Lately, there's been quite the commotion over .
Over the past few years, Historic Salem Inc. (HSI) has lost appeals to save the church as plans have been developed to raze the structure to build affordable housing.
On Wednesday, The Salem News reported the nonprofit developer connected to the Archdiocese of Boston could be close to abandoning the project.
The outlet also reported several members of HSI opted to quit the board because of continuous appeals over the housing project.
On Thursday at 12:20 p.m., HSI reported it had suspended its appeal via the following press release:
"Historic Salem, Inc. officers have notified the Department of Housing and Urban Development that at this time, the organization is suspending its appeal of the St Joseph’s Church 106 process. The organization has received indications that there is an opportunity to begin a constructive dialogue with all sides that can hopefully lead to a mutually agreed to resolution of this matter.
HSI’s mission is to ensure that the historic resources of Salem are preserved for future generations and that new development complements the historic character of the city.
For more information, contact Sandy Dickson at 978-744-4004."
At 4:30 p.m. Thursday, the City of Salem issued the following statement with the Planning Officer for Urban Affairs:
"'The redevelopment of St. Joseph’s has been a priority of mine for years,' stated Mayor Kimberley Driscoll. 'The project’s importance to the City and Point Neighborhood can not be overstated and I am pleased with HSI’s plans to curtail its appeal of the 106 process. I look forward to working with HSI and all interested parties to advance this critical project keeping in mind the need for affordable housing, neighborhood revitalization and historic preservation.'
'The Planning Office for Urban Affairs was also pleased to learn of HSI's announcement today and entirely agrees with Mayor Driscoll’s sentiments', said Lisa Alberghini, President of the Planning Office. 'We welcome the opportunity to have a constructive dialogue with HSI regarding our plan to redevelop the property, and look forward to working productively with HSI and other local stakeholders to move this development forward in order to accomplish our shared objectives for the City of Salem and the Point Neighborhood.'"
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