MCCA Selects Colliers International to Sell Hynes Convention Center

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BOSTON ― The Massachusetts Convention Center Authority (MCCA) has selected Colliers International to market and sell the John B. Hynes Veterans Memorial Convention Center.

The sale of the Hynes will be a complex, high-profile transaction that the MCCA anticipates will draw global interest due to the site’s size – 5.8 acres – and premier location in Boston’s historic Back Bay neighborhood, MCCA said in a statement.

Colliers has assembled an experienced team with a deep understanding of the Boston market. Their response to the MCCA’s RFP demonstrated a clear understanding of the MCCA’s priorities relative to the sale while showcasing the global reach and key industry relationships that will be needed to successfully complete a transaction of this scale and value.

“We appreciated, and were impressed by, the talent and diversity of the team Colliers’ assembled for this project,” said David Gibbons, Executive Director of the Massachusetts Convention Center Authority. “The MCCA was purposeful in its goal to be diverse and inclusive and Colliers proved their commitment to exceeding the high bar that was set.”

“We are proud to be selected to advise the MCCA on the redevelopment of the Hynes. This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to create a new vision for this multi-dimensional asset in the Back Bay,” said Frank Petz, Colliers International, Managing Director of Investment Sales. “We have assembled a highly-qualified, diverse team — from Janey Construction, Pinck & Co (now Anser Advisory), Shepley Bulfinch and InkHouse Media – with local expertise and knowledge to guide the process. We look forward to working with the city and neighborhood on a project that will be a catalyst for future development as well as continue the legacy of the Back Bay as an economic engine for the region.”

The sale of the Hynes was approved by the MCCA’s board of directors on September 19 to finance, in part, the expansion of the Boston Convention & Exhibition Center in South Boston as well as transfer approximately twelve acres not needed for BCEC expansion back to the City of Boston. A bill to approve the same was filed on October 21 and is currently under consideration by the Massachusetts Legislature.

As a venue, the Hynes continues to underperform with annual occupancy rates of around forty percent as customers choose the newer and larger BCEC for their Boston events. In addition, to maintain the Hynes in its current condition will cost the MCCA $200 million over the next decade to merely stand still in a transitioning convention marketplace.

Ultimately, the future use of the Hynes property will be informed by the City of Boston’s community process, BPDA’s Article 80 review, the buyer, and stakeholders in the Back Bay. The outcome will provide myriad benefits to the community, city and state.

The potential to further extend the neighborhood will deliver long term benefits to the community including direct impacts on hotels, restaurants, retail stores, transportation carriers, and local attractions, as well as indirect impacts on the production of goods and service, and induced economic impacts from spending by employees and visitors.