The former St. Patrick’s School, located directly across the street from St. Patrick’s Catholic Church in Natick Center, is getting closer to achieving complete teardown status. Local developer Stonegate received its demo permit from the town last month and got going almost immediately. Lots of heavy equipment has been at work on the property, which is being prepared for a mixed-use retail and residential development project. Stonegate has completed other major Natick projects such as 13 West Central St. (the former American Legion building) and 11 South Main St. (Odd Fellows building).
Plans for the site, which have been vetted before the Zoning Board of Appeals, call for a mixed-use development including market rate (i.e., expensive) and affordable (i.e., less expensive) residential units, plus space on the first floor of the main building at 45 E. Central St. for up to four retail tenants. That main 4-story building will feature 46 1-3-bedroom units and underground parking. Another eight units with 3 or 4 bedrooms will be divvied among four townhouse buildings on Lincoln and Wilson Streets. A quarter of the units will be affordable based on a state formula. Overall, the residential and retail space will amount to 14,320 sq. ft.
Treasures of the St. Patrick’s School site
Some landmarks of the area were saved, but some have not been as lucky.
Last December Stonegate removed a religious-themed statue that adorned the entryway of the former school, and transported it to St. Patrick’s Cemetery. The 8-ft. high sculpture depicts Jesus welcoming a small child.
Not so lucky has been a much-loved beech tree at the corner of the property, which is in the process of being felled. Stonegate has assured residents through its Facebook page that many trees will be planted to mitigate its loss.