NYC-based, Ashkenazy Acquisition, Purchased The Long-Term Lease Of South Station
One of the most iconic buildings in Boston has officially been sold and hopefully, the iconic station will be upgraded.
In July this year, the news that Ashkenazy Acquisition Corp. was close to buy the lease for South Station started to circulate. It is now official. The NYC-based private real estate investment firm has purchased the long-term lease of the popular station.
According to a source familiar with the transaction, the purchase price was between $119 million to $125 million for a 98-year lease. This deal includes both office and retail space. Since 2011, Ashkenazy also serves as operator and leaseholder of Boston’s Faneuil Hall Marketplace. In addition, the company operates Washington, D.C.’s Union Station.
The previous South Station’s leaseholder was a Chicago-based Equity Office. Back then, they were able to upgrade the concourse’s retail space in 2013 with a new 30,000-square-foot CVS, Tavern in the Square, Starbucks and Barbara’s Bookstore.
The deal is separate from a plan by another developer, the Houston-based company, Hines. Their plan is to build a 51-story office and residential tower over South Station’s tracks -more than 2.5 million square feet . For this project, Hines decided to partner with Gemdale Properties & Investment, a Chinese developer.
The reality is that Boston’s train stations are becoming hubs for development. This new deal will help upgrade South Station. For years, many real estate professionals have commented on the need of showing some love to the infrastructure since the stations’s shops and restaurants are not in their best shape.
“The most important thing in retail is the number of people who walk by, and how you bring those people in,” said David Begelfer, president of real estate trade group NAIOP Massachusetts to the Boston Globe. “When you look at South Station, you don’t have to bring people in. They’re already there.”
South Station is one of the most iconic buildings. The train terminal is part of the Michael S. Dukakis South Station Transportation Center, Boston’s busiest transit hub. It opened in 1898, and now serves thousands of commuters, travelers, shoppers, and diners daily. Amtrak, MBTA rapid transit, and MBTA commuter rail all serve the station daily.
According to the Boston Globe, sources said that Ashkenazy is just beginning to figure out what it might do at South Station. At the same time, people close to company officials say they hope to bring in more retail and restaurants designed to serve nearby residents and office workers, not just people getting on or off trains and buses.