Enough is enough! That’s the sentiment of the war cry that has been declared by the Gate of Heaven Neighborhood Association led by life-long Southie resident and neighborhood association president Kevin Lally. Even though the Boston Redevelopment Association (BRA) approved the parish school building on East Fourth Street to be converted into 26 condos with 40 parking spots last month, the local neighborhood association is fighting it until the end.
According to an article written in The Boston Herald, the Gate of Heaven Neighborhood Association is challenging the archdiocese over selling the building to a developer instead of making into a charter school. After organizing a neighborhood meeting this week, the group is not going down without a fight. “”We’re ‘condo’ed out….It’s time to take care of the children of the neighborhood with a good charter school, and that’s what we’re trying to put there,” said Lally.
We have to give Lally and company a shout-out for being the David and standing up to the Goliath of overdevelopment in our neighborhood. Even though the outcome will most likely end with the same results – Gate of Heaven school turning into condos, we say, “good for you for speaking up! Don’t make it easy for the bastards!”
Mayor Marty Walsh had temporarily blocked the condo proposal last summer after the Gate of Heaven Neighborhood Association was so passionately opposed to it.
The Boston Archdiocese closed the school in 2008 and neighbors wanted a new public school or charter school to take over the space. But eight months later, no school tenant has been found, so Walsh decided to let the project go before the BRA and well…we know how that ends. Approved.
UPDATE: On Tuesday, the City of Boston Zoning Board of Appeals granted a deferral for the hearing until June 23rd to give more time for discussion about the project. According to the Boston Herald, a few dozen people showed up to voice their concern over converting the Gate of Heaven School into condos. From the article:
“It’s important that there is a process in place with a series of checks and balances to ensure transparency, and that a project is thoroughly vetted before it is finalized,” Mayor Martin J. Walsh said in a statement. “The request by the applicant to defer the Gate of Heaven project will allow for more discussion about the project and its impact on South Boston.”
So we shall see, Southie!