St. Augustine’s Church to be renovated, not demolished

St. Augustine’s Church to be renovated, not demolished

A South Boston community recently received word that the former St. Augustine’s Church, a local landmark, will no longer be demolished and rebuilt. Due to a negative community reaction to previous plans, developers have announced that plans have changed to rehabilitate the site rather than demolish it.

The rehabilitation of the 139-year-old church will not be cheap. Bruce Daniel, a Weston resident in favor of redevelopment, claims restoration will be difficult due to space limitations. To restore the church, Daniel claims money might need to be redistributed from local school budgets. However, the church can fit up to 25 housing units, which have the potential to create revenue.

Developers acknowledge that the previous plan would have been a better economic decision for the community. The two three-story complexes would have included up to 48 condominiums. Each unit would have sold from between $450,000 to $500,000 dollars, claims Daniel. The revenue generated in property taxes alone for the community would have been substantial.

During a community meeting concerns were raised about neighborhood overpopulation, the loss of South Boston history, and the type of planned development.

The church, which has been closed since 2004, was not designated a landmark by the Boston Landmarks Commission. The reason being that the structure’s significance was limited to the Boston area.

Interestingly, the church is actually not the original St. Augustine chapel. The original, which was built in 1818 is located down the street and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

Before rehabilitation begins, the developer needs to get approval from the Boston Redevelopment Authority. Check back here for details on the project!

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