PORTSMOUTH, N.H. — City officials in Portsmouth have voted to approve the demolition of a church for new condominiums.

The Portsmouth Herald reports the Portsmouth Planning Board unanimously approved Stonegate NH Construction LLC for the project. The developer plans to demolish the St. James Church along with two church offices in order to build two 24-unit buildings at the site.

A company representative says the firm hopes to begin work in the spring.

The Rev. Gary Belliveau says the St. James Church will be sold while the parish redevelops two other churches.

Former Portsmouth City Councilor Bill Wagner says the project is both good for the parish and the neighborhood. The church site has been assessed at $2.7 million.

Information from: Portsmouth Herald, http://www.seacoastonline.com

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