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Texas-based chain wants to take over half the Combat Zone

RCI Hospitality Holdings of Houston, which runs a national chain of strip clubs, wants to shower the owners of Centerfolds with $15 million to acquire the Lagrange Street club and to convert it into one of its Rick's Cabarets.

Centerfolds, in business since 2000 with liquor and entertainment licenses its owners transferred over from the fabled Naked i, is now one of just two strip clubs left from the Combat Zone; it huddles next door to the other one, the Glass Slipper.

Before RCI, a publicly traded company, can finalize the purchase, it has to win approval from both the Boston Licensing Board and the state Alcoholic Beverages Control Commission. The licensing board will hold its hearing on Jan. 8 in City Hall on whether to allow the sale of the three-story club.

In a statement, RCI said:

Under the terms of the agreements, RCI subsidiaries will pay $7.2 million for the club and $7.8 million for the real estate using $4.0 million in seller financing at 6.0% for the club with the balance of cash from an anticipated $11.0 million bank loan at a blended rate of 6.25%. ...

"This club fits perfectly with our goal of acquiring profitable number one locations with a long history of cash flow," said Eric Langan, President & CEO, of RCI. "As a $2.4 million EBITDA club, the 100% financed acquisition is clearly in line with our capital allocation strategy in terms of valuation and cash on cash return."

12-18 Lagrange is currently assessed at $2.75 million, according to assessors' records.

In the statement, RCI described Boston as "a top 10 metro and sports market that is also known for being a major business, financial and convention center."

Centerfolds' owners - now William Deyesso and Joshua Horowitz - initially had to fight just to open, or rather, stay open after changing the club's initial location and then deciding to change the name from the Naked i to Centerfolds.

In 1996, as part of its efforts to shrink the Combat Zone, the Menino administration tried to block the Naked i from moving from Washington Street around the corner to the Lagrange Street location now occupied by Centerfolds. A Suffolk Superior Court judge said the city couldn't do that.

In 2000, the city tried again, this time by blocking the transfer of an entertainment license from the Naked i to the newly named Centerfolds and owner Geoffrey Horowitz's desire to make Deyesso a part owner.

The city said both Deyesso and proposed manager Steve Hurd were unsuitable, Deyesso because of a criminal record, Hurd because he was already running Centerfolds locations in Worcester and Providence, which the city said meant he couldn't give the Boston location the attention it would need. The city lost in court again. Hurd is still the club's manager of record.



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will approve this as long as the new owner agree to build a high rise with overpriced condos above the club.

Voting closed 34

Yes, high-rise "luxury" (everything is "luxury" nowadays) overpriced condos... but you forgot one thing: cheap-stick construction. Crappy lumber (not even real 2x4's), held together with aluminum staples because it's faster than nails, and a cheesy fake brick facade to cover the crap. Noise trap, firetrap, and the whole thing starts to fall apart in 10 years, but by then the original developers have cashed out. Modern capitalism at work!

Voting closed 23

Yes to both of these.

My first thought, oh boy... you know that block will be redeveloped and condos will be put there or office space. Maybe a bank and a froyo shop to make it look nice. The strip club will be on the inside thru a side entrance.

And def agree with it being shotty construction. So much stick frame construction and panels brought in on truck loads. No real craftsmanship, just "get'em up as quick as possible" using the cheapest materials possible. Many of the units are 'starter' units, where the owner is designed to rip everything out and put their own stuff in. So the stuff used is the homo depot, whatever is on sale this week and the contractor can get 100 of pronto.

I have two separate friends who live in cookie cutter "avalonbay" or "cornerstone" complexes. (I ferget which ones). One is on his 3rd water leak, which destroyed his unit each time. I guess these new buildings put utilities in the attic, so when it leaks, it floods the building, top down.

The other one has lived in 3 different units in the same complex and has had oodles of issues. Management moves her each time she has an issue as a way to apologize. But she has had more broken 'like-new' appliances, bathroom sink faucet that came off and leaked, various electrical issues.. lots of stuff that its obvious that its from poor construction and craftsmanship.

and I agree, what are these buildings going to like in 10-20 years. Many of the buildings from the 1960s and 1970s are looking pretty dated and shotty now. Even some of the cheaper buildings from the 1980s are looking pretty dated and tattered if they aren't kept up well. They were not made to last, they were made to knock down in 20 or so years.

These new buildings are gonna look awful in 20 or so years. While the designs are very modern looking now, in 20 years it's gonna look "Mid-20teens fabulous" (aka gaudy)

It has to stop, but we wont realize it until many of these places fall into disrepair until its cheaper and easier just to move everyone out and bulldoze it. (and unlike here, this happens quite frequently out west.. just empty 1970s apt complexes just fenced off, empty everywhere)

Voting closed 9

this is why people complaining about how these places don't affect the housing market just aren't taking the long view. some of the cheapest units in the city are in buildings from the 70s/80s that are showing their ages in a big way - I saw a 2 bedroom unit in one of those umbiquous 1969 buildings for sub 200k the other day. And if boston hadn't put a moritorium on building for so long, we'd have semi-shitty units from the 90s aging into affordability right now too. so too willl the 'luxury' units of the 2010s, which as their subgrade granite cracks and their stainless steel appliances fail, become the sort of shoddy but perfectly affordable housing of the future.

that said it's a shame the core of the buildings aren't being built to any kind of standard whatsoever. can always gut reno places but when the actual frame is garbage, welp....

Voting closed 7

Welcome to the City of No.

Voting closed 15

to get an even pricier "lapdance", which means a girl standing 5 feet away from you during said dance.

Voting closed 8

... than what is already there.

Voting closed 14

With all the cash sales inside, and air-rights potential, isn’t this worth at least double the offer?

Voting closed 7

So the real estate is being purchased for ~TRIPLE the assessed value, despite PropTwo and a Half requiring reassessment to market value every 3 years. And the IRS can impute value to prevent owners like this creating artificial depreciation to be syndicated and sold. We haven't heard the last of this one.

Voting closed 7

Another local business sells out.

Voting closed 14


Voting closed 5

What will we call it?
The Combat Zone will only exist as a plaque on Lagrange Street.

Voting closed 4

I'll wager there will be herpetic reminders ad infinitum.

Voting closed 4