NORTHAMPTON, Mass. (WWLP) – The City of Northampton has offered to pay over half a million dollars for a church located just off of Main Street.
If the buyer does not accept the city’s offer, it’s unclear what will happen to the building. The city has an idea for the property if they were to get ownership, but “frankly what’s most important is to preserve the building.”
Hawley Street in Northampton is home to the St. John Cantius Church, formerly owned by the Springfield Catholic Diocese. The church was sold by the diocese to a developer, but now the City of Northampton would like to purchase the property.
Wayne Feiden, Director Planning & Sustainability, told 22News, “For over a year now we’ve been looking for property for our community Resilience Hub, and we’ve looked at a number of properties and so we just made the offer for $550,000 for St. John Cantius.”
The community Resilience Hub would be a space for those experiencing homelessness and extreme poverty. Shelby Ward of Northampton told 22News, “I think they’re such high disparity, and having another community center would be better at the end of the for our residence.”
The developer that currently owns the church also owns the property next store and has already begun constructing residential properties there.
Feiden told 22News, “The developer has a challenge, which they’re selling very high condominiums, and I’m sure buyers are concerned about being next to an empty building.”
There is also a petition online, organized by a group of neighbors, with the goal of preserving the building. That online petition currently has just over 1,500 signatures.