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Boston parcels up for sale: 5 prime spots on the market right now

These include mammoth sites in Dorchester and South Boston as well as smaller ones in Roxbury

Several prime Boston parcels are up for sale as of early October—including in Dorchester, South Boston, and Roxbury—each of which could host significant development.

They arrive on the market just as the city and its neighbors move to build tens of thousands of new housing units fast.

Boston Globe via Getty Images

The half-acre site of the famed Amrheins restaurant at 80 West Broadway in South Boston has been on sale as a development opportunity since early August. Its listing brokerage, Newmark Knight Frank, expects it to fetch as much as $20 million amid competitive bidding and to sell before Thanksgiving.

As to what would eventually supplant Amrheins, that is still very much in the air. But there are some possibilities, the likelier among them a conversion to either an office building or a life sciences complex.

And Amrheins, said to be the oldest restaurant and bar in South Boston, could itself survive as part of a redevelopment. Right now, residential does not appear to be in the mix.

Whatever replaces the restaurant and its parking lot will enjoy an enviable location—at the corner of A Street and West Broadway, and a short jaunt to the busy, busy Red Line’s Broadway stop.

Boston Globe via Getty Images

In the summer, the city set in motion the sales of the last publicly owned parcels in Roxbury’s Dudley Square area.

These include the site of the former police substation across from the Dudley Square bus terminal; the parking lot at the corner of Warren and Zeigler streets; the parking lot at the site of the former Blair’s Foodland supermarket on Warren Street; the parking lot at 2147-2163 Washington Street; a parcel at the corner of Harrison Avenue and Melnea Cass Boulevard; a parcel at the corner of Melnea Cass and Tremont Street; two lots at the corner of Roxbury Street and Malcolm X Boulevard; and 78-81 Dudley Street.

The city plans to use the sales of these parcels—all of which can accommodate new development—to test a new approach to such sales of public land to private developers.

Namely, developers who want to buy land that Boston owns will have to disclose how much of their workforce and how many of their investors are minorities and women. They will also have to spell out how renters would not be displaced by their projects.

The move is designed to address the long-simmering criticism that the spoils of Boston’s historic building boom of late have flowed disproportionately to its more affluent residents and to more affluent newcomers.

Construction equipment demolishing an old mall site.
Demolition work on the Bayside Expo site in 2016.
Boston Globe via Getty Images

The University of Massachusetts-Boston plans to select a developer any day now for its 20-acre Bayside Expo Center site just east of the JFK/UMass stop on the busy, busy Red Line in Dorchester.

Recall that the site was at different points supposed to host a soccer stadium for the New England Revolution and the athletes village for the 2024 Summer Olympics. Both of those plans came and went, of course—hence the sale now.

That sale is expected to produce a project that UMass officials likened in September to a kind of mini-Kendall Square, complete with offices for marquee companies. Though their names are unknown, the short list of finalists is said to include notable local developers as well as national firms specializing in life sciences and technology campuses.

Whatever happens, a development is expected to be a major windfall for UMass-Boston, generating hundreds of millions of dollars for the school.

The tow lot is to the upper right.
Boston Globe via Getty Images

Boston is selling an 18-acre site in the Dorchester-South Boston borderlands once deemed—like the Bayside Expo site—key to the region’s failed bid for the 2024 Summer Olympics.

The tow lot and municipal storage parcel along Frontage Road near the Southeast Expressway has also been bandied about as a site for a pro soccer stadium in Boston (like the Bayside Expo site).

As it stands, the city plans to use a similar process that allowed it to sell the Winthrop Square Garage. That site is about to host one of the city’s tallest buildings, a mix of condos and offices.

It is unclear what will supplant the tow lot and exactly when it will trade. The city does plan to consider a range of options that could yet include some sort of athletic facility. The spot is certainly a prime one, between two major neighborhoods, near downtown, and close to the Red Line’s Broadway stop

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Procter & Gamble wants to sell a 6.5-acre section of a parking lot between A Street and the Fort Point Channel that services the Fort Point razor factory for its Gillette brand.

Interest from potential buyers of other, smaller parcels in the neighborhood is apparently driving P&G’s decision. That and the company sold 2.7 acres in Fort Point to General Electric a couple of years back for a new corporate headquarters for that company.

The currently available parcel could fetch as much as $216 million.