On Wednesday of Holy Week, we finally reached an agreement to purchase an incomplete building located just south of the southeast corner of Williams & Miller in North Scottsdale. We have a due diligence period ahead to determine whether all inspections and so forth are in order. We have already raised the funds necessary to purchase the building, and will begin work right away on raising the funds necessary to complete it.
The building was originally intended to be a 24,000-square-foot, 2-story office building. In 2009, as the recession deepened, it was abandoned in mid-construction. What is there is simply a concrete foundation and cinder block walls, open to the sky. Here are two pictures, one from the inside and one from the outside:
Here are some exciting facts about this building;
- It's right in the middle of a terrific neighborhood - close to the center of where our members live; near a school, a retirement home, a hospital, a post office, a library, and many homes; right on a major street (if you exit the 101 at Hayden and go 2 miles north, Hayden turns into Miller and you pass right by this building). It's just south of Pinnacle Peak Road, which is one of the two cross streets that go through to Tatum, meaning there is easy access from Desert Ridge/north Phoenix. The park where we have our church picnics and animal blessings is less than half a mile away, so we can still use it for outdoor recreation activities.
- We will have 50 parking spaces full-time, and will be able to use 200 parking spaces in the office development on evenings and Sundays - so we don't have to pay a million dollars an acre for land to park cars on, or for that matter, pay to build and maintain a parking lot.
- As you can see in the photos, the building is in a state of incompletion that will allow us to completely redesign it to look like a church. We have spoken in detail with the head Scottsdale city planner, who assures us that the city is eager to see something happen with this property, and will be very favorably disposed to our redesign ideas.
- We will have a high-ceilinged, 2-story nave, allowing for terrific cathedral-type acoustics and a truly worshipful feel.
- The rest of the building can be built out as 2 stories of classroom, office, parish hall, etc. We would start Phase I by building out the ground floor only: 12,000 square feet, leaving expansion room for later.
- We have a right of first refusal on the 6,600-square-foot office building just to the north, which might be a future expansion site for classrooms and offices.
- We will have room outdoors for a patio for gathering, and either a playground or healing/worship garden.
More than anything, here is what I love about this location: it will allow us to be the incarnated presence of the Risen Christ in the midst of our community. For the past 30 years or so, suburban churches have tended to build on large campuses, somewhat isolated from the community (at least by a parking lot). This site harkens back to an older tradition: the tradition of building the village church right in the middle of the village, where people live, work, and go to school. We can be the welcoming church community for our neighborhood. We can reach out to help the hungry, the lonely, and the lost. We can preach the good news of Easter to a world that only believes in Good Friday. We can worship, grow, and transform lives with the love of Jesus Christ. Thanks be to God!