New Faneuil Hall Landlord to Shake Up Mix of Tenants

October 27, 2011
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The new landlord for Boston’s Faneuil Hall Marketplace pledged to invest in the property and improve the mix of retailers in an effort to keep locals and tourists coming to the dining and shopping center, which attracts more than 18 million visitors annually.

Michael Alpert, president of Ashkenazy Acquisition Corp., described Faneuil Hall Marketplace as an amazing property that his company intends to restore to the iconic landmark stature that it once was. “We are already working very closely with the merchants’ association and the Boston Redevelopment Authority to create an enhanced experience for everyone,” he said.

Faneuil Hall Marketplace, built in 1742, now consists of four places in one location: Faneuil Hall, Quincy Market, North Market, and South Market, all set around a cobblestone promenade where jugglers, magicians, and musicians entertain passers-by. By the mid-1900s, the buildings had fallen into disrepair and many stood empty. The once-thriving marketplace was tagged for demolition until a committed group of Bostonians sought to preserve it in the early 1970s. The 1976 renovation was the first urban renewal project of its kind.

In the months leading up to Ashkenazy’s acquisition of the 63-year ground lease from mall operator General Growth Properties, Faneuil Hall tenants were concerned about the future of the property because financial troubles in the past year led lenders to repossess two of Ashkenazy’s shopping centers, in Florida and Wisconsin.

In a statement, Ashkenazy said it “enjoys a strong working relationship” with local business owners and will work with the Faneuil Hall Marketplace Merchants Association to ensure a smooth transition.

Ashkenazy has retained Jones Lang LaSalle, the country’s largest third-party manager of retail real estate, as the property management company for Faneuil Hall Marketplace. Jones Lang LaSalle oversees several other Ashkenazy properties, including Union Station in Washington, D.C., and the Rivercenter Mall in San Antonio, Texas.