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Southie Shout-out to Kevin Lally

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!”

The backstory:
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! 

Image: BBJ

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About the Author

Maureen Dahill

Maureen Dahill is the editor of Caught in Southie and a lifelong resident of South Boston sometimes mistaken for a yuppie. Co-host of Caught Up, storyteller, lover of red wine and binge watching TV series. Mrs. Peter G. Follow her @MaureenCaught.

Comments

  1. SouthoftheBostonfireworks says

    It wasn't that there were no charter schools interested, there were. The problem is the developer has a purchase & sales agreement with the archdiocese and the property cannot be shown or offered to other parties. Big difference from no one interested and legally barred from shopping the school to other parties.

  2. Jenn says

    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!”

    …really? Way to “show support”

  3. Roslyn Macgregor says

    Archdiocese of Boston and City of Boston and anayone else involved in more condos rather than a charter school – take care of your chidlren. Listen to your people. Democracy! And children first.

     

  4. Anonymous says

    The pastor is selling this to his developer friend at cut rate price of $5 million dollars. Just like the sale of the parish hall which was sold for a paltry $800k. The parishioners who paid for the construction of all parish buildings should have the last say.

  5. Charlie says

    The potential for a charter school?! Not when it has the potential of stealing away students and families from South Boston Catholic Academy.  

     

  6. Anonymous says

    Before anyone says anything, yes, I live in the Gate of Heaven neighborhood.

    1. I don't believe a charter school would necessarily be for the Southie youth. Is it possible to restrict enrollment to a geographic area? I'm asking because I honestly don't know, but I wouldn't think so. If so, the argument doesn't apply.
    2. I think it's horrible that the Church in Boston has been reduced to a surplus property owner given the many benefits it used to provide the neighborhood. However, times are changing. There is a local Catholic school at SBCA. There are still numerous Catholic parishes. It is time to move on and return the property to the tax rolls, which will lead to significant revenue for the City and neighborhood.
    3. I ask being ignorant of history: how did Kevin Lally become president of GOHNA? It took many attempts and a referral from another resident to be included in the GOHNA email list, meetings are almost always cancelled at the last minute unless there is a major development to oppose, and I often hear a lot of disagreement with the GOHNA's positions as conveyed by Lally to local media from other neighbors. I don't think he speaks for most of the neighborhood, just a small, very vocal few. Is it time for a change?
    4. It seems like it is never enough for many residents: the first arguments against redevelopment are height and parking. If those aren't an issue, it's the process of redevelopment. If that's not an issue, it's the price it was sold for or the prices the new ones will be sold for. It seems as if many residents would simply like to freeze Southie in a time many years ago, but that's not possible. That's how neighborhoods die. It's time to move forward and to ensure that as we move forward, we do so productively, welcomingly, and for the prosperity of all of our neighbors.
  7. DJ says

    is biggest dirtbag involved in a story about greedy developers, politicians, and the BRA. Shocker.

  8. Anonymous says

    is worried about the traffic on I Street with school buses. The charter school that is interested in the building doesn't use school buses. If it's condos, say adios to parking in the neighborhood around the Gatey.