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BOSTON-The Germain Group has acquired the development rights for the Ames Building at One Court St. The Quebec-based hotel developer purchased the rights from Intercontinental Real Estate Corp.

The Boston Redevelopment Authority, which took ownership of the building when it was seized by eminent domain last year, approved the sale of the rights. The Germain Group, a family-run hotel company that has four hotels in Canada, plans to develop the building into a 125-room boutique-style hotel.

According to Meredith Baumann, spokesperson for the BRA, the Ames building has long been considered for hotel use, dating back to the 1960s, when the government center urban renewal plan for this area was developed. Until now, the building has been used as office space with ground floor retail.

Baumann acknowledges that the city’s use of eminent domain is controversial, especially in areas that could be considered no longer “blighted.” But, she maintains, “If we stop our efforts to make improvements to the area according to the urban renewal plan, then shame on us. We need to use our powers for the betterment of the area. We’re turning it around and we need to continue our efforts to ensure it moves forward.”

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