Boston Neighborhood Transforms Church into Housing
It seems every week we hear about some Catholic Archdiocese selling its churches or schools. But what happens to those properties? WBUR's Monica Brady-Myerov revisits the neighborhood of Jamaica Plain which purchased Blessed Sacrament Church. The local community development corporation is now building a four-story co-housing complex inside the ten-story church.
"Taking a church and turning it into housing is a bit of a challenge," says Brian Goldson, of New Atlantic Development, the firm that is overseeing construction. "You ask the church what it wants to be and it tells you it wants to be a church, not a bunch of condos."
In addition to co-housing, below-market-rate condos are for sale in what used to be the church rectory. The convent will house formerly homeless people. Former parishoner Demaris Pimental supports a mix of housing. "It's not good to have only low-income (housing)," Pimental tells WBUR. "It's good to have a little bit of market value. And keeping that balance is a challenge for our neighborhood because gentrification will change that unique taste of diversity that Jamaica Plain has."