The Wollaston Theatre has finally been sold after years of controversy and false hopes clouded around the property.
According to Land Deed records, the property was transferred from previous owner Yvonne Chandler to BNW Realty LLC, from Weston, Massachusetts on Jan. 25 for $600,000.
C-Mart owner Miao Kun Fang, also known as Michael Fang, is listed as the manager of BNW Realty LLC in Deed records. Fang is trying to put an Asian market in North Quincy, an item that will be revisited in Quincy City Council in upcoming weeks.
Fang said he doesn't have any plans for the theater but would like community input.
"I don't have the plans right now, it was just a great deal to buy it at that price. I really don’t have any plans right now," Fang said. "I think the best way to do it in the future is to talk with the city and the neighbors and community, and we’ll figure out the right way to do it."
Although she doesn’t know what will become of the theater, the deal has come as a relief to Chandler, who has been attempting to sell the property since 2008.
“I’ve been told that it’s been sold,” Chandler said. “It’s been for sale for a long time – well, they finally found a buyer and my attorney came by, said everything was okay, they had a buyer and everything is okay.”
Chandler and her late husband, Arthur Chandler, purchased the theater in 1979, and subsequently closed it for repairs in 2003.
The beloved community asset proved too expensive for the Chandlers to renovate, despite their attempts to rejuvenate it.
Selling the facility proved equally difficult.
“We’ve been trying to sell it for a long time, so I’m relieved,” Chandler said. “We thought it was going to happen, it just took time.”
There was hope in 2009, when Mayor Thomas Koch attempted to have Street-Works Development LLC purchase and fix up the building.
However the developer behind the $1.6 billion redevelopment of Quincy Center said the plan proved too costly.
City officials estimated that it would cost $6-7 million to rehab the theater.
“The mayor made a good faith effort to put a hold on the theater…those efforts didn’t materialize over the last couple of years. At that point, everyone knew the sale of the theater was anticipated,” said Mayoral spokesperson Christopher Walker. “Wollaston is a vibrant hub now…we expect whatever comes of the theater that the property will play an integral role in the future of Wollaston Center.”
Walker said the Mayor had “no regrets” about the process.
“Obviously it’s not the perfect scenario…but the mayor stands behind what the city did originally in trying to protect it,” Walker said.