Well, it was about what you’d expect.

The owner of the Alexandra Hotel was in to see the South End Landmarks Commission, last night.

He needed to appear before the board in order to get new approvals for his plans to renovate the building. The old designs were drawn up in 2002 and had expired.

I know, right?

But, wait, this meeting wasn’t for the board to approve the plans they’ve already approved. It was a preliminary review of the plans.

But, the owner’s architect had actually made some changes to the pre-approved designs.

So, basically, this means there’s now another barrier to actually building anything at the site.

The owner is going to go back and make more drawings of changes he is proposing to the exterior and interior of the building, which is at the corner of Washington Street and Massachusetts Avenue.

The commission is going to refresh its memory about what was approved and not approved five years ago (several of the commission’s members weren’t on the board five years ago).

Then, they’ll get back together, sometime soon.

The owner says he needs to schedule meetings with others, in the meantime. With the Zoning Board of Appeals, the Boston Redevelopment Authority, local residents.

See what’s happening there? It’s subtle, sneaky.

Because those meetings will take time to set up, to prepare for, to hold, to review.

Meaning, the owner will be able to delay, again, doing anything on the site.

A cynic would say it’s all planned. A cynic would say that the owner is doing this all on purpose. Because now the owner gets to say, “I would LOVE to start building on this site … but I can’t!!!! The city hasn’t approved my plans! Oh, the bureaucracy!”

A cynic would point this out in the meeting. A cynic would shout, “You are all being made complicit in this! He’s using this as a delaying tactic. These plans were agreed to in 2002. He could have started building in 2002. In 2003. In 2004. In 2005. In 2006. In 2007.”

Yeah, that’s what a cynic would do.

Or, an absolutely crazy person, who was then escorted from the building.

Well, I tried.

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Updated:  1st Q 2018

Author Profile

John Ford
John Ford

Over the course of 20 years in the Boston downtown real estate market, John represented and sold numerous, condominiums, investment and development properties in Greater Boston and in the surrounding suburbs

In addition to representing Boston condo buyers and sellers, John is currently one of the most recognized Boston condo blog writers regarding Boston condominiums and residential real estate markets. John's insights and observations about the Boston condo market have been seen in a wide variety of the most established local & national media outlets including; Banker and Tradesman, Boston Magazine The Boston Globe, The Boston Herald and NewsWeek and Fortune magazine, among others.


For over 24 years, John Ford, of Ford Realty Inc., has been actively involved in the real estate industry. He started his career in commercial real estate with a national firm Spaulding & Slye and quickly realized that he had a passion for residential properties. In 1999, John entered the residential real estate market, and in 2000 John Started his own firm Ford Realty Inc. As a broker, his clients have come to love his fun, vivacious, and friendly attitude. He prides himself on bringing honesty and integrity to the entire home buying and selling process. In addition to helping buyers and sellers, he also works with rental clients. Whether you’re looking to purchase a new Boston condo or rent an apartment, you’ll quickly learn why John has a 97% closing rate.


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John Ford and his staff can be reached at 617-595-3712 or 617-720-5454. Please feel free to stop by John's Boston Beacon Hill office located at 137 Charles Street.

John Ford
Ford Realty Inc
137 Charles Street
Boston, Ma 02114



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