Over two years ago, we told you about a divided community opinion regarding plans to convert the former Greater Saint Matthew Baptist Church into apartments from Barzilay Development. Neighbors were concerned, stop us if you've heard this one before, that thirty-eight new apartments with zero parking spaces would put more pressure on an already strained parking situation in the neighborhood. Given the number of people who were unenthused about the project, we were weren't too optimistic about its fate at the ZBA. But the ZBA granted the variance, and construction has been ongoing at the old church at Grays Ferry & Fitzwater.
Though you can't particularly tell by looking at the exterior, the renovation project is actually hitting the home stretch, and the leasing effort has begun. According to a press release, apartment options include one, two, and three bedroom lofts, along with one and two bedroom apartments. Unit sizes range from 381 sqft to 1,382 sqft, and prices range from $1,200/mo to $2,750/mo. Check out these renderings:
In a neighborhood where several churches have been demolished in recent years, it's a breath of fresh air to see one preserved and converted into apartments. If it's successful, perhaps it will inspire future developers in the area to think conversion before they think demolition and new construction. We can only pray.