Skinny Building Sold To Emerson

From Bankers and Tradesmen

Emerson College has paid $24 million to buy a Tremont Street property where a development team planned to build a luxury condominium tower overlooking Boston Common.
The parcel at 171-172 Tremont St. currently houses a 5-story, 17,752-square-foot office building, and Emerson said today it plans to begin interior renovations within a year. The building will be renovated for office space in the short term, said Art Mombourquette, Emerson’s senior assistant vice president of real estate.
“It gives us some flexibility with some of our existing programs to take advantage of the space with some modest renovations,” Mombourquette said. “The building is in fairly good condition so we don’t see an extensive scope of work there.”
Currently vacant, 171 Tremont St. was most recently used as a sales center for the Millennium Boston Tower and was acquired by the previous development team in 2014 for $16.4 million. Newmark Knight Frank’s Tom Greeley represented the sellers in this week’s transaction.
The Boston Planning and Development Agency in 2016 approved plans for a 155-foot-tall residential tower.
Developer 171 Tremont LLC twice scaled back submitted plans for structures as tall as 355 feet on the 4,438-square-foot parcel amid neighborhood opposition. Designs by Boston-based Elkus Manfredi Architects called for 3,200-square-foot floorplates, with each condo occupying an entire floor.
Emerson College has been steadily developing residence halls in the Downtown Crossing area over the past decade, adding more than 1,200 dorm rooms at a pair of Boylston Street properties and 555 Washington St. and a 450-room dorm at 1-3 Boylston Place. It’s also housing students at a former hostel at 12 Hemenway St. in the Fenway through 2019 during renovations of its Little Building dorm in the Theater District. That will enable the school to house 70 percent of its students on campus.

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