St. James Place Project Moves Forward!

St. James’s Episcopal Church and Oaktree Development are pleased to announce that following a settlement between the parties, the existing lawsuit concerning the planned redevelopment of the existing car wash and parish house has been dismissed.   The redevelopment project is located at the corner of Beech St and Mass Avenue in Porter Square.  The new addition to St James’s will provide attractive and much-needed housing as well as parish house facilities for the church.  It is also planned that the project will help preserve the newly refurbished historic Richardsonian neo-Romanesque church and its beautiful garden.

Having anchored the Beech St. corner since 1864, St. James's made an innovative partnership with Oaktree Development to build 46 LEED-certifiable apartment residences above the church’s ground-floor parish house.  Five of the new residences will be affordable, and the new, first-floor parish house will be totally handicap accessible, opening into the church's Knights Garden. Within easy walking distance of shopping, the T, and the commuter rail, the new mixed-use building is an outstanding example of "smart growth" along the Massachusetts Ave corridor.

The church's "new neighbors" in the apartments above will have access to the church's children's play yard, and will overlook the church and its garden. The church's and the residents' parking will be under the building.  Planted in 1910, the original garden was a collaboration between the church and the Masons, using a plant list from city planner John Nolen. The refurbished garden design has had the benefit of extensive input from the St James’s congregation as well as engaged neighbors, and will, as always, remain fully open to neighbors and the public during daylight hours. The church looks forward to having its library and parish house entrance right on Massachusetts Ave for the first time in its history. Having worked together to achieve such an amenity for public enjoyment, Oaktree, St James’s and its neighbors are now glad to be finally moving forward.

If you would like an update on construction plans, go to the Saint James Place construction website at