Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Chancery for Sale, Part Deux

First LA, and now -- even though the official word says speculation is "premature" -- it's looking as if Boston might follow suit:
The Archdiocese of Boston, which for decades has run one of the nation’s largest Catholic communities out of its stately Brighton Chancery, is exploring a move out of Boston to a low-key suburban office park.

Archdiocese officials are weighing plans to move Chancery operations, as well as Catholic Charities and several other units, now spread out over several locations, to one central location in a red brick Braintree office building, said Thomas Flatley, a major church benefactor and developer who owns the property.

Flatley said the building at 66 Brooks Drive “is only nine years old and would work well for them.” At 160,000 square feet, the building, which is in between tenants, is large enough for hundreds of employees.

Flatley also hinted he would not be charging a market rate rent, if and when lease terms are ironed out. Any move is likely a year or two down the line, though, he cautioned.

“How can I charge the house of the Lord $25 a square foot?” Flatley asked. “We will treat them reasonably.”

The Archdiocese, in a statement, did not directly address the Braintree proposal, though it indicated there may be other options on the table as well. “Speculation that the Archdiocese is moving its central operations from Brighton is premature at this point. We have been studying the long-term needs of the administrative offices of the Archdiocese and are exploring several scenarios,” the statement by spokesman Terry Donilon said....

By moving out of its Brighton offices, the Archdiocese, under a deal struck in 2004, would have the option to sell the property to neighboring Boston College for $20 million.