Real estate today: Hellenic Hill preservation efforts continue

March 29, 2013
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PONDSIDE—Efforts to permanently preserve Hellenic Hill continue without results almost two years after a development controversy.

Hellenic College, the owner of the undeveloped woodlands overlooking Jamaica Pond that the college has previously tried to sell or develop, is currently working on keeping the land a “sanctuary,” Emerald Necklace Conservancy (ENC) Executive Director Julie Crockford told the Gazette.

When asked about development plans for the woodland, Hellenic College spokesperson John Papson told the Gazette, “Nothing is going on. Everything is very quiet. There’s nothing to tell.”

He declined to elaborate on the College’s plans for the land.

But Crockford told the Gazette that the college has been looking at ways to preserve the land itself. Starting in 2011, the ENC was engaged in talks with the college on the possibility of buying the land for conservation purposes.

“We said that was an option if college needed to sell [the land],” she told the Gazette. “We’ve been quietly supporting their efforts to keep the land for themselves and the community. Giving up the land wasn’t the most attractive option to them. Keeping it as a sanctuary was appealing to them.”

“I think they have the support of [Church leaders] in that respect,” she added.

In 2011, Hellenic College listed the lot for sale for $18 million and was in talks with Criterion Development Corporation for possible development. Community groups and leaders of the Greek Orthodox Church, with which the college is affiliated, supported the preservation of the land.