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BOSTON-Boston Residential Group has acquired an eight-story building owned by the Red Cross for $17 million. Curtis Kemeny, president of Boston Residential, tells GlobeSt.com that he plans to convert the 106,000-sf structure into 65 loft-style condominiums and 10,000 sf of retail.

He adds that the firm intends to immediately begin the permitting process for the 285 Columbus Ave. building, which borders the South End and the Back Bay, and expects construction to be completed within two years. Kemeny, who has had his eye on the property for the last year, says it’s “a wonderful building with windows on three sides and great views. It will work out extremely well for residential units.” The cost of the conversion has not been determined but Kemeny says he expects the residential portion will be comprised of one-, two- and three-bedroom units.

A spokesperson for the American Red Cross of Massachusetts Bay tells GlobeSt.com that the building, which is the chapter’s biggest asset, was sold after a year-long study determined that the organization could “maximize the asset to support programs and services. We just weren’t fully utilizing all the space in the building.”

The Red Cross will continue to occupy space in the building until the fall of 2006 but will be looking for a new property to purchase for its local office, the spokesperson says. A decision on the chapter’s relocation is expected within the next 90 days.

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