Rutherford Avenue Building Sale Raises Questions by Elected Officials

By John Lynds

The sale of an unassuming office park has raised some eyebrows in Charlestown. The 52,944 -square-foor parcel at 440 Rutherford Ave. was sold by Cambridge Hanover Inc. to TD Street LLC, an affiliate of Center Court Partners LLC for $14.7 million late last month. TD Street LLC and Center Court Partners LLC are known for high-end luxury condo developments.

What is concerning for Charlestown State Representative Dan Ryan is what will be the new owner’s intentions for the property, known as the Bunker Hill Business Center.

“Developers don’t just plop down $14.7 million for a one level office warehouse,” said Ryan. “Someone knows the future of the property and the plans for the area that we might not be aware of.”

Ryan said the city tweaked the zoning in the area years back as part of Boston’s Urban Renewal District to make room for the Bridgeview Center at 400 Rutherford St. There, construction is underway for housing for the developmentally disabled. While the area has always been zoned for industrial use, Ryan said the zoning change for the Bridgeview Center may have opened the floodgates for further residential development along this stretch of Charlestown.

“There are three huge parcels down there that the Boston Redevelopment Authority still owns and the city has made a push to make those parcels residential for as long as I can remember,” said Ryan. “Now with this parcel at 440 Rutherford sold it makes me think there are future plans for not only that parcel but the other BRA parcels.”

In December 2014, TD Street LLC and Center Court Partners LLC teamed up with Maurice Dabbah of Switzerland to buy a 17,752-square-foot office building at 171-172 Tremont St. and convert that building into condos according to BRA filings. The plan called for the development team to build a 355-foot, 31-unit boutique luxury condo building. This project is currently under BRA review. Meanwhile, Capital Court’s partners purchased two campus buildings from Suffolk University for $43.5 million on July 1. Its intent at those locations are not yet known, but it is believed they are ripe for luxury residential development as well.

Charlestown City Councilor Sal LaMattina said that he spoke with the BRA and as of now he is unaware of any plans or changes to the parcel at 440 Rutherford Ave. and nothing has been filed.

A spokesperson for an affiliated company, Capital, in New York City – based at the same Manhattan address at Capital Court – was not able to connect the Patriot Bridge with the new ownership to learn of its plans in time for this edition.

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