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South End church conversion changes from condos back to apartments

Italian Renaissance Revival building would now hold 63 units

Plans for converting the 158-year-old former Church of the Immaculate Conception on Harrison Avenue in the South End stretch back years. A former owner, which had bought the Italian Renaissance Revival building from the Jesuits, once planned to plunk 62 apartments in the space. Then it was 54 apartments, plus townhouses.

Then it was an entirely new owner, Natick developer Ronald Simons, who earlier this year put forth plans to carve 63 condos and a 48-car parking garage from the church.

Now! Simons has adjusted those plans considerably. The church would be converted into 63 apartments, including in the basement once meant to house the 48-car garage. Why? Per Dana Goodison in the Herald, the basement is rife with structural problems. Instead of a garage there, Simons would park 25 cars in the adjacent James Court lot.

The whole shebang is still going to be called the Cosmopolitan.

Stay tuned for further changes. The Church of the Immaculate Conception conversion is one of the more portentous developments in the South End and probably now its most malleable.