Boston Ticket Kiosk Must Go

As Boston city officials grow excited about the possibility of a new entertainment district, they face the unwanted task of displacing a ticket vendor kiosk that has been operating in the area for 35 years.

The Hub Ticket Agency is a trailer in a vacant lot near Boston’s Theater District, and owner Angelo Sena pays $781 a month to lease the site. He moved to his current location in 1981 after officials cut him a deal so the city could build wider streets. In exchange, Sena got a low lease agreement at the vacant lot across the street.

Real estate brokers believe the lot is worth $15,000 a month lease at market rates. The trailer occupies a small area of the total grounds.

City planners want to build the “Times Square of Boston,” and are entertaining two proposals, each involving the towering billboards and searchlights of New York City’s famous entertainment district. One calls for a six-story glass building housing restaurants, shops and offices. The other calls for a three-story building with a wraparound video screen offering a tickertape of news and information to passersby.

Neither mentions the Hub Ticket Agency. Sena has reportedly hired a lawyer to fight the development, but hinted to The Boston Globe that he might be appeased if he was offered space inside the new building. The proposals mention BosTix, Clear Channel Entertainment and other competing ticket vendors, but not Hub.

“We’ve been here for 35 years,” Sena told the Globe. “We want to stay.”

Harry Collings, secretary of the Boston Redevelopment Authority board, said the BRA will try to relocate Sena’s trailer, but he offered no guarantees.

“He’s known for all these years that it was a temporary location,” Collings said.

The BRA is expected to approve one of the two proposals in the next 30 to 60 days.