Former church in Cumberland officially acquired by One Neighborhood Builders for housing

THE FORMER ST. PATRICK'S CHURCH in Cumberland was officially acquired by One Neighborhood Builders to be converted into 44 affordable apartments. / SCREENSHOT VIA GOOGLE INC.
THE FORMER ST. PATRICK'S CHURCH in Cumberland was officially acquired by One Neighborhood Builders to be converted into 44 affordable apartments. / SCREENSHOT VIA GOOGLE INC.

CUMBERLAND – A former church is now officially in the hands of One Neighborhood Builders, and the organization is currently in pre-development to convert the property into affordable housing.

The community development nonprofit announced Tuesday that it has completed its purchase of the former St. Patrick’s Church on Broad Street, first built in 1900 and closed in 2018, from St. Patrick’s Church Corp for $625,000. One Neighborhood Builders says it acquired the church building using a grant from R.I. Housing and Mortgage Finance Corp.’s Site Acquisition Program as well as an acquisition loan from Providence Revolving Fund.

St. Patrick’s Church Corp. is a subsidiary of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Providence. According to town records, the church building is valued at $2.7 million.

One Neighborhood Builders said Tuesday its planned $20 million “Steeple & Stone” development will convert St. Patrick’s Church into 44 affordable apartments, while also preserving the historic century-plus-old structure. The development, the organization says, will include 27 one-bedroom apartments, 12 two-bedroom apartments and five three-bedroom units. The apartments will be available for households earning up to 60% of the area median income – or approximately $53,000 annually for a family of four.

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Additionally, One Neighborhood Builders says several units will be available for older adults supported by services that are provided by PACE Organization of Rhode Island.

One Neighborhood Builders says it plans to submit applications to R.I. Housing and other partners “in the near future” to secure the necessary capital for construction, including low-income housing tax credits. One Neighborhood Builders spokesperson Elisabeth Wales told Providence Business News construction could break ground as soon as 2024, provided that funding from R.I. Housing can be secured soon.

“Our team will work aggressively to secure the necessary funding to accelerate development as quickly as possible. Projects like this are needed across Rhode Island to meet the growing need for safe, affordable, and accessible housing,” One Neighborhood Builders CEO and President Jennifer Hawkins said in a statement. “Turning St. Patrick’s Church into housing ensures that its connection to the community will continue for future generations.”

The upcoming St. Patrick’s Church project is part of One Neighborhood Builders’ broader focus in developing affordable housing within the Blackstone Valley, the organization said. In nearby Central Falls, the organization’s Broad Street Homes project, which will build 44 new affordable apartments in the city, is expected to break ground next year.

James Bessette is the PBN special projects editor, and also covers the nonprofit and education sectors. You may reach him at Bessette@PBN.com. You may also follow him on Twitter at @James_Bessette.

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