After the club announced it was closing in May, longtime booker Carl Lavin acquired rights to Great Scott's intellectual property and liquor license, and teamed up with Mainvest, a Massachusetts-based crowdfunding company, to make a bid for the lease. They had already well surpassed their $150,000 goal with over a month still left on the campaign, but they got news this week that the address' owners, Oak Hill Properties, had taken another offer for the property.
“They were completely unresponsive,” Lavin told WBUR. “The only thing they ever asked for was a written offer and I sent an offer on June 4 to lease the premises to Red Tree Real Estate, the company tasked with renting out the space for Oak Hill. I was directed to Adam Rotkin, who I spoke with. He said, ‘Oh. they don't want to have a rock club. Send an offer, but they're pretty far down the line with [leasing to] somebody else.’ I got no response, no acknowledgment that they received the offer, no additional requests. I followed up and still didn’t get a response.”
This week Lavin and Mainvest received a letter from Oak Hill attorney John Mangones that read in part:
Oak Hill has received multiple applications from credit-worthy prospective tenants. Oak Hill is moving forward and has entered an LOI [letter of intent] with one of those applicants, with the expectation that a long-term lease will be executed shortly. … There is still no timeline as to when Massachusetts will lift the shutdown for bars/music venues, therefore Great Scott would have to pay rent for many months without generating any revenue. …As part of the LOI it entered, Oak Hill is restricted from negotiating with other parties at this present time. As such, Oak Hill will not have any further communication with you about the premises.
Short of a miracle, Great Scott will not reopen in its original space but there is a possibility of relocating the club (which has been at 1222 Commonwealth Ave since 1976). “I’m absolutely open to exploring other opportunities along those lines,” Lavin told WBUR, with Mainvest CEO Nick Mathews saying, “The people of Allston have pretty clearly voted with their wallets. It’s what they want. At the end of the day, that wasn’t considered. We support Carl in his continuing work and would be more than ecstatic to bring it to another location.”