One of Boston’s biggest landmarks is going on the market.
Architectural Heritage Foundation said Thursday that it’s looking for a buyer for its lease on Old City Hall, the civic palace on School Street that served as Boston’s seat of government for a century.
The nonprofit AHF took over the building on a 99-year-lease in 1970, after the city’s new Hall opened, and restored it into office space and a restaurant — long the Maison Robert, now Ruth’s Chris Steak House. Now, AHF says, the place is ready for a new operator.
“We believe it is time for this iconic property to benefit from a new lease owner, who will bring new ideas and capital to the property, reinvigorating it for years to come,” said AHF president Sean McDonnell in a statement. “We have fulfilled our mission and believe this is a great opportunity to bring fresh ideas and perspectives, access to capital and deliver a sustainable future for Old City Hall in a dramatically changed downtown Boston marketplace.”
AHF has hired real estate firm CBRE to manage the sale, and said it hopes to select a buyer by November. AHF said it plans to use the proceeds to finish improvements to the building’s courtyard and create a new loan fund for historic preservation.
Any sale would likely need approval of the Boston Planning and Development Agency, which owns the building and leases it to AHF. A BPDA spokesperson did not immediately return messages seeking comment Thursday.