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© Copyright 2004 Globe Newspaper Company
published in The Boston Globe, 9/23/04

Local team steps in to replace Florida buyer

BOSTON -- Local mall developer Stephen R. Karp and his partners have signed an agreement to purchase the coveted Fan Pier site on the city's waterfront, stepping in after a Florida-based developer failed to make a down payment on the property.

Karp, chairman of New England Development, teamed with The Related Cos. of New York and Boston Properties, owner of the Prudential Center, to buy the 21-acre tract in the city's South Boston section from the Hyatt Development Corp.

The transaction is expected to close by the end of the year, the buyers said in a news release Thursday. The purchase price was not immediately known, but published reports have indicated that Karp's group would pay $125 million. That matches the winning bid from Florida-based Lennar Corp. and its two partners, who were the surprise winners of a bidding war for the property last month.

A missed down payment by the Lennar team last week resulted in the property going back on the market.

The New England Development/Boston Properties group stepped in this week and negotiated a new deal with Hyatt.

"We believe this team will do a tremendous job in making Fan Pier a centerpiece for the great city of Boston," Hyatt Chairman Nicholas Pritzker said. "This team is committed to working closely with Mayor Menino and other civic and community leaders."

The mixed-use plan for Fan Pier includes residential and commercial uses, as well as a new home for the Institute of Contemporary Art.

Karp said, "The development of the Fan Pier is consistent with our team's long-term vision of the growth of the City of Boston. We see this as one of the great development opportunities in the country and could not be more excited that it is in our own backyard."

The harborside property, located between the Moakley Federal Courthouse and the World Trade Center, is one of the largest parking lots in Boston and has been left largely undeveloped.

It was put up for sale last year after Hyatt's plans to build a $1.2 billion hotel complex fell through.

© Copyright 2004 Globe Newspaper Company

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