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Developers to again meet with community about proposed demo of St. Augustine's Church and School

Posted by Patrick Rosso  March 1, 2013 09:31 AM

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(Patrick D. Rosso/Boston.com/2013)


Owners of the St. Augustine’s Church and School property on Dorchester Street will again appear before the community to discuss development plans for the site.

A public meeting about the South Boston project will be held Monday, Mar. 4, starting at 6:30 p.m. at the South Boston Boys and Girls Club.

At a meeting in January, developers Paul Adamson, Mark Cummins, and Bruce Daniel, laid out plans to demolish the existing structures and in their place construct buildings for condos and parking.

Located at 225 Dorchester St. and originally constructed in 1874, according to documents provided by the Boston Landmarks Commission, the church and school were closed by the Archdiocese of Boston in 2004, because of mounting financial pressures, according to the Boston Globe.

The church was purchased by the developers approximately four-months ago for an estimated $2.4-million dollars, according to Daniel.

Plans presented at January’s meeting called for the demolition of the church and the construction of a three-and-a-half story building for 32 two-bedroom, two-bath condominium units. The highest point of the building would reach up to 42-feet, according to the developer.

Sixty-eight underground parking spaces would be included in the project and 8,000-square-feet would be set aside to house the Community Art Center.

Plans for the school, located behind the church on E Street, include the demolition of the existing building and the construction of a three-story building for 48 two-bedroom, two-bath condominium units.

Sixty-four underground parking spaces would be included in the project and the highest point of the building would be 35-feet, according to the developer.

At January’s meeting a large crowd of residents turned out to hear the plans. Many said the church should stay because of its historical importance to the neighborhood and some of its residents.

Daniel said in January that repairing the church would be too costly, but he would be willing to sell the property.

Although some regard the structure as a landmark, it is not registered as such and is in disrepair.

A 2004 petition submitted to the Boston Landmarks Commission to designate the church as a landmark was rejected.

“The Boston Landmarks Commission, after deliberation and review of testimony, voted not to accept the petition,” read the rejection letter. “To be designated a Boston Landmark, a building must be significant at a city and state, regional or national level.”

Though the site may not be a “landmark” it will still have to go through the Landmarks Commission’s Article 85 Demolition Delay process.

The process slows down any potential project that seeks to demolish a structure older than 50-years until a community process has been conducted and the Commission’s board has reviewed the project.

A public hearing by the board will be held Wed., Mar. 27, in the BRA Board Room, 9th Floor - Room 900, Boston City Hall. Demolition Delay Reviews will be heard after 5:45 p.m.

Those unable to make the hearing but would like to submit comments can do so by mail:

Boston Landmarks Commission, Boston City Hall, Room 805, I City Hall Square, Boston, MA 02201

By fax: (617) 635-3435

By email: Elizabeth.Stifel@cityofboston.gov

To read more about what happened at January's meeting, click here.

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Email Patrick D. Rosso, patrick.d.rosso@gmail.com. Follow him @PDRosso, or friend him on Facebook.

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