BY TOM DALTON
---- — SALEM — Demolition began yesterday on the former convent at St. Joseph Church, the first building to be razed as part of a $20 million affordable housing project.
The three-story brick building on Harbor Street will be cleared by the end of the week.
St. Joseph Church is not expected to come down until mid-January. A construction crew is currently removing material from inside the 62-year-old church.
The rectory and school will remain on the 2-acre site.
The Planning Office for Urban Affairs, a church-affiliated developer, plans to construct a four-story building along Lafayette Street with 51 apartments, community and retail space. Plans for the school and rectory have not been finalized.
Plans for this development began soon after the parish was closed in 2004.
Tom Dalton can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.