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The area around the Washington Hospital Center is a lovely and strange world of antiquated water filtration systems, cement silos peeping up from fenced-off fields, tucked away cemeteries, and also, apparently, major centers for branches of Catholicism unfamiliar to me.* 

For the last 24 hours, I’ve been trying to learn more about the Paulist Fathers, who own a large tract of land in Brookland (see map below). The land is currently home to their seminary school, St. Paul’s College, but will soon have a new neighbor to the south: A 237-unit EYA townhouse development.

Roughly two years ago, the Paulists agreed to sell EYA 10.2 acres of their land in the future. The approved Planned Unit Development was published in the D.C. Register last week. (Renderings above and below the jump.)

Yesterday, I talked to Jack Lester of EYA, who said his group plans to break ground on the first phase of development within roughly a year. The entire community should take six to seven years to finish, though it will be smaller than EYA’s Capitol Quarter project in Southeast D.C. by the Capitol Riverfront.

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The homes will be priced between $450,000 and $550,000 with 14, 16, and 18 foot-wide models, ranging from 1,400 to 2,200 square feet. Twenty eight of the units will be affordable housing. EYA has also agreed to put $315,000 into improvements at the nearby Triangle Park.

So that was what the developer said. As for the Paulists, well: Five or six calls later, and I’ve made contact with a few voicemail machines, and one actual voice, who directed me to another machine. There are a few clues about the Paulists from their website, like this headline  “BUSTED HALO: What does a celibate priest know about sex?”

“Busted Halo” is “an online magazine for spiritual seekers.”

But I’m still curious to learn more about them. And they’re not going anywhere: It’s my understanding that the school will remain right where it is. It will just face nearly 240 townhouses on one side.

*There is, admittedly, a low threshold for this category—-The lessons of Reli 101 are fading fast.