St. Mary’s convent razed

The former convent at St. Mary’s Church on Esterbrook Avenue was razed last week, more than two years after a plan for senior housing was proposed for the site.

Representatives from Domus Corporation, which is affiliated with Catholic Charities of the Newark Archdiocese, came before the City Council in December 2007 with plans for a four-story, 50-unit senior housing complex. All but one of the units would be one-bedroom, with a two-bedroom unit for an on-site superintendent.

An application is pending before the federal Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), which would fund the project. Approval could come by summer, after which Domus would present an application to the Planning Board and pursue building permits, according to Barbara Sekelsky, project coordinator for Catholic Charities/Domus.

The City Council approved an ordinance creating a Payment In Lieu of Taxes (PILOT) in May 2008.