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Latvian Lutheran Church on Rockview Could Become $700,000 Condos

A developer aims to turn the Latvian Lutheran Church on Rockview into three condos.

The Latvian Lutheran Church on Rockview, snugged tightly into one of JP's most dense neighborhoods, could become three high-end condos.

On Thursday developers Denis Cronin and Dennis Coghlan presented their plans to the JP Neighborhood Council's Zoning Committee.

Much of the old church would remain, including the steeple. But an addition that dates from the 1950s would be removed. Overall, the new plan would occupy a smaller footprint than the current church.

The plan calls for three units: One on the first floor, partially below grade and two above on the second and third floors. The developer said the finished 2-bedroom and 3-bedroom condos would be priced in the $700,000 range.

The Zoning Committee delayed a decision on the project after several neighbors expressed misgivings. Issues included the close proximity of the building, parking and concerns over the relatively high projected cost of the units.

"You're putting in very, very fancy units," said neighbor Becky Thompson, a sociologist who also warned that the prices could damage JP's diversity.

Next-door-neighbor Lee Hewitt, who has lived in her house since 1986, expressed concern about dormers looming over her. The developer has agreed to pull the dormers back several feet.

"We were very concerned with the amount of units being shoved into the space," said Hewitt, whose home would be five or six feet from the renovated structure.

The zoning committee asked the developers to hold a meeting with all the neighbors and to come back at their next meeting, which is in two weeks.

The Neighborhood Council makes recommendations to downtown boards such as the Board of Zoning Appeals. The recommendations are usually followed, but not always.

This isn't the only JP church that might become condos. There's a plan to put more than 30 condos in the old Blessed Sacrament Church in Hyde Square.

[Editor's note: This item has been updated to include the names of the developers.]

MarkBoston September 28, 2012 at 01:02 PM
All Churches , temples an Mosques should be turned into housing !
Jen September 28, 2012 at 02:06 PM
chris, who is the developer?
Chris Helms (Editor) September 28, 2012 at 02:22 PM
Hi Jen, I'm ashamed to say that he got away before I could confirm his name, as I was getting neighbors' names after the session. I'll try to find out and add that information. Meanwhile, anyone who attended, feel free to chime in here on who the developer is...
Jen September 28, 2012 at 03:36 PM
no shame necessary! others, if you know, i'm curious.
Whit September 28, 2012 at 07:33 PM
Hah! That neighborhood is already pretty fancy. Everyone wants their piece of pie and then they want to close the door behind them so no one else can get a slice. If that area and areas near to the T aren't the place for dense development, then I don't know what is. I think they should put the new shelter going in up on Montebello down there, then there would be plenty of diversity and it would be much better for the clients too. Way more convenient to food, the center, public transportation, and the T.
Chris Helms (Editor) September 28, 2012 at 07:48 PM
Hey Jen, I got the names of the developers: Denis Cronin and Dennis Coghlan. Thanks for asking!

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