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Green acres

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The Boston Archdiocese's Brighton property

Boston College will make an offer on archdiocesan land

The University hopes to purchase 27.6 acres of land that the Boston Archdiocese has put up for sale in Brighton. The archdiocese announced its intention to sell in early December, part of its effort to pay an $84 million settlement reached with victims of clergy sexual abuse.

The property occupies a portion of the large block of land stretching along Commonwealth Avenue between Foster and Lake streets. It is adjacent to Boston College's honors housing in Greycliff Hall and less than a five-minute walk from the University's lower campus. The sale includes the three-story mansion built by Cardinal William O'Connell in the 1920s, which has been used as a residence by the last four archbishops. (Archbishop Sean O'Malley, a Capuchin friar who was installed in the position last July, has opted for quarters in the rectory at the Cathedral of the Holy Cross, in Boston's South End.) The residence and available land together recently were assessed at nearly $14 million by the City of Boston. St. John's Seminary and the chancery, which houses archdiocesan offices, also occupy the block and are not for sale.

According to Jack Dunn, the University's director of public affairs, "Boston College is committed to making an offer for the property that is reflective of the value of the land and that will help the Archdiocese of Boston to reach its settlement obligations.

"The University has a pronounced need for open space for recreational purposes that could be addressed through this property," says Dunn, who notes that if the land were sold to developers, the impact on the Brighton neighborhood might be substantial. "We share the same concerns as any other neighbor regarding development proposals and hope that our connection to the Archdiocese of Boston as a Catholic university will enable us to keep the land within the Church."

Public affairs staff


Graphic: The Boston Archdiocese's Brighton property

 

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