The sale of the former Blessed Sacrament Church building at 365 Centre St. from the Church Square Partners to the Hyde Square Task Force (HSTF) was finalized Feb. 28.
HSTF had entered into a purchase-and-sale agreement to buy the church building in early July 2013 from the Church Square Partners, which is a partnership between the Jamaica Plain Neighborhood Development Corporation (JPNDC) and New Atlantic Development. A purchase-and-sale agreement typically lasts 120 days, but the two sides agreed to extend the time period last fall.
“All good things in life take time,” said JPNDC Executive Director Richard Thal in a phone interview with the Gazette. “We’re delighted for the church campus to be moving into the new phase.”
JPNDC and New Atlantic Development bought the Blessed Sacrament Church campus in 2005 and had planned to turn the church into condos. HSTF has said it will use the church building for community space.
Thal said that JPNDC put out the challenge of buying and using the church building as community space and that HSTF “stepped up” to take on that challenge.
When the Gazette contacted HSTF to setup an interview with its executive director Claudio Martinez to discuss the sale, spokesperson Pat Gay responded, “Thanks for the coverage. When we have some updates I will let you know.”
But in a press release, Martinez said, “Purchasing the church building ensures that it will once again play a key role in the lives of residents and contribute to our culturally rich and vibrant community. This architectural icon, which has been a significant part of Jamaica Plain’s history, will come back to life when people gather to enjoy cultural and civic events and activities.”
“I’m excited. I’m elated…any other positive word you can think of,” said state Rep. Jeffrey Sánchez about the deal. “I always knew they would get it done.”
“It says a lot about those organizations,” Sánchez added. “It shows the JP organizations know how to get things done for the good of the community.”