Hynes Convention Center to be marketed by Colliers International

The Hynes Convention Center is officially on the market. The board that oversees the property on Thursday selected brokerage firm Colliers International to market the property to potential buyers.

The move marks a major step in the state’s bid to sell off the Hynes to fund expansion of the Seaport convention center.

Over the coming months, Colliers International will conduct a market-analysis into the kinds of development the 5.8-acre John B. Hynes Convention Center site can support, a high-profile transaction that Massachusetts Convention Center Authority officials expect to draw global interest.

“We appreciated, and were impressed by, the talent and diversity of the team Colliers’ assembled for this project,” MCCA Executive Director David Gibbons said in a statement. “The MCCA was purposeful in its goal to be diverse and inclusive and Colliers proved their commitment to exceeding the high bar that was set.”

The CEO of Colliers’ Boston office, Tom Hynes, is the nephew of the John B. Hynes — the namesake of the Back Bay convention center.

Gibbons said the MCCA selected Colliers because their response to an RFP released earlier this year “demonstrated a clear understanding of the MCCA’s priorities relative to the sale while showcasing the global reach and key industry relationships that will be needed to successfully complete a transaction of this scale and value.”

MCCA members voted in September to dispose of the Hynes Convention Center and sell or lease the property to pay for an estimated $500 million expansion of the Boston Convention & Exhibition Center. It’s a move that requires legislative approval, but MCCA Executive Director David Gibbons has said he is plowing ahead anyway and moving forward with selecting a brokerage firm that would help market to the property to potential buyers.

The deal also includes transferring 12 acres of land in South Boston near the BCEC back to city ownership. City officials have not said publicly what they plan to do with that land.

What takes the place of the Hynes is still anyone’s guess — ideas ranging from mixed-use housing to a performing arts center have been floated — but the project would be subject to Boston’s community process and the Boston Planning & Development Agency’s Article 80 review process.

Boston Mayor Martin Walsh said it was too soon to speculate what either the Back Bay site, but hinted at middle-income housing for the 12-acre site in the Seaport.

“Middle-class housing is one of those really sought-after areas of growth in housing — potentially that would be something we’d look at,” Walsh said.

Frank Petz, Colliers International, Managing Director of Investment Sales said he has assembled a team that includes local contractors with expertise to drive parcel’s marketing.

“We are proud to be selected to advise the MCCA on the redevelopment of the Hynes. This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to create a new vision for this multi-dimensional asset in the Back Bay,” Petz said “We look forward to working with the city and neighborhood on a project that will be a catalyst for future development as well as continue the legacy of the Back Bay as an economic engine for the region.”