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Local
First reconfiguration properties under agreement

By Christine Tolfree
Posted: 4/29/2005

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BRIGHTON — The Archdiocese of Boston announced the signing the first sale agreements on properties closed as part of the archdiocese reconfiguration. A statement issued April 22 said offers had been accepted on properties belonging to four closed parishes: St. Joseph in Salem, St. Joseph in Waltham, St. Joachim in Rockport and St. James in Medford. The closing of these sale agreements are expected sometime in the next few weeks.

“This first group of properties has attracted interest from a variety of buyers,” said David Smith, chancellor of the archdiocese.

“We are especially pleased that these agreements involve both affordable and market rate housing, worship sites for other religious denominations and educational institutions,” he said. “They represent a combination of optimal financial proceeds and reuses that consider the significance of the properties in the communities where they are located.”

The Salem property was bought by the Archdiocese’s Planning Office for Urban Affairs which will primarily use it for affordable housing. Eastport Real Estate Services, Inc. purchased the Waltham property to be used for a church, school, housing and affordable housing. The rectory property in Rockport, purchased by Stanley Poole, will provide single family housing. In Medford, the property was bought by Northshore Construction and Development, Inc. and will become market condominiums.

Sixteen properties were placed on the market on Nov. 15 of last year, and the archdiocese said they would be marketed for at least 90 days. Bids were collected in February and were evaluated by Tom Walsh, who is in charge of overseeing the brokerage process. Input was also sought from the archdiocese’s Real Estate Advisory Committee, and after the advisory process was complete, buyers were able to prepare their final offers.

Smith presented the top offers to Archbishop Seán P. O’Malley who took them before the archdiocesan Finance Council and the College of Consultors for their approval, which he received.

The archdiocese is still soliciting bids on 15 additional properties placed on the market since Nov. 15.

Bill McCall, chairman of the Real Estate Advisory Committee, said he was happy with the amount of interest shown in the properties and the number of bids that were considered.

“We are pleased with the level of activity and feel it validates the fair and open character of the archdiocese real estate disposition program,” he said.