Mission Church complex plan still stalled after 9 years

April 4, 2014
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The fate of the long-stalled Mission Church complex redevelopment along Smith Street remains unclear almost a decade after its approval.

Weston Associates won City approval in 2005 to redevelop three buildings between 80 and100 Smith St. on the Mission Church campus into residential properties. But then the developer leased 90 Smith St. to the Harvard School of Public Health (HSPH). HSPH moved into that renovated property in 2011.

Weston Associates’ two other properties—the Convent of Our Lady of Perpetual Help at 100 Smith St. and St. Alphonsus Hall at 80 Smith St.—were slated to become residential towers. But those buildings are still there and remain vacant. Weston Associates did not respond to a request for comment on where those projects stand.

New York-based Society of Redemptorist Fathers, which owns the church property and operates Mission Church, also did not respond to a request for comment.

St. Alphonsus Hall was once home to one of the preeminent Catholic men’s associations in the United States, and had a 1,000-seat theater, a gymnasium, library and bowling alley, as the Gazette previously reported.

The Mission Hill Citizens Advisory Committee (CAC) was formed by the City and the Boston Redevelopment Authority (BRA) to review the redevelopment plans, and met for years hashing out various controversies.

Alison Pultinas, a CAC member, said the group has not met since sometime in 2009. That was when it met to go over HSPH’s move to 90 Smith St., she said.

Boston Redevelopment Authority spokesperson Melina Authority said that the prior approvals from the City and CAC still stand.

“The Mission Church redevelopment is an important project for the overall vision of the Mission Hill community,” she said in an email to the Gazette. “The 90 Smith Street site has been beautifully rehabbed and updated, and we look forward to seeing additional progress at the site. The findings of the Mission Hill Citizen’s Advisory Group and the BRA project approvals remain applicable.”

The church complex plan was part of a larger property sell-off by the Redemptorist Fathers. It also included several other properties around Mission Hill that have since been redeveloped.

The stretch of Smith Street that includes three buildings of the Mission Church complex that have been part of a redevelopment effort. (Gazette Photo by Peter Shanley)

The stretch of Smith Street that includes three buildings of the Mission Church complex that have been part of a redevelopment effort. (Gazette Photo by Peter Shanley)

One Response to Mission Church complex plan still stalled after 9 years

  1. Jerry Woodlock on March 7, 2017 at 12:29 pm

    Great story… nicely done. There is still much interest in the status of this project. Is there any chance that you can look into the current status? It will be 3 years next month since this article was written.

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