Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Beacon Sells Rest of Channel Center at Loss

Beacon sells Channel Center piece at loss

Alan Leventhal's Midas touch didn't work on one property in Boston.

The Boston real estate executive and his firm Beacon Capital Partners LLC, which has made a bundle buying and selling big commercial properties such as the John Hancock Tower, unloaded a loser yesterday for $19 million less than it paid for it.

Beacon sold the mostly undeveloped portion of Channel Center -- two rows of old industrial buildings in the Fort Point Channel area -- to Commonwealth Ventures LLC of Southport, Conn., for $21.5 million. Beacon Capital had purchased the property about seven years ago for $40.5 million.

Beacon Capital executives declined to comment yesterday on the company's financial record with Channel Center.

Channel Center is a 16-building portfolio of the old Boston Wharf Co. buildings that Beacon acquired in 2000. Beacon redeveloped about 30 percent of the property in what it once projected as a $360 million project. But the renaissance of this industrial area has been slower in coming than Beacon Capital executives expected, and the fund they bought it in was coming to the end of its life, so they put Channel Center on the market.

Beacon Capital had planned a largely residential project for the location, previously called Midway; it did redevelop some buildings and built one new one, turning part of the complex over to an artists' nonprofit group.

One large space was envisioned as a performance theater and recently was leased by Longwood Events Corp., which puts on private parties. That space is called Artistry.

Commonwealth Ventures plans to immediately redevelop one of the two rows of Channel Center buildings, along A Street near Gillette Co. , into 280,000 square feet of office space, with retail shops on the first floor....

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