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barakat

Church in the Gulch?

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Random thought: Will a stand-alone church ever be constructed in the Gulch to serve worshipers who live there? I really doubt it , but I thought it was intriguing idea. Most new churches are in the suburbs, and newer inner-city churches seem to occupy older, vacant church buildings.

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Random thought: Will a stand-alone church ever be constructed in the Gulch to serve worshipers who live there? I really doubt it , but I thought it was intriguing idea. Most new churches are in the suburbs, and newer inner-city churches seem to occupy older, vacant church buildings.

I doubt it. There are a number of churches within the vicinity, such as those downtown, on West End, etc. If one is built, it will be a while, and will probably be in the form of a non-denominational 'worship center' or an outreach from another older, established church.

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I think the real estate is too valuable in that area to attract a standalone church in that area. It would likely require the kind of funds that an already well-established congregation would have -- and to relocate to The Gulch would kind of seem vain, because it certainly wouldn't be giving the congregation the best value for the money invested (more or less, it would be wasting money that could be used for programs to help the poor, the homeless, or any other church mission). I can't see a congregation going for that move.

On the other hand...I've seen a number of new churches that choose to rent their space rather than own their own building. I think it would still be unlikely that a church would choose to locate in The Gulch (due to higher rent), but it is a possibility.

Megachurches are going to build where land is cheaper and where they are closer to their base (in the suburbs)...most city churches are already well-established, and unlikely to relocate out of their historic structures that are already paid for into a new property that they would have to purchase.

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Agreed. There are already major Baptist, Episcopal, Methodist, Presbyterian, Catholic and Church of Christ churches downtown (did I miss any?), plus the Catholic cathedral and West End Methodist on West End, a Methodist church nearby at 12th and Edgehill and a few others heading out 12th before you get to 12South (which even has the Islamic Center of Nashville). A lot of the more-or-less nondenominational churches that I know of either rent space from existing churches, or rent space in school buildings, or something like that where they are not paying for a building 24-7 for space that is used a couple days a week.

It is difficult for me to see one particular denomination getting enough of a critical mass in the gulch to warrant constructing a new church structure at those real estate rates. But if they did, I would be interested in seeing their designs!

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I don't mean this in an anti-religious way at all, but I kinda feel like there are more than enough churches in the Nashville area already to cover people's worshiping needs.

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You can never have enough churches. :)

Why is that? I know that sounds good to say, but why? If there is truly a demand, then okay, but why do you say that? Again, I'm not trying to disrespect anyone or start a religious debate. I know that's a sensitive subject here. But I'm just curious why you would say that. Nashville already has more churches then any big city I've been to by far. If all churches served as a place where the doors were always open during the week when there isn't a service for someone to come in and quietly pray/meditate/worship, then okay, I can see the argument for at least having small worship centers scattered about...but most churches I've seen these days are only open to the public for a few hours a week. Is there really a need in Nashville for more places to worship? (I'm asking because I honestly don't know) I mean, are the pews really that packed on Sundays? Or are people simply not willing to drive very far for something they claim is central to their lives? I'm just trying to understand your sentiment. I mean, one would never say something like "you can never have enough football fields".

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I was merely taking exception to your comment is all. No community can ever be "overserviced" by such religious facilities, but they certainly can be underserviced.

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I was merely taking exception to your comment is all. No community can ever be "overserviced" by such religious facilities, but they certainly can be underserviced.

...and I'm simply asking why you believe that to be the case. If there was one church to every two residents, would that be a good thing? Please don't misunderstand...I'm not trying to have start argument with you by any means...I'm just trying to understand more fully what you mean by that statement.

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I was merely taking exception to your comment is all. No community can ever be "overserviced" by such religious facilities, but they certainly can be underserviced.

When a church doesn't have enough congregants to pay their bills and keep the lights on due to a disproportionate ratio of churches to believers of that particular faith, then that's overserviced. Admittedly that's generally an issue with smaller communities, not large cities, but still.

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Well that plays absolutely no role in whether a church would locate there.

What does play a role however is price of land and expense of building a church, as well as proximity to the population the church is trying to reach.

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When a church doesn't have enough congregants to pay their bills and keep the lights on due to a disproportionate ratio of churches to believers of that particular faith, then that's overserviced. Admittedly that's generally an issue with smaller communities, not large cities, but still.

Sadly, that has been the case in Nashville, too. The Charlotte Ave Church of Christ is one example. I am worried that one of my neighborhood's historic churches, Hobson United Methodist, could befall a similar fate because of the massive cost that would be required to repair the building.

Even when demolition is not an imminent threat, my very unscientific observation is that there are lots of churches in Nashville that are for sale. Isn't the Two Rivers Baptist Church near Opryland for sale? In East Nashville, one church on Shelby Ave was turned into a thrift store. Another church in the 5 Points area near 11th and Shelby was sold and is being turned into a recording studio. At least there are adaptive reuses for some of these buidlings.

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Well that plays absolutely no role in whether a church would locate there.

What does play a role however is price of land and expense of building a church, as well as proximity to the population the church is trying to reach.

Actually it does. The Gulch is part of an MDHA redevelopment district so a business has to be a tax generating entity to get TIF. If they don't require TIF, they have to provide some sort of revenue for the city in such a prime location. Market Street is not going to give land up to a non taxed income generating business like a church or a social services agency. Now a church could lease space inside another building however.

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Market street is not giving up anything, they would be selling land to the church. If the church can pay market rates I'm sure marketsreet would be willing to sell. The tif discussion plays no role in this.

The fact that churches are tax exempt entities affects marketstreet in no way.

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