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CHICAGO-The Archdiocese of Chicago has put a 32,980-sf site in the West Town community on the market. However, the buyer will be determined as much by the designs they have for the former St. Boniface Church campus as it will the price.

Bids are due Sept. 1 for the church, school and convent at 1358 W. Chestnut St., but the process includes a design competition in an attempt to preserve historical attributes of the structures, such as soaring bell towers and steeply pitched clay-tile rooflines. However, the school has been deemed unsafe and will likely be demolished.

The Roman Catholic archdiocese has hired Tower Advisory Real Estate Services principal Martin F. Jablonski as well as The Staubach Co. managing principal Leonard Caldeira and regional manager Hugh Murphy.

The team is handling the sale of three South Side churches–St. Laurence Church at 7140 S. Dorchester Ave., Assumption/St. Catherine of Genoa Church at 640 W. 118th St. and St. Leo the Great Church at 7747 S. Emerald Ave.

The St. Boniface campus has been closed since 1989. Since then, the neighborhood has seen significant multifamily redevelopment.

The archdiocese is spending $11 million on preserving four other churches–Holy Innocents at 734 N. Armour St., St. Stanislaus Kostka at 1351 W. Evergreen Ave., Holy Trinity Polish Mission at 1118 N. Noble St. and St. John Cantius at 825 N. Carpenter St.

“Historically, churches have represented the finest work of America’s architects,” Jablonski says in a statement. “The purpose of this competition is to focus some of our most creative technical minds on how the most significant building features and details can be preserved and still be economically feasible.”

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