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Massive Beacon Hill property drops for $20M

It’s instantly the city's more tantalizing redevelopment possibilities

Four of the five condos in the massive building at 40 Beacon Street in Beacon Hill have hit the sales market through Colliers International for $20,000,000 total.

The units are on sale as an especially tantalizing multi-family—the Greek revival has the necessary approvals for 1,844 additional gross square feet and nine underground parking spaces—but they could also end up as one, big private residence (or, as the listing makes clear, a private residence with a kind of grand au pair/in-law suite).

There is ample precedent at the address for the single-family route.

Architect Alexander Parris designed the original 40 Beacon in the very early 1800s for a shipping magnate. It was later combined with 39 Beacon, which the magnate’s partner owned, and then remained in the same family for more than a century. It was during that run that the mansion hosted the 1843 wedding of Henry Wadsworth Longfellow to Frances Appleton, the daughter of the mansion’s owner.

Another fun fact: Jack Welch, the combustible ex-chief of General Electric, rented one of the four condos on sale at 40 Beacon during the 2000s. (Compare Welch’s old spread with his successor’s current Boston pad.)

In total, the four units—the fifth isn't on sale—have more than 22,000 livable square feet and 13 bedrooms as well as 26 bathrooms (13 of them full). The building's gated, too, and has a 1,300-square-foot roof deck as well as two internal parking spaces and six more off-site.

The building as a whole has been listed during the past 10 years for a lot more than $20M, by the way. A financially embattled former owner of the building once listed it for $27,500,000. That listing was withdrawn as were subsequent ones for $23.5M and $19.9M. We’ll see what happens this go-round.