Church abandons assembly hall plan for Savin Hill Ave.; condo instead

The Columbia-Savin Hill Civic Association this week signed off on a project converting a two-family home on Savin Hill Ave. to a three-family condo. The proposal drew three dissenting votes at a Monday night meeting of the association at the Little House, which was attended by about two dozen people.

The 202 Savin Hill Ave. property is owned by the Christian group known as Church in Boston, which bought the property last fall for more than $600,000. Church of Boston abandoned its plans to turn the property into assembly space and a residence for a church elder after a series of meetings with abutters and local elected officials.

Instead the group plans to convert the home to three condominiums and sell the units. The conversion, part of a $345,000 overhaul of the property, requires the approval of the city’s Zoning Board of Appeals. A hearing is expected to take place at the end of June and the approval of the civic association brings with it a letter of support for the project to the Zoning Board of Appeals.

One of the dissenting votes, Deirdre Habershaw, who lives near the Savin Hill Ave. property, declined to comment on her way out of the civic association meeting.

The Church in Boston, which currently meets at the Harbor Point Community Center on Mt. Vernon St., has signed a purchase and sale agreement for a vacant property, 1299 Massachusetts Ave., in Edward Everett Square which they now plan to convert into their assembly hall.

A Dorchester firm, RODE Architects Inc., led by Kevin Deabler and Eric Robinson, is working with the Church in Boston on the 3,500 square-foot project. “It’s really a chance to preserve a building that has been left largely vacant for years,” said Deabler.

Improvements to the site include landscaping the entire lot with foliage and hedge rows to hide parking areas. Fences will be added, including a wrought-iron type with brick entry pillars. the conversion will also mean new parking areas, patios, walkways, and decorative paving stones in the driveways.

– GINTAUTAS DUMCIUS