Report: Convent land sale canceled

May 27, 2011
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JAMAICA HILLS—The sale of a 15-acre woodland by the Daughters of St. Paul has been called off by the religious order’s administration in Rome, according to the head of the Jamaica Hills Association (JHA).

“Their administration in Rome had said they cannot sell the property now,” said JHA president Polly Selkoe, who said she got the information in a conversation earlier this month with the order’s treasurer, Sister Nancy Usselmann.

The order’s current administration in Rome will be in place for at least three years, and is not expected to change its position on the property offering in that time, Selkoe said that Usselmann told her.

Usselmann declined to comment to the Gazette.

The order privately advertised the woodland behind its St. Paul Avenue headquarters, along with some buildings, for sale or lease last fall. There were multiple bidders, including Brookline’s Dexter School and an unidentified housing developer.

In recent months, the order has described the property offering as purely exploratory, and its lawyer previously told the Gazette that none of the bids appeared to be “viable.”

The property offering was a surprise to the JHA and nearby residents when the Gazette revealed it in March. The JHA repeatedly requested a meeting with the Daughters.

Selkoe said that meeting never happened, but that she did have a talk with Usselmann earlier this month.

“I did get [Usselmann] to agree that if they put the property on the market [again], they would notify the Jamaica Hills Association,” Selkoe said.

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