BLESSED SACRAMENT CHURCH
Update on the Blessed Sacrament Church – August 30th, 2021
As you may remember in May 2020, after an exhaustive and in-depth exploration to develop the church, our board of directors voted to pursue the sale of the property in order to focus squarely on supporting enrichment programs for Boston’s youth. The redevelopment efforts, coupled with the ongoing maintenance cost of the property, proved to be far too financially straining for our organization.
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. Please know that our board and church committee have acted in good faith as active members of the community who care deeply about the future of our youth and families.
Given this, we are happy to report that after hiring Colliers/Cushman and Wakefield this past year we are ready to move three proposals to the next step in the sale of the building and inform you of our efforts to include community involvement during this process. The HSTF board and church committee have evaluated the proposals against the criteria we set forth in the 2019 Request for Proposals: 1) Benefit to Community, in the form of performance/event space, ideally for 250 people; 2) Financial benefit to HSTF, specifically capital to retire our debt on the property as well as for other long-term capital needs of the organization; 3) Accessible outdoor community space; 4) Naming consideration; and 5) Overall feasibility.
As part of this next phase, we have also developed a well-coordinated community engagement process to allow both virtual and in-person access to information and more importantly to solicit community feedback on all three proposals. The community engagement events will take place as listed below and will be accessible in both English and Spanish.
- Virtual Community Meeting (via Zoom), September 18, 10:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.
- In-Person Open House (at HSTF), September 18, 12:30 p.m. – 2:30 p.m.
- Virtual Community Meeting (via Zoom), September 20, 6:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.
Starting on September 18th, we will distribute a Community Feedback Survey to virtual meeting and open house attendees, and others who wish to provide feedback along the way. Those who are unable to attend the virtual meetings will be able to access a recording of the meeting on our website. We have also set up a dedicated phone line (617 318-6609) where community members can leave verbal feedback on the proposals.
Once all community feedback is analyzed and considered, our board of directors will be voting on the best possible option in October 2021. We invite you to join us in this critical process. All voices in our community matter to ensure the best outcome. We believe that by working together we can reach an outcome that best benefits our community.
Please note that we are still in COVID pandemic status, and we will be taking all necessary precautions to ensure the health and safety of our community.
Update on the Blessed Sacrament Church – June 4th, 2021
Hyde Square Task Force will be designing a public process whereby the community at large will get a chance to meet potential developers and have the opportunity to provide input. HSTF will consider this feedback in its final decision-making. Once a process has been designed, we will communicate it widely to ensure we get as much community participation as possible.
Update on the Blessed Sacrament Church – May 27th, 2021
In the coming days, Hyde Square Task Force will be working with a vendor to board up all windows and doors of the Blessed Sacrament Church in accordance with the City of Boston’s requirements for unoccupied buildings. No decisions have been made about the potential sale or future development of the building, and this current work is being done in response to mandatory building code guidelines from the City of Boston’s Inspectional Services Department.
Update on the Blessed Sacrament Church – May 13th, 2021
In the late spring of 2020, the Board made the difficult decision to put the Blessed Sacrament Church up for sale after six years of exploring all options for turning the church into community space. This decision was not made lightly. After an unsuccessful attempt through a public RFP process to identify a developer that shared our vision for the building in 2019, we came to the realization that a multi-million-dollar campaign to transform the church would ultimately be unsuccessful and would deter from our primary mission.
As we shared through a series of six community meetings in the fall of 2020, we continue to be committed to a sale that meets not only the financial needs of HSTF, but also benefits the community. To that end we are considering the following as we look at proposals:
1) Prioritize a buyer that appreciates the significance of the building to the community, Boston’s Latin Quarter, and will keep this in mind as it goes forward with the redevelopment of the site;
2) Ensure that HSTF can continue to activate the front of the church through a series of annual arts and cultural events; and
3) The proposed project will need to go through a redevelopment review process that includes the voices of the Latin Quarter community.
In the late fall of 2020, we engaged a broker and have been fielding inquiries and proposals from various groups over the past two months. In the weeks ahead, we will be reviewing proposals with these criteria in mind. We are committed to keeping you informed as the sale process continues. With each passing day, this beautiful building continues to deteriorate, and we are committed to seeing it come back to life in a way that honors its past and fits into the vision of our neighborhood, Boston’s Latin Quarter.
If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact our Executive Director, Celina Miranda, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Update on the Blessed Sacrament Church – October, 2020
Hyde Square Task Force hosted a series of virtual meetings in October of 2020 (three in English and three in Spanish) to share more information about the recent decision by its Board of Directors to sell the former Blessed Sacrament Church.
For more information on the church, feel free to read the following documents for background: