The Board of Selectmen voted on February 27, 2016 to approve the ground lease of 900 Worcester St. between the Town of Wellesley and Wellesley Sports Center, LLC.
The Lease has been executed and finalized. Lease documents can be found here:
A Special Town Meeting has been called for April 3, 2017 at 7pm to ratify the lease, proposed zoning modifications, and to allow for the Town to enter into agreements for the use of the facility. If all goes according to schedule, Groundbreaking for the Wellesley Sports Center is expected to occur in September 2017, with partial occupancy slated for a year later.
900 Worcester St. is the former site of St. James the Great Catholic Church, which was officially shuttered by the Archdiocese of Boston in 2004 as part of measures to pay costs associated with the church’s many abuse cases. Parishioners, however, maintained a vigil at the church, maintaining occupancy for seven-plus years.
Eventually, the Vatican asked the parish to end its vigil, and the St. James later received results of its final appeal, which was that St. James would no longer remain a sanctified church.
From there, the Town of Wellesley approved a $3.8M purchase of the 7.85 acre property and started on plans to convert it into a recreation area featuring a pool, ice skating rinks, and playing fields.