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Newton Man's Love of Cambridge Property Causes Concern

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Gerald Chan attended graduate school at Harvard in the late 1970s, eventually earning a doctorate in radiobiology. His real money, however, comes from property investment, including in the environs about his old academic haunts. Chan, through a concern controlled by himself and his brother, has been buying up Harvard Square real estate like most people buy up the fresh-out-of-the-oven French breads at Market Basket. This being the People's Republic, the Newton resident's brazen practicing of free-market capitalism has ruffled some feathers.

Edward Mason in The Globe runs down Chan's approximately $120 million in Harvard Square acquisitions in the last 18 months:

· The Hotel Veritas and condos at 113 Mass. Ave.
· 93 Winthrop Street.
· The old Amex Building at 93 John F. Kennedy Street.
· 115 Mt. Auburn Street.
· Drayton Hall at 48 JFK Street.
· 18-28 JFK Street.
· 40 Bow Street.
· 1218 Mass. Ave.
· 382-394 Harvard Street.
· 15 Remington Street.

The speed of Chan's acquisitions and the fact that few knew who he was until the deals starting closing have some in Cambridge a tad freaked out; that and some of his commercial tenants did not have their leases renewed, rendering them kaput. "It happened so fast — it was one building, after another, after another," Denise Jillson, executive director of the Harvard Square Business Association, told The Globe's Mason. "They were asking, 'What's happening?'"

As for Chan, Harvard '79, it's all about "interesting opportunities." And ponying up the dough. Fast.
· Billionaire Buying Into Harvard Square [Globe]