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BOSTON-The move to develop St. Anthony Shrine here at 100 Arch Street moves forward as the order prepares to release its request for proposal. The Franciscan friars are looking to take advantage of the valuable real estate on which the Shrine sits.

The 19,000-sf site currently houses a 10-story, 150,000-sf building. Chapels occupy the first two floors while offices and counseling rooms are on the next two floors. Thirty friars live on the remaining floors.

Reverend John Ulrich, the shrine’s rector, tells GlobeSt.com that his order is looking to install the shrine in a new building. He estimates that the order will need approximately 35,000 sf in the new building, not including housing. Ulrich says the friars are prepared to live permanently on or off-site, depending upon the proposals. Temporary space for the chapel and housing for the friars would have to be provided during construction.

“We are replacing our building with another building,” says Ulrich, who adds that a 30-story office tower on the site is one idea that has been proposed. Ulrich notes that according to the Boston Redevelopment Authority there are no height restrictions on building in the area.

Ulrich says that the impetus to develop the property began about two years ago when an engineering study done on the site determined that it would be very expensive to renovate the building. At the time, Frank Keefe Inc., a developer, approached the order with the idea to develop the property. But Ulrich emphasizes that the RFP is open to all developers.

According to Ulrich, the order will either lease the land or participate as an equity partner in the project. “We are looking for creative proposals,” he says. “

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