Second thoughts on Globe property

Something must be amiss at the Boston Globe’s property on Morrissey Boulevard in Dorchester.

First, Winstanley Enterprises of Concord struck a deal to buy the 16.5-acre property and then pulled out in early 2015. And now a second buyer, reportedly Center Court Partners, which has offices in New York and Boston, beat a last-minute retreat this week.

The Globe announced the collapse of the second deal in a small story buried inside its business section. The story offered no explanation for Center Court’s change of heart, but quoted Sean Keohan, the chief operating officer of Boston Globe Media Partners, as saying the newspaper is enthusiastic about exploring other possibilities.

Keohan told the Dorchester Reporter that the deals weren’t unraveling because of rumored environmental problems at the property, but offered few other details.

The uncertainty surrounding the Globe’s property comes at an awkward time. The area is poised for redevelopment and the newspaper is about to vacate the premises, with its printing presses heading to Taunton and its editorial staff heading downtown. That means the Globe property and the parcel next door, the former Channel 56 offices owned by Herb Chambers, could be left sitting empty.

It’s unclear what will happen next. Red Sox majority owner John Henry, who bought the Globe in 2013, could find another buyer or he could redevelop the property himself. Either way, unless there’s something seriously wrong with the property, he’s likely to come out ahead.

Henry purchased both the Globe and the Telegram & Gazette of Worcester from the New York Times Co. for a paltry $70 million. (The Times, which paid $1.1 billion for the Globe in 1993 and $296 million for the T&G in 2003, even agreed to retain all the pension obligations.) Henry sold off the Telegram & Gazette in 2014 for a reported $17.5 million.

Assuming Henry ends up selling the Globe property for around $80 million (the reported sales price in the Center Court deal), he will come out about $25 million ahead on his acquisition of the Globe. Of course, any operating losses at the Globe would eat into that profit margin. Still, if a sale does eventually go through, it would cement Henry’s reputation as a great deal-maker.



Gov. Charlie Baker along with his counterpart in Vermont urges President Trump not to disavow the Paris climate accord. (State House News)

Lawmakers are considering legislation that would block rapists from asserting parental rights. (Eagle-Tribune)

A Falmouth shelter for victims of domestic violence, the Cape’s only 24/7 facility, shut down after losing funding because of state officials’ concerns over safety and staffing issues. (Cape Cod Times)


A Fall River man has filed a suit against a Westport police officer and the town claiming he suffered serious injuries when the officer set up an early morning roadblock with his cruiser in an attempt to stop the man who was speeding on his motorcycle. (Herald News)

Town meeting members in Williamstown declined to ban the sale of recreational pot, but they required would-be vendors to obtain special permits if they want to locate in two business districts. (Berkshire Eagle)


The Justice Department has bowed to pressure and named former FBI director Robert Mueller as special counsel to lead the investigation into Russia’s meddling in the 2016 presidential election. (New York Times) Mueller has a long history of work in Boston, including serving under then-US Attorney Bill Weld in the 1980s and then serving as the top federal prosecutor in the state himself. (Boston Globe)

Fired national security advisor Michael Flynn told the Trump team even before the inauguration he was under investigation by the FBI for taking payments from Turkey but President Trump appointed him to the post nonetheless. (New York Times)

Harvard law professor Laurence Tribe says the House should begin an impeachment investigation. (Boston Globe)

The turmoil in Washington spreads to the nation’s financial markets, as stock values plunge. (Associated Press)

A Haitian immigrant living in Brockton, who dreams of becoming a police officer and who was honored last week as Outstanding Student of the Year by the Massachusetts Coalition for Adult Education, is on the verge of being deported because President Trump has refused to renew the Temporary Protected Status visas given to Haitians who fled the earthquake in 2010. (The Enterprise)

Controversial Milwaukee Sheriff David Clarke, a registered Democrat who often appears on Fox News with his trademark cowboy hat touting outlandish opinions and his unconditional support for Trump, says he will be joining the Department of Homeland Security as a deputy secretary, liasoning with local officials. (U.S. News & World Report)


Joan Vennochi finds a lot not to like about the closed-door dealmaking involving Don Chiofaro, Bill Weld, and the New England Aquarium, which she says threatens to cut the public out of any say in a waterfront development project made attractive because of billions of dollars in public spending on the Big Dig and cleanup of Boston Harbor. (Boston Globe

Immigrants are crucial to the Boston region’s economy, says a new study from MIT. (Boston Globe)

At least one area of the economy has made a strong rebound — household debt, which hit an all-time high in the first quarter of this year of $12.7 trillion. (New York Times)


The Globe profiles Jessica Tang, who is poised to take the reins as the new president of the Boston Teachers Union. Tensions rise as the union and city trade charges over the current standstill in contract talks. (Boston Herald)

An Eagle-Tribune editorial calls for the hiring of a certified librarian at Lawrence High School as controversy continues to simmer over the decision by the state receiver of the city’s schools to use much of the library space for a school-within-a-school for advanced students.

The price tag of a costly utility relocation project at the University of Massachusetts Boston has ballooned by another $26 million. (Boston Herald)


Partners HealthCare and General Electric are partnering on an artificial intelligence initiative that will first target medical imaging but then move on to include other areas in a quest to improve health care. (Boston Globe)


Two backers of the North-South Rail Link say Transportation Secretary Stephanie Pollack is not comparing apples to apples when she reviews the link and the proposed South Station expansion. (CommonWealth)


A zip line will arrive next month on the Rose Kennedy Greenway, part of an effort to generate income for the park and wean it off state funding. (Boston Herald)

Could Dorchester become home to a new mini-greenway? (Dorchester Reporter)


Telegram & Gazette columnist Dianne Williamson profiles Susan Manter, who is pursuing a civil suit against Rev. Charles Abdelahad and others in connection with “bizarre counseling sessions” at which she was abused physically and sexually.

Boston police arrest three teens within 24 hours on gun possession charges. (Boston Herald)

The state Board of Bar Overseers suspended the license of a Hingham lawyer nearly a year after he pled guilty to four counts of possessing child pornography. (Patriot Ledger)

About that Facebook post from the Taunton Police Department detailing the unusual fact that a woman busted on OUI charges also had lizard in her bra, some say it went too far. (Boston Globe)


The Boston Globe has sold out the Paramount Theater at prices ranging from $35 to $45 a seat for a live story-telling show featuring the paper’s reporters and editors. One act: tapes of Matt Viser’s interviews with Donald Trump. (Poynter)

Roger Ailes, ousted last year as head of Fox News amid a sexual harassment scandal, has died, according to his wife. (Fox News)