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Davis Closes $73M Deal For One Of Boston Area’s Largest Development Sites

An aerial view of the 100-acre ExxonMobil site in Everett that The Davis Cos. purchased.

In a highly anticipated deal, a 100-acre fuel tank farm has sold to a real estate firm with plans for a massive redevelopment along Everett's waterfront.

The Davis Cos. purchased a former ExxonMobil site for $72.5M, according to public records. The property is one of the biggest pieces of developable land near Boston, and Davis previously said it was interested in building a major mixed-use project.

“We have been attracted to the tremendous potential of this site for quite some time,” Davis Chief Development Officer Michael Cantalupa said in a statement. “The size and configuration of the tank farm parcels can accommodate a wide mix of uses, including critically needed housing, clean energy uses, advanced research facilities, and high-tech manufacturing.”

Davis had backed out of an agreement to acquire the Exxon site in September 2022, a lawsuit from Conservation Law Foundation against Exxon revealed at the time. The suit claimed the gas company's practices on the site led to pollution risks exacerbated by climate change.

But Davis later resumed talks to acquire the site, and the CLF suit was settled along with the acquisition closing, the foundation announced Tuesday. As part of the settlement, CLF said it has obtained an “enforceable prohibition on the property” that won't allow it to be used to store fossil fuels. 

“Closure of the facility will protect the community and eliminate a major pollution threat to Boston Harbor and its tributaries,” CLF President Brad Campbell said in a statement. “Forever prohibiting a similar facility on the site further reduces fossil fuel’s chokehold on Everett and the broader region’s energy system, landscape, and economy.”

As part of the acquisition, the site will need to go through an estimated $100M in remediation and cleanup, which could take up to four years to complete, the Boston Globe reported. Davis applied to the Massachusetts Brownfields Covenant Not to Sue program, which would protect the firm from any lawsuits brought by neighboring communities due to potential pollution from the site.

The acquisition marks a step closer to the resurgence of Everett's waterfront from an industrial port into a mixed-use hub. The city's Commercial Triangle has already begun to be reshaped, with thousands of housing units set to deliver, but its waterfront hasn't seen the same fate — until recently.

In October, Wynn Resorts won city approval to move forward with the expansion of its Encore Boston Harbor casino and hotel. In August, Boston-based V10 Development proposed a 591-unit residential development along the Malden River in Everett.

“Now, with the possibility of a full-scale redevelopment of the site, we are excited to discuss ways to transform this parcel into a community asset from its presently decrepit state,” Everett Planning Director Matt Lattanzi wrote in an email to Bisnow last month.