Developer Pitches 55 Apartments in Renovation of Blessed Sacrament

The development company chosen to renovate and reuse Blessed Sacrament filed a letter of intent with the city outlining its proposed project. Hyde Square Task Force announced it was selling the Blessed Sacrament Church to Pennrose in October. Pennrose's proposal is for a mixed-use, mixed-income housing development in which Pennrose will honor Blessed Sacrament's architecture and history while adding more affordable housing to the neighborhood. The proposal calls for 6,475 sq. ft of multipurpose/performance space that would be operated by Hyde Square Task Force.


Blessed Sacrament Meeting on Aug. 15; Landmarks Commission Says Blessed Sacrament Merits Landmark Status

On the heals of the Boston Landmarks Commission recently released report stating that the Blessed Sacrament Church Complex merits landmark status, there will be a community meeting to provide an update about the plans for preservation and redevelopment of the church. The community meeting will be led by the Hyde Square Task Force and Pennrose, which develops and manages real estate, on August 15 at 6:30 pm at Hyde Square Task Force (30 Sunnyside St.).  The meeting will be in English with Spanish translation, and refreshments will be provided. The Landmarks Commission said the five-building Blessed Sacrament Church Complex merits recognition as a landmark at the regional, state, and local level. "The complex is a physical representation of the social and cultural history and significance of the Catholic Church in Boston around the turn of the last century and in the early 20th century," says the Commission's report. Architectural historian Keith Morgan said the Church of the Blessed Sacrament is one of the finest examples of Italian Renaissance Revival church architecture in New England.


Hyde Square Task Force to Sell Blessed Sacrament to Developer for Income-Restricted Units, Community Space

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.


Opinion: Saving or Sacrificing a Grande Dame

The magnificence, dignity, vastness, and pitch-perfect acoustics of an abandoned church in one of Boston's oldest neighborhoods -- so close to downtown -- it proportionately kisses either cheek of Boston’s Kenmore Square and the South End. The former Blessed Sacrament Church’s basilica towers over the Latin Quarter neighborhood, domiciles and businesses of Jamaica Plain; even from a considerable distance, you cannot miss it. But now this grande dame has sat patiently for 22 years, anticipating her next incarnation. No longer a church, will she be converted into posh condos in a modest end of town, a school, luxury or affordable housing, all rolled-up in an assemblage of tasteless architecture, or will she end up a fatality in a rubble of bricks, peeling frescos, and crumbling marble? As is, the bones of the building create a perfect venue for art exhibits, assemblies, performing arts and live theatre, choirs, orchestral groups, even weddings or conventions.


Proposals for Future of Blessed Sacrament Church Being Shared Starting Sept. 18

Three proposals for the shuttered Blessed Sacrament Church will be shared with the community virtually and in-person starting Sept. 18. Back in May 2020, Hyde Square Task Force's (HSTF) board of directors voted to sell the church as redevelopment and ongoing maintenance were too expensive, and took away from HSTF's mission of supporting enrichment programs for Boston's youth. HSWTF hired Colliers/Cushman and Wakefield to help move the sale of the property forward to a developer that will do something with the property that benefits the community. "As a long-standing nonprofit, deeply rooted in Jamaica Plain, we understand the concerns expressed by members of our community and have worked to address those within the top finalists among the bidders, acknowledging that there could be some community members that might not be satisfied with the options before us.