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Quincy mayor targets developer’s buildings for purchase, demolition
LBC Boston, a real-estate firm that has been buying up buildings in Quincy Center, says it currently has no plans to sell any property to the city, even though Mayor Thomas Koch has targeted three of the firm’s buildings for purchase and demolition.
Koch’s new downtown redevelopment plan, known by some as the URDP – which stands for urban revitalization district plan – includes the city buying three private properties owned by LBC Boston: 1534 Hancock St., 1546 Hancock St. and 100 Parkingway. Since 2014, LBC, led by Alex Matov and Andrian Shapiro, has spent about $27 million to purchase eight buildings downtown.
“Our understanding is that the URDP represents a range of options – none of which have been formally proposed – and we have no current plans to sell,” Matov and Shapiro said in a joint statement released Tuesday by Mariellen Burns, LBC’s spokeswoman.
However, during Monday night’s city council meeting, Assistant City Solicitor Paul Hines said LBC had purchased the buildings at 1534 Hancock St. and 1546 Hancock St. with the understanding that the city would eventually try to buy them.
At-large City Councilor Joseph Finn said Hines’ statement raised questions about whether the city tipped off a private developer about plans to buy land before those plans had been made public or adopted by the city council as part of the downtown redevelopment plan.
“I’m a little taken aback,” Finn said Monday.
On Tuesday, Koch said members of his administration may have told LBC which properties the city would target for purchase in the future, but he said LBC was going forward with their own respective land buys regardless of the city’s plans.
“I know LBC has been trying to buy all of those buildings along that stretch of Hancock Street since they arrived,” Koch said. “I don’t think our interests, whether we buy it or not, mattered at all.”
Koch said the proposed demolition of 1534 Hancock St., which currently holds Payless Shoes, and 1546 Hancock St., home to Fuji 1546 restaurant, would allow the city to create new public access points to a redeveloped Hancock Parking Lot. The purchase of 100 Parkingway would be part of a later plan to redevelop the area around the city-owned Ross Garage property.
Koch said the city could ultimately take the properties by eminent domain, but he hopes they’ll be acquired through “friendly takings,” when the sellers are willing participants. The sale prices would be based on property appraisals, Koch said.
Just last month, LBC bought the property at 1534 Hancock St. for $1 million from Bostonia Nominative Trust and Demetrios Vardakostas. Last July, an LBC affiliate bought 1546 Hancock St. for $1.7 million from Gurnek Realty Trust and Mandeep Kaur.
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