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February 12, 2020

Housing complex with 54 units approved at former Natick school

Photo | Grant Welker The former St. Patrick's School in Natick will be turned into affordable housing.

The former St. Patrick's School in Natick has been approved for 54 residential units, a restaurant or retail space, and 500 square feet of office space.

The Board of Selectmen approved an agreement Monday with Natick real estate development company Stonegate Group to bring life back to the East Central Street building vacant or underutilized for years.

The project will be a so-called 40B, a reference to the state law mandating communities have 10% of their housing stock considered affordable. In the case of the old St. Patrick's School, one out of four units will be set aside under affordability restrictions. The developer and town coordinated on the arrangement in a way satisfying both sides, according to the town's statement.

The building's office space will be leased to the town. The building at 45 E. Central St., which was built in 1930, totals 33,000 square feet. The one-acre property was last assessed by the Town of Natick at $1.9 million.

Image | Courtesy | Town of Natick
A redevelopment plan for the former St. Patrick's School in Natick calls for renovating the school building at left and adding new townhomes at right.

Stonegate bought the former school in 2015 for $3.4 million.

Michael Hickey, the chair of the Board of Selectmen, said redevelopment of the building will give town residents two things they've called for: more things to do in Natick center, and more housing options, particularly walkable to shopping and rail. The Natick Center commuter rail station is a third of a mile away.

"The continued vitality of Natick Center depends on all of those things, so a mixed-use development like this is a great opportunity," Hickey said. "At the same time, it'll add to our tax base and an architectural enhancement to the eastern gateway of the downtown."

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February 19, 2020

This is great! I hope they put care into how they design the building and hire the right architects. A beautiful facade would lighten the neighborhood up.

February 12, 2020

That's lowkey epic.

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