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Scientologists may have found buyer for old South End hotel they let fall apart even more

The Boston Sun reports the news of the possible impending sale of the former Hotel Alexandra at Mass. Ave. and Washington Street comes in time to quiet neighborhood calls for the city to take the building by eminent domain.

The church bought the building some nine years ago as a Boston-area headquarters, then never did anything, then decided to move to Allston.

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Should have had big fines kick in - the building is blight and a disgrace to be in that condition, given how beautiful it could be restored.

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I'd add that its time to start taxing religious groups. Its time for these moochers who cause more harm than good to pay up. If you wanna worship a book then do it on your own dime.

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But they ought to have to use it for a religious purpose during that time. They shouldn't be allowed to be property speculators. And if so, they should have a lien placed against the building for any profit to be paid back to the city when the property is sold. This kind of thing would probably be struck down in the courts.

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Where precisely in the Constitution does it say that religious organizations cannot be taxed?

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McCulloch v. Maryland, (1819) CJ Marshall AND Daniel Webster point out that "the power to tax is the power to destroy..." (state tax only on out-of-state banks overturned). And CJ Burger, in Walz v. Tax Commission of City of New York (1970) said churches are kind of like a benign partner of the community (like other non-profit social service agencies) that government can choose not to tax (Walz was a taxpayer suing to remove exemption). Sure, lots of potential for abuse, but you have to admit, that "power to destroy" thing is pretty potent.

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Fighting the losing battle here, I know.

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Let's aggregate some definitions and borders and see if we can find a consensus:

  1. The historical definition of Roxbury was to the West of Kendall St.
  2. The City of Boston considers streets such as Northampton to be in the South End parking zone, as they do for the South End Landmark District, and the South End Historical Society lists the Alexandra as a preservation site.
  3. The 02118 zip code, while encompassing parts of Newmarket and Widett Circle, seems a fairly good demarkation of the South End.
  4. The South End Wikipedia page features the Alexandra.
  5. The Bostonography Consensus Map shows >25% agreement for using Melnea Cass as a South End boundary, which it can be considered in a post-Inner-Belt world. However, there is >75% consensus using Mass Ave as a border. Even if you do so, by virtue of literally being ON Mass Ave, it seems reasonable to consider this and the buildings on the West side of Mass Ave (i.e. the rowhouses between BMC, Chester Square through Symphony Hall) to be part of the South End, even if you were to declare their rear side streets and beyond as Roxbury.
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The Mayor's Food Court lists Mikes City Diner, Myers and Chang, Gaslight Brasserie, etc under Roxbury.

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Maybe you could be a purist and say that Mike's and Gaslight are technically "SoWa" and that's distinct from the South End, but it's really not.

Comcast also says that the South End Buttery (314 Shawmut Ave) is in Roxbury. If Myers + Chang ("NoWa", like a block southeast of the Pike, miles from actual Roxbury) is in Roxbury then neighborhood definitions have no meaning whatsoever. Maybe the Cyclorama is in Roxbury!

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plus they let that other building next to it fall down.

http://archive.boston.com/yourtown/news/south_end/2011/04/with_the_demol...

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They sought permission to demolish it. Permission was granted by one city agency and denied by another. The lawyer in charge of the redevelopment process fought like crazy to get it sorted out. The city tried to blame them when it started falling apart and he called them out publicly.

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so they could demolish it. Once it had reached a certain point (bricks falling on the sidewalk), the city had to let them demo it.

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You could get what, 10-12 luxury condos in there? Perfect!

/ducks

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Is that the building that looks haunted aside from the beauty supply business on the first floor? It looks haunted!

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It is. All the body Thetans released through auditing are stored there.

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I have been in the building many times. It is not falling down and has been structurally strengthened inside after the fire from years ago. There is tremendous ceiling height on all of the floors, especially the top floor. It has many serious zoning issues for a future developer due to the fact that it covers almost all of the lot and doesn't have much access on the back because it is on the corner.

A man by the name of Peter Bakis from Roslindale used to own it and the City used to take him into court all the time for violations. But as someone pointed out above, there is no constitutional reason why you 'have to' fix up your building. Just because your neighbors don't like it, if it isn't a hazard to the public what right do other people have to tell you what to do with your property?

I don't believe they should have been allowed to take down the adjacent building, a poor decision on the city to let a historical building come down. Many buildings in worse condition have been preserved.

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That is the building

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and boarded up since Skippy White days. I remember it from the 80s and it was boarded up. And it's a very prominent location.

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