An out-of-town residential development team has purchased the building housing Foodie’s Market from M. Hernandez-Santibanez for $10 million, but the owner of Foodie’s said he doesn’t plan on going anywhere in the near term.
Developers John Lubitz, of Cohasset; Mark Epker, of Dedham; and Leo Corcoran, of the South End; have purchased the 1421 Washington St. building recently for the striking $10 million sum.
Efforts to reach the team, including Epker by phone, were not successful.
It isn’t certain what they plan to do with the property, which sits at a key corner beside the Cathedral of the Holy Cross, but the developers seem to have been focused on residential buildings in the past.
Foodie’s owner Vic Leon said he had discussed buying the building in the past, and even recently, but it wasn’t feasible at the prices being offered.
“All I know is we’re on a lease and we’ll be here for a long time and I mean at least 10 years,” he said. “Hopefully we can work out an agreement. We would hate to close for a short time during construction, but we hope to work with them. I have no intention of leaving that spot for a good long time. If for some reason I’m not able to, I would work something out. The neighborhood is very attached to the store and emotional about it. My grandfather delivered groceries to the markets here in the South End by horse and buggy, so we go back a long way.”
He said he has been in touch with the new owners, and is working with their lawyers.
He said the business has been strong in the last year or more, after having been challenged by the Whole Foods corporation in Ink Block. He said he has seen a good reaction to the return of beer and wine to the store as well.
“I think we’re viable and the neighborhood needs us and we enjoy being in the neighborhood,” he said. “We have a lot of employees from the neighborhood that work here.”
The underlining zoning for the Washington Street corridor includes a height maximum of 70 feet, so anything larger would require a major planning process and excessive height has been an issue of late on the corridor – particularly with the 14-story Alexandra Hotel project.