The New York-based real estate firm that manages Faneuil Hall Marketplace owes the city over $2 million in payment-in-lieu-of-taxes installments — an outstanding balance that could potentially cost it its lease if not paid off soon.
On Tuesday, the Boston Planning and Development Agency sent a notice of default to Ashkenazy Acquisition Corp., outlining the company missed two payments — one on Aug. 3 and another on Nov. 2 — totaling $2,171,009 and, in violation of its agreement with the city, allowed a lien on the historic property.
Ashkenazy Acquisition has 10 days to pay the city and 30 days to remove the lien. Should the company fail to take those steps, the BPDA could terminate its lease.
The notice comes during a particularly tense year between the BPDA and the real estate firm. In June, the BPDA and city leaders implored Ashkenazy Acquisition to do more to help the tourist attraction’s shops, restaurants, and small businesses, who struggled financially because of the coronavirus pandemic.
While the corporation laid out a rent repayment program for tenants through 2021, the BPDA wanted to see additional supports for businesses put in place.
“The COVID-19 pandemic has created significant challenges for small businesses across our City, and around the world, especially those that rely heavily on the tourism industry,” BPDA Director Brian Golden said in a statement. “After months of negotiations and advocacy by the City of Boston and BPDA in support of the locally-owned small businesses at Faneuil Hall Marketplace, we are disappointed that Ashkenazy Acquisition Corporation has been unable to provide the necessary financial relief to support the Faneuil Hall merchants.
“Based on their failure to stay up to date on the required PILOT to the City of Boston, we have determined it is necessary to move forward with a notice of default,” Golden continued. “As the landowner of the historic property, we will continue to take all the actions within our power to support the small businesses that make Faneuil Hall Marketplace the successful and beloved destination that it is.”
Ashkenazy Acquisition did not return a request for comment Thursday.
Under the 99-year lease signed in 1975, Ashkenazy Acquisition rents the property from the city for $10 a year. A decades-old agreement also does not require the firm to pay Chapter 59 property taxes. However, it is required to pay PILOT installments each year based on prior revenue.
Documents included with the notice of default show Ashkenazy Acquisition missed two payments of $1,050,519. A lien was placed on the property by Trane, an HVAC system installer, last month due to a debt of over $110,000 owed by Ashkenazy Acquisition, the papers show.
The Faneuil Hall Marketplace Merchants Association, in a statement Wednesday, said the owed PILOT installments should come from the rents businesses paid to the firm in previous years, The Boston Globe reports.
“The Merchants have been open seven days a week since reopening and we will continue to do what we do best — serve our customers and cherish this amazing iconic destination,” the group said.
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