Sign in to follow this  
Followers 0
smeagolsfree

Expansion and renovation of First Baptist Chruch Campus approved by Members

27 posts in this topic

A few of us knew about this several weeks ago when Steven came to see us and there are more renderings that have not been released I have seen, but this will really enhance the SoBro area. This is an exciting development for sure.

http://www.tennessean.com/article/20120227/NEWS06/302270026/First-Baptist-Church-downtown-accepts-long-term-master-plan?odyssey=mod{sodEmoji.|}newswell{sodEmoji.|}text{sodEmoji.|}FRONTPAGE{sodEmoji.|}s

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites


Wow, I'm impressed! I'll admit, at first I was skeptical because, let's be honest, usually churches, understandably, don't have a great deal of money sitting around to put toward architectural design. This expansion though is very handsome, modern, and fits right in with the rest of downtown. Well done, FBC. Now, if only they'd sign on to selling their massive parking lot to a new hotel. :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Sort of reminds me of what FBC Dallas is doing right now. The demolished several older buildings they owned to make way for this newer, much more inviting campus right in the heart of downtown Dallas.

http://ascendio.com/fbd/

I really like this combination they're proposing, especially considering that the building is on Broadway.

Edited by NashRugger

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Wow, I'm impressed! I'll admit, at first I was skeptical because, let's be honest, usually churches, understandably, don't have a great deal of money sitting around to put toward architectural design. This expansion though is very handsome, modern, and fits right in with the rest of downtown. Well done, FBC. Now, if only they'd sign on to selling their massive parking lot to a new hotel. :)

One of the parts on the plan I saw was that they would develop the parking lot behind the church into a below ground parking garage with about 2200 spaces and have green space on top.

Welcome to the forum Nashrugger. Good to have more fresh blood on the forum. Fell free to join us the first Saturday of the month at Casablanca in the Gulch at 10 for coffee

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Noticed the article said 25 years! I'll be 74 and retired somewhere! I love the design, but I think it's a bit early to publish details of a 25 year plan.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I was just speaking with William about this. As a member of FBC, I'm very exicited about the church voting this through even though I live in Tampa...for now. I know they're calling it a 20 year plan but I don't see it taking anywhere close to that long. I know they will start forming committees almost immediately and have a clear timetable by the end of the year. If you know anything about church committees, they can't afford to squander the momentum. What was passed yesterday was an agreement for the church to move forward with this general master plan. Lot's of work ahead.

As far as the actual architecture, what is shown so far is not set in stone so to speak. I've heard a lot of positive feedback about the new design from church members but specifics are yet to be finalized. Personally, I really like the design although it may be tricky bridging the gap between the circa 1970's sanctuary and the modern buildings in the new plan. Yet, not an impossible task for an architect with skill. I've worked with HH Architects before and I know they can handle it.

Now, as for the parking lot. This lot is really the key to everything moving forward. As much as I'd like to see another surface lot bite the dust and replaced with something tall and cool, there is absolutely no way whatsoever that this lot will be sold. The revenue that is generated from this lot will allow the church to secure loans for all future plans. I won't say how much the lot generates but if you want to read between the lines one might consider the 20-25 year time frame in terms of overall budget numbers in the $35 million range. Without this parking lot I don't see any of this happening. No prospective buyer could afford to pay what it's worth to the church in long term revenues. My hope is that the underground expansion with green space on top will occur first and excellerate the entire process.

No matter when it happens, I love the vision the church is taking. They are really stepping up and committing to the downtown community in ways that most people don't even know yet. You never know, we might even see another performance venue on broadway as a result. :whistling:

2 people like this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

do you think there could be a public/private partnership that could ease the finacial commitment needed for an underground lot while maintaining the financial safety net for the future?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites


Actually, I don't think a public/private partnership will be necessary and personally, I don't think wise. I'm quite sure the church would never do that anyway. Church committees are slow enough so no need to add a huge layer of bureaucracy. :) The great thing about all of this is that the church is in pretty good financial shape as it is and the parking garage phase of all this is really the most feasable. As I said before, I hope the church does this first. Getting rid of an ugly lot, doubling or tripling productivity/revnue and paving the way (ironic pun intended) for improved architecture at 7th and Broad would be a win win win for sure. (Not to mention the amazing benefits to the church and community.)

Again, I think expanding this lot is like planting money trees in your backyard. It pays for itself and then some.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

ugh, i don't know why everyone tends to feel the need to tear down buildings to put up new ones, especially considering all the surface lot space that this church owns!

http://nashvillepost.com/news/2012/2/27/first_baptist_church_plan_reveals_sobro_orientation

it looks to me like the footprint won't really change much.. but its hard to tell with the one little photo in the article...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Beautiful structure, I must say, even if it is a bit more theatrical than I prefer in a church building (I'm something of a classicist, but that's neither here nor there). The one concern I have is the impact it will have on the blocks surrounding the building. Not sure what the zoning laws are like in Nashville, but are there any that limit how close alcohol and other "bad" things can be sold to a church? For instance, will this limit development on all four sides of the block formed by the building? And would the church put have problems if, say, a brewery or a hotel that had a classy wine bar were to want open their doors on the surface lot on the northwest corner of 7th and Demonbreun, just across from their new entrance?

Not that I'm against the church expanding, I am glad to see it in fact, as there are much worse things that could be built there. Just concerned that it doesn't impede other development in the neighborhood.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Beautiful structure, I must say, even if it is a bit more theatrical than I prefer in a church building (I'm something of a classicist, but that's neither here nor there). The one concern I have is the impact it will have on the blocks surrounding the building. Not sure what the zoning laws are like in Nashville, but are there any that limit how close alcohol and other "bad" things can be sold to a church? For instance, will this limit development on all four sides of the block formed by the building? And would the church put have problems if, say, a brewery or a hotel that had a classy wine bar were to want open their doors on the surface lot on the northwest corner of 7th and Demonbreun, just across from their new entrance?

Not that I'm against the church expanding, I am glad to see it in fact, as there are much worse things that could be built there. Just concerned that it doesn't impede other development in the neighborhood.

I don't know for certain, but I mean, the church is already there and has been there, on Broadway, the best place in the city to get sloshed, for decades, so I wouldn't think there would be an issue there. :alc:

1 person likes this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Not to mention, I think, people tail-gate in or at least near the parking lot for Preds games.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I don't think FBC would have a choice in the matter when it comes to development around it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

But isn't FBC the church that raised such a stink over liquor sales when they were building the arena? I'd bet a nickel you could expect a repeat performance.

From the Nashville Scene July 1997

"Durham, who’s more slick and flashy than Sherman, worked with the Woodmont Baptist pastor several years ago when the arena beer-sale issue consumed the mayor’s office and Metro Council. The two preachers put together an alliance of citizens opposed to alcohol at the Metro-owned building, but they were ultimately outdone by the more politically powerful Mayor Phil Bredesen, who maintained that beer sales were vital to the economic success of the arena."

From the City Paper December 2011

"There was plenty of hand-wringing during the planning and construction — the strangest controversy involved the arena’s proximity to First Baptist Church, which put beer sales on the northwest side of the building in danger of violating Tennessee blue laws."

And wasn't there an accomodation made especially for the arena? I doubt that exception would apply to other businesses that wanted to sell beer, wine, liquor..

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites


That sure is an interesting debate. i would bet that the skyscrapergeek can give some info on this.

Good to see you back posting jdavidf. Long time, no see.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Aha, I KNEW I remembered something like that when they were building the Arena, I just couldn't put my finger on it, and didn't want to make any brash accusations without having the information to back it up.

See, this is what I'm worried about. I'd love to see the law on hand...the most common is something like 100 feet from the chapel or worship hall. This may not affect the area around the new section if there aren't any designated chapels or worship areas, or areas that could conceivably be seen as such, but if there are I can't imagine there aren't some people who won't put up a stink about it. I really hope I'm proven wrong and that they are willing to integrate into the economic development of downtown.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

That sure is an interesting debate. i would bet that the skyscrapergeek can give some info on this.

Good to see you back posting jdavidf. Long time, no see.

Oh, I'm never far away... but been lurking lately :whistling: One of these days I'll get my happy rearend out of bed of a saturday morning and join the monthly get-together..

David

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Here's another article on the FBC fighting against beer sales in the Arena: http://news.google.com/newspapers?nid=1893&dat=19950415&id=t1kfAAAAIBAJ&sjid=ftgEAAAAIBAJ&pg=6906,6530951

And one from Baptist Press regarding the issue (page 6): https://s3.amazonaws.com/media.sbhla.org/7911,23-Jan-1995.PDF

Apparently the law is 100 feet from the building (or at least was in 1996), and the Arena was granted a waiver for this, as it was 15 feet too close. This is also over 15 years old, so the membership and its opinions regarding the sale of alcohol may have changed substantially during this time frame.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

That's a pretty optimistic view.. but I guess time really will tell.. :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If I'm not mistaken, the northwest corner of the Bridgestone Arena is actually the Central Police Precinct. Surely that provides an adequate buffer between the church and the goings-on inside or immediately outside of the arena. If the congregation is open to adding a cafe/music venue entrance on that corner, they must have come to terms with their proximity to the arena. Maybe they are hoping that some of the crowd will stop in for coffee and Christian music from time to time as well. All in all, it seems like a good supplement to the other music venues on Lower Broad.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

In a modern and cosmopolitan city like Nashville these old "blue" laws cannot be upheld. The courts almost NEVER hold them up. The restaurants on Church Street are still fighting not being able to serve alcohol across from Mckendree United Methodist Church. Considering every Methodist I ever met drank, the law in this case is irrelevant as well.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

That sure is an interesting debate. i would bet that the skyscrapergeek can give some info on this.

I don't really have much to add to it. I wasn't a memeber at the time. I'm pretty sure the church has moved on from that as I never hear it talked about. I also don't think it will ever be an issue again unless the Goodyear lot is sold and someone tries to put a bar on it. The Lutheran church might have a problem before FBC would.

With that said, it's kind of sad that the church is remembered more for their stance against an alchol ordinance than all the good things it does for downtown (and the church is partially to blame for that); however, I don't really want to get into that discussion here and hope the conversation goes back to the merits of the new master plan and future construction.

1 person likes this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I stand corrected! I had forgotten all about that dispute when the arena was being built. I have to say that the church's objections to alcohol being sold in the immediate vicinity really make no sense to me. How does it effect the church if it is being sold across the street? What's the motivation? What's the difference between it being sold 100 yards away and 200 yards away? I really don't understand the logic here.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Because, it's the devil's drink, obviously. These laws were the result of individuals who were angry with prohibition coming to an end, and wanted to curtail consumption as much as possible. Think about it, if in 1935 Nashville you weren't able to build an establishment that sold liquor within 200 yards of a church, there would be precious few lots available to build on.

But back to the topic, when are they planning on breaking ground for this expansion?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!


Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.


Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  
Followers 0

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.