City wants church developer to act quickly

June 13, 2014
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The City and the Boston Redevelopment Authority (BRA) want the developer of the long-stalled redevelopment of the Mission Church property along Smith Street to “act responsibly and expeditiously to fulfill their obligation to the neighborhood,” according to BRA spokesperson Nick Martin.

The developer, Weston Associates, did not respond to Gazette requests for comment.

Meanwhile, spokesperson Kyndal Henicke declined to comment when asked if Mission Hill City Councilor Josh Zakim would push the developer to restart the project.

Weston Associates won City approval in 2005 to redevelop three buildings between 80 and 100 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.

“After a thorough community process, the developer ultimately received approval to build residential housing on either side of the school of public health’s offices,” said Martin. “Those approvals remain in place, and any change to those plans would need to be vetted by the community, the City and the BRA. We hope that the developer will act responsibly and expeditiously to fulfill their obligation to the neighborhood.”

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