Wonderland Ballroom on The Market

Owners of the Wonderland Ballroom have retained a broker and are marketing the property actively, with residential transit-oriented development as a focus.

TR Advisors of Boston has been retained as the broker for the Wonderland Ballroom site, as plans for the once-talked-about 196-room hotel for the site have been abandoned.

“Our thinking really is in terms of this being a residential model property and the c to the MBTA rapid transit Blue Line to provide an ease of living that doesn’t creep into the current Boston rental rates that folks are paying,” said Phil Jean of TR Advisors. “Part of the additional value is that you are at beautiful Revere Beach and development is coming now on the Beach side of the property and also across the street the Wonderland Dog Track is in a Master Planning process or will soon be undergoing that process. In our view, the Ballroom property, given its situation and proximity to the MBTA site, affords it a very unique and exciting development opportunity.”

He said one of the attractive parts about the property is that a developer could build a residential project that is literally steps from a train to Boston.

“I think I counted the steps and got about 20 or 30 steps to the train station,” he said. “You couldn’t be closer to the station. Our focus is absolutely on sites that are close to transit stations just like this one. The Ballroom is certainly a perfect example of that.”

TR Advisors has had the property on the market since the beginning of the year, but Jean said that late January and February were a total wash.

“Nobody was really thinking about real estate in February,” he said.

However, things have picked up, he said.
“With the warmer weather, we’re seeing activity and inquiries related to redevelopment of the site,” he said.

The Ballroom site has always been somewhat tied to the Wonderland Transit-Oriented Development (TOD) run by EuroVest. However, Jean said any potential development of the Ballroom would be separate and independent of the TOD project.

The 28,056-square-foot parcel is authorized under zoning for mixed-use commercial and residential high rises.

A former tentative plan for the site was a 196-room hotel in a 12 or 13-story building. That, however, was apparently contingent upon the casino coming to Suffolk Downs and those plans have been abandoned.

Phil Jean can be reached at TR Advisors, (617)502-1414.

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