BOSTON – After being vacant for four years, East Boston’s Our Lady of Mount Carmel will be transformed into condominiums. This news has upset some local residents.
The long-standing church was owned by the Boston Archdiocese until it was sold for $3 million in 2015 to developer Franklin Grove LLC.
Now Franklin Grove LLC has begun work on the $50 million project changing the 114 year old building into condos, sparking outrage among residents who are located near Frankfort Street and Gove Street.
Franklin Grove LLC plans to demolish the church’s rectory and convent to build 108 units. Fourteen of those units will be affordable housing with 84 parking spaces slated to be carved out of the soon to be congested area.
"It's like they're just pushing us out," resident Paul Difeo told Fox 25. ”Everybody who grew up here is getting pushed out."
Aside from the construction, Difeo and other residents are also mourning the loss of history in their neighborhood.
"This was, this is like the face of the neighborhood," said Difeo. "They're going to ruin it."
"Just the community that we had here. All that, everything is gone. The feeling of community is just gone,” Difeo shared.
Both Difeo’s parents and grandparents married at Our Lady of Mount Carmel.
Construction cannot fully take place however, until the developer gets approval from the Boston Landmark Commission.
While most residents are unhappy over the forthcoming changes their neighborhood will see, some are hoping to see more affordable housing and parking.
"You need a lot more than that for this area," resident Danny Gessner shared when discussing the upcoming changes.
Since hearing of the disappointment from residents, Franklin Grove LLC has issued a statement to Fox 25 News about the sentimental value of East Boston’s Our Lady of Mount Carmel.
"The owners and development team understand the importance of preserving the former church and understand the sentimental value the building holds for former parishioners and residents of the East Boston community."
Image via Wikimedia Commons / User:Antony-22