Bell's furniture sells, day center for seniors to move in

After years of trying to broker a deal to bring in a new owner, some in the Uphams Corner neighborhood are getting their wish: Bell's Furniture store at 28 Hancock St., has been sold.

"I think we've been focused on the Bell's [site] for three years," said Matthew Strauss, treasurer of the Jones Hill Civic Association. "Any time we've tried to do some sort of deal, they would back out of it."

Contact information for the Bell family could not be found for this article, and the Bell's furniture phone number did not answer on multiple attempts.

The building was purchased by Alex Matov and other Russian-American investors who co-own Zabota, a senior center in Allston and the Cape Verdean Adult Day Health Center on Frontenac Street. The group plans to refurbish Bell's and add a new adult day health center to the Uphams area.

"We're outgrowing the space," said Matov. "There will be no new buildings. We'll do some renovations and that would be it. We haven't been in touch with the neighborhood. It was a somewhat unexpected acquisition."

Matov, Ed Shapiro and three other investors adapted their successful adult day health model at Zabota to the Cape Verdean community in July, 2006.

Matov said he and his partners were got the idea for the new center merely by driving by the for-sale sign on Bell's. They haven't reached out to the neighborhood just yet, as they are still making plans for the building. It may be six months before the work is completed and seniors can begin using the new center, said Matov.

Matov's group bought the property for $820,000 under the name Hancock Business Center LLC in August.

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