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.

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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.

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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.

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Letter: To Hyde Square Task Force About Community Process for Sale of Church

The following is a letter sent to the Hyde Square Task Force from the Friends of the Blessed Sacrament Church requesting an open, transparent community process during the selection of a developer for the church. We were pleased to hear that the Hyde Square Task Force (HSTF) has received several formal offers to purchase the Blessed Sacrament Church building, and that there is interest in the property beyond condo developers. We are also encouraged by recent statements that HSTF will prioritize a buyer that appreciates the significance of the church building to the Boston Latin Quarter and that HSTF will be considering community benefit as well as financial benefit and make sure any future buyer listens to the voices and concerns of the Latin Quarter community. As you consider proposals to develop the church, Friends of Blessed Sacrament requests that HSTF create a process where the community gets a chance to meet potential developers and give input and feedback before HSTF makes a final decision. Specifically, we request that before taking a board vote to select a developer, the HSTF hold one or more public meetings where the community can hear from potential developers and give their feedback and comments.

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Hyde Square Task Force Declares Sale of Blessed Sacrament Church Will Benefit Community

The Hyde Square Task Force announced that the sale of the Blessed Sacrament Church will eventually be sold to a developer that will do something with the property that benefits the community. The Hyde Square Task Force Board of Directors emailed an update in English and Spanish to provide an update to the community. The board reiterated that they decided to sell the old church after six years of exploring ways to turn it into a community space. But they ultimately decided they didn't want to do a multi-million dollar campaign to transform the church. After announcing they would sell the property, many community members were frustrated that a community space was not being created, and that HSTF would sell the property to a developer.

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