The Boston Herald

© Copyright by the Boston Herald and Herald Media.

Murdoch to build in Hub
By Scott Van Voorhis

Rupert Murdoch will soon become the newest power player on Boston’s development scene.

Murdoch’s News Corp will build out, rather than immediately sell, a key tract of waterfront land that it’s poised to acquire from long-time South Boston land owner Frank McCourt, according to a News Corp. executive.

The deal could close in a matter of days.

“The first thing we’ll be doing is contacting City Hall,” said the News Corp. executive. “It’s a great city and a great site for potential development.”

McCourt pledged his land as collateral two years ago in exchange for $145 million in financing from Murdoch’s News Corp. The loan helped cement a blockbuster deal under which McCourt bought the Los Angeles Dodgers from the company’s Fox Entertainment Group for $421 million.

Now News Corp is close to taking title to McCourt’s land for roughly $145 million in a deal that is being structured as a sale. That will give Murdoch’s News Corp. 24 acres of parking lots near Pier 4 and Fan Pier — land considered to be some of the most valuable acreage on the East Coast and key to Boston’s development future.

Murdoch’s real estate move, in turn, could trigger some intense jockeying among local developers as well.

News Corp. is expected to bring on a development partner to build out the land. And a number of local builders having already looked closely at the site.

Likely to be in the hunt are a who’s who of top developers, including John Hynes of the Gale Co., builder of State Street’s new tower near South Station.

Any development effort, however, could take years. While McCourt touted his land’s potential, he never drew up a formal development plan for review by city and state regulators.

© Copyright by the Boston Herald and Herald Media.

Your comments as a visitor to the SAND website would be appreciated and forwarded for discussion.