Church of Scientology regional HQ sold for $10.5M

Boston Business Journal/September 3, 2013

By Thomas Grillo

The Congress Group has closed on a deal to buy the Church of Scientology’s regional headquarters at 448 Beacon St. in Boston’s Back Bay for $10.5 million.

Dean Stratouly, president of the Boston development company, said he plans to transform the 1889 brick and brownstone four-story mansion into seven luxury condominiums. A church spokesman said they plan to remain in the building for up to a year while they renovate the former Alexandra Hotel in the South End as their new Boston home.

The church put the 27,765-square-foot property up for sale at $12.5 million in 2010. Later, when offers for the Richardsonian Romanesque-style home fell short of the asking price, church officials lowered the price to $10.5 million. The church paid $440,000 for the building in 1975.

“It’s a gorgeous property,” said Stratouly.

Sale of the church’s headquarters clears the way for the Church of Scientology to commence renovation on the Alexandra. The saga began in 2008 when the church paid $4.5 million for the blighted hotel at the corner of Washington Street and Massachusetts Avenue with the dream of restoring it.

But the cost of transforming the 137-year-old landmark property into the church’s office and welcoming center was then estimated at about $17 million, a cost that was out of reach for the nonprofit organization.

“The sale gets us closer to beginning construction at the Hotel Alexandra,” said Kevin Hall, a church spokesman.

CBRE/New England’s Capital Markets represented the seller and procured the buyer.

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