Big New York Developers Gobble up Two Properties in Industrial Park

Two New York residential developers have gobbled up large industrial properties in the Bunker Hill Industrial Park over the last 30 days – with one of the developers adding a parcel in the Park to another they purchased in 2015.

All three sales, including the one in 2015, were much higher than the assessed value.

It has begged the question as to whether developers are land-banking properties across Rutherford in anticipation of the planning study announced by the Boston Planning and Development Agency (BPDA) earlier this year. One thing on the docket during that study will be the Bunker Hill Community College parking lots and the industrial areas adjacent to the college – properties that are now under the control of high-end residential developers that tend not to respond to questions from neighbors, local officials or the newspaper.

Center Court Partners – headed up by David Rindini and Matt Snyder, both of New York – purchased 6 Bunker Hill Industrial Park from the Borzakian family on July 1 for $7.2 million. The building has been the home to the Liberty Bell Grocery Company, owned by the Borzakian family since the 1980s.

The 22,983 sq. ft. property is assessed by the City at $2.52 million, and the lot is zone Commercial Property/Warehouse.

That purchase added to the 52,944 sq. ft. building and parcel that Center Court bought at 440 Rutherford Ave. (behind CubeSmart Storage) in 2015 for $14.7 million. That building sits across the road from the Borzakian property and abuts Hood Park.

Together, that makes $21.9 million the New York company has sunk into underutilized industrial buildings in Charlestown’s industrial zone.

Center Court has never returned any inquiries from the Patriot-Bridge about its industrial zone acquisitions, which raise eyebrows because the company is typically known for building high-end luxury residential units in downtown Boston and in New York City.

At one time, the company was tapped to develop the old Boston Globe building in Dorchester, but they backed out of the deal.

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. Meanwhile, Capital Court’s partners purchased two campus buildings from Suffolk University for $43.5 million on July 1, 2015.

A second sale in the Bunker Hill Industrial Park took place on June 21 and involved the sale of 8 Bunker Hill Industrial Park to DLJ Partners, whose Boston operations are headed up by Tony Banta.

Banta is currently renovating and expanding the 40 Warren St. office building, and has had no shortage of controversy there. Currently, the project has seen numerous complaints from neighbors as to changes that were made to the development plan last year – with questions about trash storage and other operations still unanswered.

Banta has been uncooperative with the Patriot Bridge in the past, and told reporters last year he was too busy to speak with local papers about his plans in Charlestown – including why he has blocked off more than half of Warren Street without any notice for nearly a year now while 40 Warren proceeds.

Banta’s company has now moved across Rutherford Avenue to the Park – where he purchased the Garvin Brown Construction Products building for $10.05 million last month.

Like Center Court, DLJ Capital Partners is mostly in the business of developing high-end residential and commercial products, and has very little – if any – industrial properties in its portfolio.

The Garvin building includes a 51,120 sq. ft. lot that is assessed by the City at $1.664 million.

Both properties abut the Bunker Hill Community College baseball fields.

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