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jbr12

Renatus on the Hill

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Just saw this on WoodTV 8...

A landmark and historic church near downtown Grand Rapids' booming Healthcare Hill is sold. The congregation is moving out, and condos could soon be moving in.

Should be interesting to see what happens when they move to the heartside. The guy interviewed talks about the church possibly disbanding because of this

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That old church is a beautiful building. Sadly it looks like it has a date with the wrecking ball as the wood TV article seems to hinting at. However I hope the developer that will take ownership of this property will take care to salvage valuable parts of the building especially the stain glass windows before tearing it down.

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That old church is a beautiful building. Sadly it looks like it has a date with the wrecking ball as the wood TV article seems to hinting at. However I hope the developer that will take ownership of this property will take care to salvage valuable parts of the building especially the stain glass windows before tearing it down.

Hmm, so every time a congregation downtown falls on hard times, they'll be selling to a developer who will convert the building into a better paying use.

And then grand rapids will become a city with no churches downtown... but ringed with warehouse style churches all around the suburbs. :-P

And just when more and more people are moving downtown... hmm

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Except this Church is moving to a warehouse already downtown... not in the suburbs

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It's a beautiful building. I hope they convert the church *INTO* condos.

Joe

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To put a wrecking ball to this building is just beyond careless.

We don't need condos or apartments that darn bad...

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That is great news. I would love to live in an old gothic church. That would be incredibly cool.

GRDad, I liked this quote:

The letter cited 360 crimes, including crack cocaine use, vehicle theft, burglary, sexual assault and public urination.

"They are typical of what goes on around 250 Commerce in a year's time," the letter states. "We will need to be prepared to deal with this on a daily basis.

"As a point of comparison, our current Crescent Street location's top problem is illegal parking."

Kind of supports our opinion on S. Division Retail. ;)

Joe

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I bet you some will jump ship in regards of relocating to the Heartside, just a hunch.

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People should remember that the building is located in Heritage Hill, the oldest and largest residential historic district in the country. These people invented Historic Preservation and no sane developer would take them on to try to demo the building. I can definately see a high end condo "conversion" happening with its proximity to the Medical Mile (health hill?)

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I'm now more at ease about the church building's future after finding out it is in the Heritage Hill District. That bit of info curtails any chances of the old chuch being demoed.

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As for moving to Heartside, I think that is a great idea; this will provide some more stability to the neighborhood and be a great asset to the area; and hopefully make it more appealing for more organizations and business to move there.

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I just can't seem to figure out why they are moving. The article states the church is in need for approx $2mil in repairs. They sold the church for $500,000 and purchased the heartside WAREHOUSE building for $1.9mil and are putting approx $800,000 in renovations to make the warehouse a usable space. To me this doesn't make sense because they are also loosing a historic relationship with the building, many memories and what sounds like a good chunk of their congregation.

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I didn't think it quite added up either. Plus, the condo developer has a nice big parking lot that if I'm not mistaken could be sold off for future development at a pretty good rate (I can't imagine the church will have too many condos.

Sounds like someone's accountant needed to sharpen the pencil a bit. ;)

Joe

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I didn't think it quite added up either. Plus, the condo developer has a nice big parking lot that if I'm not mistaken could be sold off for future development at a pretty good rate (I can't imagine the church will have too many condos.

Sounds like someone's accountant needed to sharpen the pencil a bit. ;)

Joe

(edited and re-posted below)

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Another thing to think about is that modern churches and the way worship services are done is much more laid back and needs more flexibility than an old church provides. A lot of churches today want youth centers, which are pretty hard to add on to old churches. They may also want large and small congregation spaces, or performance spaces with state-of-the-art acoustics, or the ability to open up/close walls or make smaller rooms for meetings, etc.. Many churches are also doing more ministry work, that might require warehouse storage space. That's why many are moving into big box warehouses like the old Meijer office on Plainfield or the old Grandville Mall. You just can't do those kinds of things in buildings built 100 years ago in historic areas with strict design guidelines for additions.

(A family member of mine does a lot of church architecture)

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maybe the church just wanted to move to Heartside to open a soup kitchen, I hear that's where all their clients would be...

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"Plus, the condo developer has a nice big parking lot that if I'm not mistaken could be sold off for future development at a pretty good rate"

I am pretty sure that the $500k is buying only the actual church building and that the congregation is still willing to sell the parking lot separately (at $3.4 Mil +). While land is going for a good rate in the Medical corridor, I believe that they will not get someone to pay that amount for some time. Especially since half of the parking lot is in the Heritage Hill district which could hamper efforts to develop the lot commercially.

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If, as the GR Pres article seems to indicate, this move is based on a desire to reach out to the under-served in our midst

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maybe the church just wanted to move to Heartside to open a soup kitchen, I hear that's where all their clients would be...

Glad to know I wasn't the only one thinking along these lines. Also, just what Heartside needs, another nonprofit that adds nothing to the neighborhood's revitalization.

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The real disappointment to me is the renovation of the interior of the church into condos. I think sometimes people forget that a historic building doesn't just have an historic exterior. This particular church has an attractive interior that matches the exterior style, and it will be a real loss to have that subdivided and hidden under drywall.

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The real disappointment to me is the renovation of the interior of the church into condos. I think sometimes people forget that a historic building doesn't just have an historic exterior. This particular church has an attractive interior that matches the exterior style, and it will be a real loss to have that subdivided and hidden under drywall.

whose to say it will be hidden under drywall... if I were to get a Condo there Id want one with the orig. walls.

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I just got a chance to review the proposed plans on this one, not more than an hour ago. He's got some very cool ideas on how to demise this into some really cool condo units, multi-story with parking AND basement space. The parking lot was included with the sale and I have to believe this will be an attractive option for medical interns / doctors etc. I don't know the numbers but the project is cool.

They've done a bunch of research in europe (church conversion is common practice there) and will be very sensitive to the architectural importance of this building.

I look forward to seeing it happen.

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I agree. I am glad to see them run with this idea. I have seen a lot of magazine articles about church conversions and they are fantastic. I hope this also shows our friends on the West Side that they can keep the church and still have their new development.

Joe

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