A reader reached out to us over the weekend and gave us the heads up that the Love Kingdom Fellowship Church at 1009 S. 3rd St. was recently purchased by developers. We took a peek at public record, and indeed, a developer based in Packer Park purchased this property back in February, paying $2.8M. Further confirming the situation, we looked at the website for the church and saw that they’re currently operating out of a temporary location in South Jersey.
Given the price that was paid and several other factors, we can pretty much guarantee that the new owners will look to tear down the church and replace it with a residential development of some kind. Unlike many churches we’ve seen torn down over the years, this one is a relatively new building, having been constructed in the mid-1980s. There was previously an auto garage and gas station on the site which burned down in the 1960s. The church was proposed in the mid-1970s, but years of litigation pushed its construction back for years. Also of note, the architect for this building was Harold Wagoner, whose firm designed over 500 churches in the 20th century. We imagine there’s more to this story, maybe someone that’s been in the neighborhood for a long time can fill in some more details?
At this time, no permits have been pulled for the property (including demolition), so we couldn’t tell you exactly what to expect here. What we can tell you is that the property is enormous, measuring roughly 21K sqft, and it’s also zoned for multi-family use. By-right, the developers could build an apartment building here, or perhaps a mix of town homes and apartments. We might be inclined to expect apartments with frontage on 3rd Street and some town homes tucked into the property, accessed from Bodine Street. Still, given the large footprint and the unusual shape, it’ll be impossible to predict exactly what kind of project will ultimately happen here at this point. Of course, when things do come into focus at this address, we’ll be sure to let ya know.