St. Paul's Parishioners Discuss Development, Expansion Plans

Before about 75 parishioners, officials of St. Paul's Church, last night discussed possible plans to develop a valuable piece of properts in order to help defray the costs of building new church facilities.

"We need more office and meeting space for the parish," said Res. John P. Boles "St Paul's a rapidly growing and expanding corner of God's Kingdom."

St. Paul's owns a total of four buildings, located on the corners of Bow and Mt Auburn Streets. The church also owns a piece of land on the corner of DeWolle and Mt Auburn Streets, currently occupied by a factory and parking lot.

According to Rev. John MacInnis, this property may be worth up to $2 million it sold. But it will most likely be leased, rather than sold. Boles said at the meeting.

Although the church has not made a final decision. Boles said that hotels, condominiums and office buildings were being discussed as possibilities.


A New Look

The church hired a real estate consultant an 1984 who recommended that the parking lot and rectory site be commercially developed In addition, the consultant concluded that the church's needs for the choir school, student center and parish could be met with a new, single structure adjacent to the church, said Boles.

The new building, with up to 35,000 square feet of space, will cost approximately $3.9 million, according to John Campbell head of the Church's building committee.

"It not entirely possible that development can raise this kind of money and still provide an ongoing source of income for the parish." Campbell said at last night's meeting.

"Of course, there will also have to be a fund raising drive within the parish itself," he added.

"Whatever is done, we certainly are sensitive to the needs of the people in the area," said Campbell.

Marilyn Z. Wellons, a neighborhood resident said that the construction will undoubtedly have a major effect on the community, but "we don't know yet [whether] to the good or for the bad."

"I think it's a very forward looking plan," said Kathryn A. McCarthy, a longtime parishioner who attended the forum.

"I was very pleased with the meeting," said Boles. "We came to a concensus that we're going to move ahead."

Harvard students, who make up more than half of St. Paul's worshippers, met Sunday night to give their views on development to church officials.