Nice smear job in today’s Boston Herald.
I have never met John McGrail. I did recently sell a condo in one of his developments, in Lynn, to a first-time homebuyer. I thought the work he did was of good quality – so much so that I was going to buy a unit, myself, to live in.
I also know that he has bought up a bunch of apartments in low-income areas and renovated them; apartments that otherwise would have remained in bad shape. In my opinion, he has improved the lives of his tenants and made their neighborhoods a better place to live.
By Scott Van Voorhis, Boston Herald
Boston has a proud history of penniless immigrants who’ve gone on to build their own business empires.
Think Thomas Flatley, an Irish immigrant who founded a local real estate empire. Now up-and-coming apartment and office player John McGrail is busting to join these hallowed ranks.
That is, if he can quell a growing rent rebellion among his Mattapan tenants.
Since coming to Boston in the 1980s from the Emerald Isle, McGrail has quietly acquired 1,800 apartments and enough office space to fill the Pru.
In a sign that he is starting to play in the big leagues, McGrail has also begun to dabble in waterfront property.
But building an empire in the rough-and-tumble property business can be tough stuff.
And McGrail, as he scrambles toward the summit of business success, finds himself and his company dogged by some unpleasant questions.
Among them: Is this up-by-the-bootstraps entrepreneur financing his growing real estate operation on the backs of apartment dwellers in Mattapan and Roxbury?
Complete article: Developer’s tenant problems tarnish his holy (Mc)Grail
More info on McGrail:
The developer, John McGrail, who also owns prominent pubs in the Boston area, is trying to fend off an attempt by a new lender, Wells Fargo Bank, to recoup about $190 million he borrowed to buy property during the real estate bubble of the mid 2000s. Wells Fargo acquired his loans following the 2009 collapse of Anglo Irish Bank, which was taken over by the Irish government.