Foreclosure hits Boston landmark Hancock Tower

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The famous blue reflective glass of Boston's landmark John Hancock Tower is one of those comforting sites for Bostonians. Unfortunately its come under hard times with the rest of the country and will be auctioned off next month after owner, Broadway Partners, defaulted on debt payments.

The foreclosure process started Friday with the hiring of SL Green Realty Corp., a New York firm, to get on with the dirty business of arranging an auction for March 31. Of course the 60-story building could always stay with its owner if a deal can be worked out before then.That doesn't look likely as Broadway Partners scrambles to payoff short-term debt and, without a bank in site willing to refinance, faces losing the Hancock.

According to the Boston Globe, a spokesperson for SL Green released a statement saying, "Tenants of the affected properties can be assured that Green will focus on working with Broadway to maintain property operation and tenant service standards during the pendency of this legal process."

Broadway Partners bought the Back Bay building in December 2006 for a stunning $1.3 billion, mostly borrowed money. The building is valued today at $700 to $900 million. The $100-a-square-foot office rent isn't going like it used to.

Prospective buyers have two months to pull together funding or hope no one else shows up at the auction. Real estate experts foresee the number of interested buyers to be on the very small side.
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