PILSEN — Century-old St. Ann Catholic Church in Pilsen has been sold and will be transformed into apartments or condos, the Archdiocese of Chicago confirmed.
After parishioners mourned the closing of the church last summer, the church at 1840 S. Leavitt St. and an adjacent property were sold last month for $1.35 million, according to broker SVN Chicago Commercial.
The property’s new owners, Evenlight Leavitt LLC, intend to retain the original building, brokers said. The church’s sale price reflected that the church needs significant work, they said.
The developers aim to convert the building into “residential living,” Anne Maselli, spokeswoman for the Archdiocese of Chicago, said Thursday. Maselli did not answer questions about what kind of housing would be developed at the church site, deferring questions to the developer.
St. Ann’s school will remain operational, Maselli said.
Representatives for Evenlight Leavitt LLC could not immediately be reached Thursday afternoon.
The new owners plan to “significantly improve” the building’s interior, said Angelo Labriola, vice president of SVN Chicago. Evenlight Leavitt LLC was issued a permit to renovate the building on Feb. 7, according to Chicago Cityscape.
After checking with other city agencies, Ald. Danny Solis’ chief of staff Francisco Lassio said the developer wouldn’t need a zoning change to convert the building.
Ahead of the church’s closure last June, the Archdiocese was exploring how the church could be “best utilized for the benefit of the Pilsen community,” Maselli said at the time.
St. Ann Catholic Church opened in the Pilsen neighborhood in 1903. In June 2016, the Archdiocese announced the church would be merged with St. Paul, 2127 W. 22nd Place, as part of a consolidation of churches in the neighborhood.
The Archdiocese cited changing demographics, low Mass attendance and a decline in the number of priests as reasons for the merger.
Two other Pilsen churches were also targeted for closure. Providence of God, 717 W. 18th St., ended Mass services in 2017 and was merged with St. Procopius, 1640 S. Allport St. St. Adalbert Catholic Church was set to close due to the high costs of repairing its 185-foot towers in 2016, but Masses continue today at the site.
Last year, the church hired SVN Commercial to broker the sale of St. Adalbert. In the original marketing material, the historic Pilsen church’s towers were described as “perfect for penthouse units.”
The St. Adalbert property remains on the market.
This is a developing story. Check back for updates.
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