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Doughboy Donuts property sold, but pastries and coffee are staying put — for now

Doughboy Donuts has been a South Boston institution for four decades. In this photo, baker Hung Bui prepared batter for a cake doughnut.Wendy Maeda/Globe Staff/File 2008/Globe staff/file

The site of the popular Doughboy Donuts & Deli in South Boston has been sold for $3.5 million to a developer who wants to build a 159-room boutique hotel on the property next door. But the Boston Creams and jelly doughnuts aren’t going anywhere, at least not for now, the shop’s owner says.

The deal is the latest multimillion-dollar transaction in one of the hottest corridors in Boston real estate, where high-end residential buildings and retail space are springing up on parcels that once housed single-story commercial and light-industrial operations.

The Doughboy Donuts property, at 220 Dorchester Ave., was recently sold by James R. Powers Jr. and Joan M. Powers to Dot Ave Two Twenty, a company controlled by the developers at Evergreen Property Group, according to registry of deeds records.


For 39 years, Doughboy Donuts has been a neighborhood mainstay frequented by politicians, construction workers, police officers, and EMTs. It sits on a mile-long corridor between the MBTA’s Broadway and Andrew stations that is part of a new vision established by the Boston Planning and Development Agency meant to reshape the neighborhood. The plan is to encourage a mix of taller residential buildings, with shops and restaurants.

But Phyllis Fandel, owner of the 24/7 operation that has achieved cult status among connoisseurs of indie doughnuts, says she isn’t ready to pack up. The shop is in year five of a 25-year-lease, she said, and the new property owner “can’t do anything unless I break my lease.”

Fandel said she is scheduled to meet with Evergreen next week, but she won’t close — unless a buyer pays her enough to provide the shop’s 28 employees with a retirement or compensation package. Most of them, she said, have been at Doughboy for decades.

“They’re like my family. I have great freaking employees,” said Fandel, who has managed the Southie shop since it opened and bought it in 2012. “If I had to sell it, I would have to take care of these people. I’m thinking I can’t sell.”


The Southie Doughboy is the last one standing of three Boston locations, two of which were sold years ago and converted to Dunkin’ Donuts, she said.

“When my lease is done or if I break it, this isn’t going to be a Dunkin’ Donuts, this is going to be torn down,” Fandel said.

Next door, Evergreen is proposing an eight-story boutique hotel on the current site of an Enterprise Rent-A-Car location, a shift from a previous plan to build a six-story, 33-unit apartment complex with retail space that was approved in 2015 by the city.

Evergreen principal Jason Cincotta did not return calls and an e-mail seeking comment. James and Joan Powers also could not be reached for comment.

Around the corner from Doughboy on West Fifth Street, Trinity Green Development has proposed The Ceinture, a six-story luxury condominium building on the site of the former Colmar Belting Co. headquarters.

And next year, construction is scheduled to begin on The Chandlery, a 114-apartment building with retail space, and underground parking for 120 vehicles at a warehouse site at 270 Dorchester Ave.

“I go up Dot Ave., every day for years, and I’m like, ‘They’re just swapping them up,’ ” Fandel said. Many properties along the street, she said, “are all being turned to condos.”


Katheleen Conti can be reached at Follow her on Twitter @GlobeKConti.