a buyer was identified for the Alexandra Hotel on Washington Street in the South End, Boston Planning and Development Agency Director Brian Golden said he was very pleased to see that progress has been made towards developing the long-decrepit property.

“Obviously we’re pleased with the news and looking forward to good things coming to fruition at the site,” he said. “We’re excited the property may be conveyed to someone who can make a great development out of it. It’s been decrepit and deteriorating for many decades.”

Golden said the new owners have not yet been in to visit the BPDA, but he anticipates some good conversations are on the way. He said the company appears to be able to take on the project.

“We haven’t had contact yet, but the prospective buyer does seem to be a serious developer, and we’re standing ready to receive them in our role of planners as to what might work best at the site,” he said.

Many have been a little skittish of the news that it would take up to 12 months to close on the property, as reported by the attorney representing the seller, the Church of Scientology.

Golden said the BPDA is hoping for something quicker, but he isn’t surprised by the fact that due diligence might take some time.

“I’m not involved in due diligence, but the site has some serious issues after being neglected so much over the decades,” he said.

“It doesn’t surprise me that this could take a year to consummate the sale,” he said. “I’m hoping the year is a figure that give the maximum time to ease expectations, but in reality it comes much quicker. That may be a date they set so there aren’t unreasonable expectations for the deal to be consummated.”

He said he did expect that at some point in the due diligence, the prospective buyer – Common Management Corp. of Cambridge – would visit the BPDA for initial conversations.

Golden gave a lot of credit to the South End Forum and its membership for bringing up the idea of eminent domain for the Alexandra at a meeting last fall when he was giving a presentation. He said that was something he hadn’t considered, but afterward reached out to the owner and stayed in close contact throughout the sale process.

Neither the developer, nor their attorney, have scheduled any briefings with the public or the press on the potential sale – though they have said they do plan to set something up soon.

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