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BOSTON-Fan Pier, the 20-acre mixed-use development site that is considered the heart of South Boston’s waterfront, could soon be in the hands of a new owner. Lennar Corp., a Miami-based residential developer, is rumored to be close to signing a deal with Nicholas Pritzker, the Chicago-based developer who spent nearly three years getting the $1.2-billion hotel, office and residential complex permitted.

According to published reports, Lennar is close to an agreement with Pritzker to buy the property for $130 million. A spokesperson for the city tells GlobeSt.com that Lennar did have a meeting with Pritzker, Mayor Thomas M. Menino and Boston Redevelopment Authority director Mark Maloney to discuss the deal. She declined to confirm any other details. Calls to Lennar Corp. and to Pritzker’s local representatives were not returned before deadline.

Pritzker never managed to secure the necessary financing to move the project forward and he announced a few months ago that he would be selling the property. Holliday Fenoglio Fowler LP’s New York City and Boston-based team were retained to market the site and at the time a source involved in the deal told GlobeSt.com that the firm was expecting the property to bring in somewhere around $200 million.

The sale could have huge implications for the city’s waterfront section in South Boston–an area considered the last frontier of developable land in the city. The Fan Pier project is the largest development on the South Boston waterfront and its huge expanse currently sits nearly vacant and is used largely as parking lots. The city had great hopes for the development of this area, but hotel projects, which have never been easy to finance, became even trickier with the recent downturn in the economy. Frank McCourt is also looking for a buyer for his 25 acres which sit adjacent to Fan Pier.

The Fan Pier project, as currently approved, consists of more than two million sf in nine buildings. This involves 1.1 million sf multifamily units–with 20% designated as affordable, 1.2 million sf office space, 140,000 sf of ground-floor retail, restaurants and cafes as well as a 500- to 650-room hotel, 2,285 spaces of underground parking and 107,000 sf dedicated to civic and cultural use including the new home of the 62,000-sf Institute of Contemporary Art.

Locally based real estate developer Stephen Karp as well as a team led by locally based Fidelity Investments were reportedly also interested in acquiring the property.

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