Friends of Blessed Sacrament Church applauds the choice of Pennrose to restore Blessed Sacrament as the jewel of Boston’s Latin Quarter. Based on our own participation in community meetings and our conversations in the neighborhood, it is clear that Pennrose submitted the most viable proposal that will allow HSTF to meet their financial obligations while meeting long-standing neighborhood priorities established in the Boston Latin Quarter Cultural District Plan.
We want to commend the Hyde Square Task Force (HSTF) for conducting an open community process over the past few months where residents and neighbors were able to hear presentations from the prospective developers and ask questions and give feedback to both the developers and HSTF.
Doña Betsaida Gutiérrez, a former parishioner and long-time community activist, expresses her appreciation for the hundreds of people who participated in the community process. “Thank you very much to the Community for attending Community Meetings via zoom or in person and filling out the surveys about the future of the Blessed Sacrament Church. As a result of your work and your voice, the board members of the Hyde Square Task Force made the right choice in selecting Pennrose as the future developer for the Blessed Sacrament Church.”
Positive Features in the Pennrose Proposal Include:
· Creation of indoor and outdoor community performance spaces with Hyde Square Task Force staying involved as a partner to manage the performing arts and community spaces.
· The proposed housing mix that includes a significant amount of affordable housing that will allow residents and families of a wide range of incomes to be able to call Blessed Sacrament home. This helps address one of the key values expressed in the Boston Latin Quarter Cultural District Plan of promoting equitable development that benefits current and future residents.
· Pennrose has a demonstrated track record of proposing and completing feasible development projects and they have the capacity and experience to carry out the complicated redevelopment of the former Blessed Sacrament Church.
· Willingness to partner with HSTF and the neighborhood as the project moves forward, in order to ensure that they continue to address concerns and issues as they arise.
Dorothy V. Malcolm, a former parishioner who was baptized and married at Blessed Sacrament and who graduated from Blessed Sacrament High School, says, “As a kid my whole world was wrapped around Jamaica Pond and our dearly-loved Blessed Sacrament Church. When the church was “de-consecrated” it was a wrench for many of us who knew only of our lives in, with, and for that church. And yet, it’s a fine blessing that it soon will be–not only preserved and restored–but kept within the realm and needs of the community that truly needs it. I am hopeful that Pennrose will openly listen and consider our requests to make sure that any changes to the exterior of the building will be an accurate reflection of its beautiful Italian Renaissance architecture that’s existed for more than a century. We wish Pennrose the very best of luck in their undertaking of our church.”
Damaris Pimentel, owner of Ultra Beauty Salon and a leader of the Latin Quarter Business Association, says, “I am happy that the Blessed Sacrament project is moving to its next phase and that Hyde Square Task Force has found a buyer who has the commitment and ability to make this project happen. I also have the hope and expectation that the Task Force and Pennrose will continue to involve residents, merchants and other members of the Latin Quarter as the project goes forward.”
Friends of Blessed Sacrament is committed to staying involved in the project and advocating for Pennrose and HSTF to continue to engage other residents of the Blessed Sacrament campus, neighbors, merchants, and the larger community each step of the way in the development process.
For more information, contact:
[email protected], www.friendsofblessedsacrament.org.