Kootenay Christian Fellowship has placed its Stanley Street church on the market and made an offer on the Savoy Lanes building.
Pastor Jim Reimer says their proposal has been conditionally accepted pending the sale of their current home. If the deal goes through, they would move their services and Our Daily Bread hot lunch program into the old bingo hall, which was most recently a Curves gym, but is currently vacant.
Reimer called the space “ideal” and noted it won’t require extensive renovation.
“This property will meet all our short-term and long-term goals if we can sell our current building and raise enough funds to purchase it,” he said.
“What excites us about this opportunity is we would be able to have Our Daily Bread in a non-residential area, have our church there, and in the future there’s enough property to build low-cost housing.”
Last year the church tried to buy the old Savoy Hotel next door and convert the top floor into small apartments.
However, estimates on renovating the century-old building, empty since a 2007 fire, were far higher than building new.
“If we are able to purchase this property, we could fulfill our goals with less money,” Reimer says. “That’s the key for accessing money for low cost housing: property.”
This building sits on 0.9 of an acre.
The SPCA and bowling alley would remain in their present locations, and become a revenue source for the church, Reimer added.
“We’re not looking to terminate any leases but to have them continue on, because we don’t really need that extra space.”
The church listed its building for sale last week. There has already been one offer, but the prospective buyer couldn’t meet their conditions.
Even if it sells, that won’t be enough to cover the purchase of the Savoy Lanes, Reimer said, so he’s looking for 150 people willing to donate $1,000 each.
About $35,000 is also left over from the building fund established last year. Reimer says while some people asked for their money back when the Savoy Hotel deal fell through, many others told them to keep it.
That cash will be used to defray the cost of moving the commercial kitchen from their present location.
Reimer said ever since Our Daily Bread began, they have promised neighbours they would move to a non-residential area once the opportunity arose, “so we’re trying to keep our word.”
While he believes residents are more comfortable with the program now, “nevertheless, I think we would do a better job in this other building.”
Reimer said the money needed to purchase the Savoy Lanes is on top of the $75,000 required annually to operate Our Daily Bread.
The asking price on their Stanley Street building is $319,000, while the agreed purchase price on the Savoy Lanes is $1.5 million.