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BOSTON-Developers from around the world are expected to vie for the chance to redevelop City Hall Plaza now that Mayor Thomas Menino has announced plans to sell the concrete and brick structure and shift the city’s government to the South Boston waterfront. The mayor revealed his plan to create what he called “the Gateway to Boston at the Harborside” yesterday in an annual address to the Boston Chamber of Commerce.

In his prepared remarks, Menino said, “I want to improve the financial health of city government and strip away waste and inefficiency.” He said plans to sell City Hall and build another in the South Boston area will help Boston’s real estate market. “The sale will open up prime real estate for facilities and open space that will galvanize the vitality of our downtown and strengthen Boston’s future. The market value for City Hall and City Hall Plaza will attract sufficient revenues to construct a new seat for city government.”

The mayor went on to say that the new City Hall will be built on the 14-acre Drydock Four, a city-owned site which is being used by the Bank of America Pavilion currently. Additionally, he said, “Since this decision is motivated by my focus on lasting sustainability, I will require the new City Hall to be a model of green design and construction.” Relocating City Hall was something Menino considered almost a decade before in 1998, but opted against as market conditions were not advantageous.

Developers are already vying for the project. “This is going to be an international competition,” David Begelfer, head of the local chapter of the National Association of Industrial and Office Properties, tells GlobeSt.com. “There isn’t a major developer nationally or internationally who wouldn’t die to develop a center core in a city like Boston.”

City officials said they have already fielded a number of calls from developers interested in acquiring the current nine-acre City Hall parcel across from Faneuil Hall but said the plan is currently only preliminary and no deadline for bids has yet been set.

But while city officials have listed the value of the existing City Hall site at between $300 million and $400 million, real estate brokers said that value is hard to substantiate given that the building itself is unlikely to be redeveloped. “The building really has zero valuation,” Joseph Sciolla, managing partner with Cresa Partners in Boston, tells GlobeSt.com. Sciolla says that while the location is sure to garner tremendous interest from developers, its worth will be based solely on what can be built on the property.

Greg Vasile, head of the Greater Boston Real Estate Board, tells GlobeSt.com that the site is perfect for a mixed-use project that could take advantage of the area’s rapid transit lines but other projects, such as a tower, could also be located there depending upon what the city would allow.

“It’s really an intriguing idea,” Vasile says of the mayor’s plan. “It’s just a wonderful spot.”

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