The Hyde Square Task Force has chosen developer Pennrose to sell the Blessed Sacrament Church, which will turn it into affordable housing, community space, and more.
A letter signed by HSTF Executive Director Celina Miranda and Board leadership was sent to local stakeholders, elected officials, and community leaders that outlined some of the benefits Pennrose is committed to providing.
“We recognize that this is the beginning of a partnership with Pennrose,” said Miranda. “The HSTF Board believes that Pennrose has the highest likelihood of a great outcome for the community and for our organization.”
Pennrose proposed income-restricted housing with at a minimum:
● <30% AMI: 8 units (15%)
● <50% AMI: 8 units (15%)
● <60% AMI: 16 units (30%)
● <120% AMI: 20 units (40%)
Pennrose has also committed to providing community space for 200+ people in which the HSTF would remain the operator of this space for the long term. Pennrose has also committed to outdoor community space in front, converting the baptistery to an open-air performance gazebo, and to respecting the existing outdoor green space to the west of the church, said the letter.
The announcement of Pennrose's selection was applauded by the Friends of Blessed Sacrament Church.
"Based on our own participation in community meetings and our conversations in the neighborhood, it is clear that Pennrose submitted the most viable proposal that will allow HSTF to meet their financial obligations while meeting long-standing neighborhood priorities established in the Boston Latin Quarter Cultural District Plan," said a letter from the Friends group.
Dorothy Malcolm, a former parishioner who was baptized and married at Blessed Sacrament and graduated from Blessed Sacrament High School, was optimistic about the sale. She believes that Pennrose will consider requests to make sure that any changes to the exterior of the building will accurately reflect the Italian Renaissance architecture of the building.
Damaris Pimental, owner of Ultra Beauty Salon and a leader of the Latin Quarter Business Association was happy about the next step in Blessed Sacrament's history.
"I also have the hope and expectation that the Task Force and Pennrose will continue to involve residents, merchants and other members of the Latin Quarter as the project goes forward," said Pimental.
The purchase price was not disclosed in the Miranda's letter, but it is believed the sale will cover HSTF's mortgage on the property and help recoup some of the costs incurred by owning the church for the past seven years.
The selection of Pennrose occurred after several community meetings in which HSTF listened to the community to determine what they wanted to see happen to the church.