Archdiocese puts first closed parishes up for sale

Sixteen properties from parishes closed in reconfiguration are now up for sale, the Archdiocese of Boston announced the in a press release dated Nov. 15.

The 16 properties include St. Joseph in Hyde Park, St. Peter in Malden, St. Joseph in Salem, St. Mary Star of the Sea in East Boston, St. Jerome and St. James in Arlington, Assumption in Bellingham, Blessed Sacrament in Cambridge, St. Joseph in Waltham, St. Margaret in Brockton, St. James and Sacred Heart in Medford, Notre Dame and Nuestra Senora del Carmen in Lowell, St. Mary in Marlboro and Star of the Sea in Quincy.

They have been divided between five brokerage companies — Cushman & Wakefield, Meredith & Grew, Richards Barry Joyce & Partners, Harkins Real Estate and The Codman Company — that will solicit offers for a minimum of 90 days.

At the end of that time, the Archdiocesan Real Estate Office and the Real Estate Advisory committee will review the offers. The two organizations will make their recommendations to Chancellor David Smith who “will review the financial terms and social considerations connected with the offers and forward his recommendations to the archbishop through the vicar general.”

Archbishop Seán P. O’Malley will then seek permission from the College of Consultors, the Finance Council and, when required, from the Holy See before accepting the offers.

"Each decision will be based on the many factors including proposed property used, price and contingencies," said Smith in the release. "It is our hope to maximize the financial consideration consistent with the needs of the communities we serve."

"Only reconfiguration expenses and Finance Council recommended fiscal year 2005 budget items will be funded from property sale processes pending the completion of a financial strategic planning process initiated by Archbishop Seán with assistance from the Archdiocesan Finance Council," he continued.

The expenditures will be disclosed in the Pilot each month.

"The archbishop also has indicated his intention to expand the Finance Council's membership to ensure it has the breadth of expertise to contribute substantively to the development of this strategic financial plan on a timely basis," the release said.

In a previous Pilot article, Thomas Walsh announced that the properties would be grouped by criteria such as geographic location or likely use for the property. Walsh, former vice chairman of CBRE/Lynch Murphy Walsh Advisors, has been placed in charge of overseeing brokers for property sales.

The archdiocese is employing the methodology used by institutions, pension plans, insurance companies and banks to package properties and choose brokers, Walsh added.