Today, a couple of readers reached out with a heads up that a fence had appeared in front of 711 S. 12th St., home to New Hope Temple Baptist Church since 1936. The building actually dates back to 1893, when it was built as the Twelfth Street Baptish Church. With the fencing now up and a zoning permit recently pulled to divide the parcel into twelve lots, it seems like the handsome old church could soon come down, sadly.
According to public record, the building is still owned by the church. And we haven't seen any press about the church being sold. But we'd have to imagine that a developer has stepped in and purchased the property, which extends to Sartain Street. But we don't know who it is or what they might be planning, specifically.
The giant parcel is zoned for multi-family use and there's a huge parking lot to the south of the church so it's not out of the question that the church could remain, converted to apartments, and a bunch of homes could go up next door. More realistically, we fully expect that the church will be demolished and a bunch of homes will sprout in its place. We could also imagine duplexes, incidentally.
Has anyone in the neighborhood heard anything about this project? What would people most like to see here? Also, does anyone know what's going on with the congregation that's been here for decades?