Eastern Salt has purchased the Boston Hides and Furs property in and around Marginal Street in a blockbuster deal that fetched a $26.339 million price tag.
The property has been on the block for years, though quietly, and rumors of Eastern Salt’s desire to buy it hasn’t been a secret. They have discussed the possibility publicly at least once to the GreenRoots organization.
But now the purchase is reality.
Joe McNamee of Eastern Salt wasn’t immediately available for comment on the matter, but sources have said the company has no immediate plans for the property and is planning to lease it to Hides & Furs for some time.
The Andreottola Family of Lynnfield owns Boston Hides and Furs and they made the sale.
Nonetheless, the sale has sparked huge interest across the city as folks wonder what will become of the site in the future.
The property is restricted heavily in that the zoning favors commercial and industrial uses rather than residential. Many are curious as to whether or not it will include more salt storage, but others who have heard ideas from the company noted that they do a lot more than salt operations – and could site other industrial uses there.
City Manager Tom Ambrosino said he understand the hide plant will remain there for some time, and Eastern hasn’t engaged the City.
“We haven’t yet had any discussions with Eastern regarding any reuse of that property,” he said. “My understanding is that Boston Hides will still be there for a while.”
GreenRoots said it would not support more salt storage on the waterfront, and looks to engage Eastern in the near future.
“GreenRoots has been following this transaction and will engage Eastern Minerals in a robust community process to determine the future direction of the Boston Hides and Furs factory,” said Director Roseann Bongiovanni. “While GreenRoots will not support salt storage up and down our waterfront, we see this as an opportunity to collaborate with the City, Eastern Minerals and the adjacent neighbors to improve the waterfront corridor. While historically, GreenRoots has not always seen eye-to-eye with Eastern Minerals, we recognize the investments they have and continue to make in the neighborhood and along the waterfront, including PORT Park, landscaping and sidewalk improvements along Marginal Street, repairs and renovations to historic homes, and in helping to create Chelsea’s first urban farm. GreenRoots will continue to engage residents in all development projects along the waterfront, including this one.”
City Councillor Roy Avellaneda, who has explored changing the zoning in that area in the past, said he plans to call a Committee of the Whole to discuss the sale when the Council re-convenes on Sept. 9.
The Boston Hides and Furs plant is directly across the street from Eastern Minerals hub, including the secondary salt storage and PORT Park. The purchases include properties on Marginal Street and Suffolk Street.