The Latvian Lutheran Church on Rockview, snugged tightly into one of JP's most dense neighborhoods, could become three high-end condos.
On Thursday developers Denis Cronin and Dennis Coghlan presented their plans to the JP Neighborhood Council's Zoning Committee.
Much of the old church would remain, including the steeple. But an addition that dates from the 1950s would be removed. Overall, the new plan would occupy a smaller footprint than the current church.
The plan calls for three units: One on the first floor, partially below grade and two above on the second and third floors. The developer said the finished 2-bedroom and 3-bedroom condos would be priced in the $700,000 range.
The Zoning Committee delayed a decision on the project after several neighbors expressed misgivings. Issues included the close proximity of the building, parking and concerns over the relatively high projected cost of the units.
"You're putting in very, very fancy units," said neighbor Becky Thompson, a sociologist who also warned that the prices could damage JP's diversity.
Next-door-neighbor Lee Hewitt, who has lived in her house since 1986, expressed concern about dormers looming over her. The developer has agreed to pull the dormers back several feet.
"We were very concerned with the amount of units being shoved into the space," said Hewitt, whose home would be five or six feet from the renovated structure.
The zoning committee asked the developers to hold a meeting with all the neighbors and to come back at their next meeting, which is in two weeks.
The Neighborhood Council makes recommendations to downtown boards such as the Board of Zoning Appeals. The recommendations are usually followed, but not always.
This isn't the only JP church that might become condos. There's a plan to put more than 30 condos in the old Blessed Sacrament Church in Hyde Square.
[Editor's note: This item has been updated to include the names of the developers.]