The Citgo Sign Is for Sale

Boston University is cashing in on the red-hot housing market.

Update: Thursday, 3:18 p.m.

The Globe reports that the Citgo sign itself is not part of the deal, but the building’s air rights are. A billboard company is currently under lease with BU, and it will be up to the new owner to decide whether or not to renew it.


It’s an indelible Boston icon—a hallmark of Red Sox telecasts, undergrad Instagram feeds, and Faneuil Hall tchotchke stands alike.

Now, Kenmore Square’s Citgo sign can be yours.

Boston University has hired Newmark Grubb Night Frank to sell off 334,000 square-feet of commercial space across nine buildings in Kenmore Square, including the one whose roof the Citgo sign calls home. Other occupants include Barnes & Noble, Bertucci’s, and Cornwall’s Pub.

“We want to promote development that makes Kenmore Square an even more vibrant part of the city and gateway to the BU campus,” BU president Robert A. Brown said. “That goal will be the guiding principle as we consider all the options available to us.”

The 3,600-square-foot sign has illuminated Kenmore Square since 1965, when it originally contained 5,878 neon tubes. Citgo announced in the early 1980s it would tear the sign down—plans met with outrage among Bostonians and subsequently kiboshed. In 2010, the Citgo sign’s LED lights were replaced with more environmentally friendly alternatives.

“We believe this sale will not just be of regional interest,” said Gary Nicksa, senior vice president for operations. “We think it will attract national and international attention.”