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First Presbyterian planning massive $35 million project downtown.


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https://www.greenvilleonline.com/story/news/2019/03/06/35-million-project-first-presbyterian-downtown-greenville/2928680002/

First Presbyterian is embarking on a vision to build a worship and performing arts center as part of a larger expansion of its church. 

The price tag: $35 million.

The plans include a new, grand entrance into the church oriented toward the Academy and West Washington corner. Currently, the church can't quite tell visitors exactly where the front of the church is, said Marcie Lemley, the church's communications director.

The entrance, which will have a steeple to complement the current steeple to the east, will replace the windowless building that now serves as one of many backsides of the church.

The corner is only part of the frontage along Academy Street that First Pres owns.

Over the years, the church has held on to more than five acres on either side of Academy and West Washington. The church practically owns most of two blocks, though now the additional land is mostly parking lots.

Across West Washington, the church owns most of the block where the Greenville Summit housing tower sits.

There, Gibbons said, the church will maintain parking for the time being, but later could decide to develop the two acres into retail and housing.

On the other side of Academy, the church owns about 1.5 acres of frontage between the West Washington and Buncombe Street block.

The ultimate use of that land is "to be determined," Gibbons said.

The church's plan is to continue its capital campaign into April in hopes of raising $20 million initially, Gibbons said. Construction would begin next year and be completed in 2021.

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Edited by gman430
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I like this part: 

Across West Washington, the church owns most of the block where the Greenville Summit housing tower sits. There, Gibbons said, the church will maintain parking for the time being, but later could decide to develop the two acres into retail and housing.

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17 minutes ago, Exile said:

Are churches apt to get involved in real estate at that level? Interesting. I would have thought tax laws would preclude it. But I admit I'm speaking in near-total ignorance about the topic.

Anybody?

Nonprofits can have for-profit portions, although the portion of the total enterprise that is for-profit, and the control by the non-profit  of the for-profit part, has to be limited.

It's kind of funny how modest the church's spokespersons come across in the article- "Greenville's growing so fast and we're just seeing some effects of that".  Not all churches are growing so quickly.  I'd say that it's because it's such a first-rate church and Richard Gibbons is such a phenomenal speaker.  Actually, all of the pastors there are excellent speakers!

Edited by PuppiesandKittens
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On 3/6/2019 at 8:41 AM, PuppiesandKittens said:

Nonprofits can have for-profit portions, although the portion of the total enterprise that is for-profit, and the control by the non-profit  of the for-profit part, has to be limited.

It's kind of funny how modest the church's spokespersons come across in the article- "Greenville's growing so fast and we're just seeing some effects of that".  Not all churches are growing so quickly.  I'd say that it's because it's such a first-rate church and Richard Gibbons is such a phenomenal speaker.  Actually, all of the pastors there are excellent speakers!

I suppose part of my ignorance here is that I've never been involved in a church large enough, or in a good location, to make much use of their real estate, other than to rent out a hall for, e.g., a wedding reception, or to sell some of their land to a developer.

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7 hours ago, Exile said:

I suppose part of my ignorance here is that I've never been involved in a church large enough, or in a good location, to make much use of their real estate, other than to rent out a hall for, e.g., a wedding reception, or to sell some of their land to a developer.

Don't sweat it.  First Presbyterian is such a massive institution that it's in a league of its own.

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I’m encouraged to see a church so focused on using its resources to really activate and accommodate the public at large, instilling a true sense of community beyond its membership. I also appreciate their acknowledgement of being a presence along a downtown corridor, which they will begin to reshape with their building design’s new facades facing Washington and Academy. 

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The church. located at 435 W Washington St.,is getting a new, larger building. Its 400-seat sanctuary is being replaced with one that seats 800 people.

  • Site preparation has been completed and foundation and steelwork is underway.
  • A new sanctuary is being constructed as well as an education building, which will include a nursery and children's space, youth areas, offices, and multi-purpose rooms.
  • At this time, the total capital investment of this project is not disclosed.
  • The new buildings should open in August 2021.
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The 1200-seat sanctuary is remaining.

The issue that's being addressed with this expansion is the huge growth of First Pres's contemporary service, which now meets in Fellowship Hall.  There's no more space for it.  So an additional worship center is being created, in addition to the current sanctuary, current chapel and current Fellowship Hall.

It's refreshing to see a church grow so much these days, particularly a pretty mainline one like First Pres.  It just keeps growing and growing.  It's even better to see two Presbyterian churches growing so much: Downtown Presbyterian (which I've never been to) and First Pres. 

Edited by Cityplanner
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2 hours ago, gman430 said:

The church. located at 435 W Washington St.,is getting a new, larger building. Its 400-seat sanctuary is being replaced with one that seats 800 people.

  • Site preparation has been completed and foundation and steelwork is underway.
  • A new sanctuary is being constructed as well as an education building, which will include a nursery and children's space, youth areas, offices, and multi-purpose rooms.
  • At this time, the total capital investment of this project is not disclosed.
  • The new buildings should open in August 2021.

You're talking about Downtown Pres, not First Pres.

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