Amid luxury yachts and high end condos, the burned out building at Commercial Wharf has been a juxtaposition since a 2011 fire destroyed the 2-story property. But, things could be looking up for turning that eyesore into something more productive at the high profile location overlooking Christopher Columbus Park.
Tavistock Group, owner of the abutting Joe’s American Bar & Grill, has purchased the properties at 88-91 Commercial Wharf East, according to Banker & Tradesman. Tavistock is a Bahamas-based company that bought 90% of the two parcels for $10 million. The company has identified the location as a redevelopment opportunity on its website:
Tavistock’s Boston Waterfront project is a complex redevelopment plan for the North End of Boston on the Commercial Wharf Pier. Plans entail the redevelopment of an existing restaurant site and enhanced public spaces and walkways allowing connectivity to the historic Christopher Columbus Park and the Commercial Wharf.
Based on previous city hearings, any new development at Commercial Wharf would likely involve some type of Harbowalk at the site, a long-standing dispute among various watersheet stakeholders including the residential condominium owners and marina Boston Yacht Haven (see here and here). The marina’s slips surround the burned building.
In addition to Joe’s, Tavistock owns Abe & Louie’s in Boston’s Back Bay among other local restaurants. The Commercial Wharf property is actually two buildings totaling nearly 16,000 square feet.
In 2013, we spotted the 80-year old Tavistock owner, Joe Lewis, or at least his 250-foot yacht, Aviva, docked at Commercial Wharf’s Yacht Haven. Lewis is a British billionaire, investor and art collector, with his $5.3 billion wealth ranking #248 in the world according to Wikipedia and Forbes. Though, don’t expect to see Lewis in Boston as he is on tax exile in the Bahamas.