Boston Neighborhood Transforms Church into Housing

How grassroots organizers beat out commercial bidders, and overcame zoning hurdles to redevelop Catholic church into affordable 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."

Full Story: As Construction Alters Closed Church, Jamaica Plain Builds Its Community

Comments

Comments

broken link

The link to this article is not working, please re-post.

Laine Cidlowski
DC Office of Planning

Tim Halbur's picture
Blogger / Alum

Fixed link

Thanks for alerting us. -Editor

Quantity of seats and stories

Read the comments below the post, I agree with them. The picture shows a big church door, add the same height below, more for the pitch roof, there cannot be 10 stories, and yes, 12000 seats seems too much. I think Planetizen news have to be carefully analyzed before posting them.

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