Community members reported this week that the Alexandra Hotel – a longtime eyesore – has been put back on the market by the Church of Scientology as the potential purchaser continues to try to make his deal pan out.
Steve Fox, moderator of the South End Forum, told the group at its Tuesday night meeting that he was informed that the Church has put the property back on the market to search for other bidders.
“The Alexandra Hotel is back on the market,” Fox announced.
It’s a turn of events that led to audible gasps in the audience as those hoping to see the longtime vacant property – which is within the Landmarks District and has an historically important marble façade – developed into something worthwhile.
“The recent bidder, Eric Hoagland, is still actively trying to work out the financing, but he seems to believe that in order to make the financing work, it would mean the addition of other parcels to mitigate the regulations of not being able to go over a certain height.
“It’s complicated, and he’s working on it, but (the Church) is now entertaining new bids,” he continued. “It’s an expensive parcel given the price tag.”
Those close to the project indicated that the Church of Scientology has removed its local representatives for real estate matters such as the Alexandra, and have instituted control over the deal to their in-house team in Los Angeles.
The Church purchased the property more than 10 years ago with the intention of making it their headquarters in Boston, but abandoned that not long after and have left it vacant since then – aside from a few, small, service-oriented businesses on the first floor.
Now, the Church is pursuing a new Boston headquarters re-development in Allston.
When that news broke last year, they became more serious about selling the Alexandra – which had been through many, many starts and stops previously.
An agreement was made with Hoagland, from Cambridge, last year, and he has been doing due diligence since then. The property deal has not closed.
Meanwhile, in recent months, Hoagland has reported that he is working closely with the Boston Planning and Development Agency (BPDA) to try to identify additional City-owned parcels that could be combined with the Alexandra to make it financially feasible.
Hoagland said earlier this year that the project is not financially feasible on its own.
Because of its Landmark status, the Alexandra has to be restored and cannot go more than about two or three stories higher than it is, most believe.