Apartments Coming to Former Love Kingdom Fellowship Church Site

Roughly three years ago, we told you that developers had purchased 1009 S. 3rd St., which had been home to Love Kingdom Fellowship Church for a few years, and before that the Nazareth Baptist Church for a few decades. The building was constructed, we believe, in the early 1980s, and was designed by Harold Wagoner, whose firm designed over 500 churches in the 20th century. We often write about older and more historic churches getting demolished, and this was a rare example of a more contemporary building that seemed likely to get replaced by residential development. And indeed, this interesting edifice faced the wrecking ball in 2019.

In the past
Current view

Back when we wrote our post about the property in 2018, we didn’t actually know what would be happening here. We noted that the property covered 21K sqft and was zoned for multi-family use, and speculated that developers could simply build a sizable apartment building here. Alternately, we proposed a mix of homes and apartments, with frontage for the apartments on 3rd Street and some town homes tucked into the property and accessed from Bodine Street. Instead, the developers simply opted to lop off the northern section of the property and build a trio of quadplexes. Those units, which were finished last year, were originally listed as condos, but now it seems they’re listed for rent.

Newer quadplexes next door

But there’s still this 17K sqft lot at 1015 S. 3rd St., sitting there and patiently waiting for something to happen. Sooner than later, it appears that something is indeed in the offing. Next month, the developers will present plans at Civic Design Review for a four-story apartment building with 67 units and no parking. Thanks to a density bonus from a green roof and height and density bonuses from the low income housing bonus, this project will proceed as a matter of right. Harman Deutsch Ohler is doing the design work for the project, and as is typically the case with CDR, we have renderings to share.

Rendering from the south
Rendering from the north
Aerial view
Rendering from Washington Avenue

This project makes plenty of sense here and doesn’t feel too tall or too dense for the location. This stands in contrast to the apartment building now under construction up the block at 3rd & Christian, which will feel a bit stubby at only three stories high. That project also includes parking, if you recall, which is also not required at the larger project to the south. This is yet another example of the way that the underlying zoning of a property dictates the types of projects that move forward. We have to think that if the property at 1015 S. 3rd St. were zoned like the parcel at 3rd & Christian, we’d be seeing a very different proposal here, like with less height, fewer units, and a curb cut. Count us among the grateful that we’re getting what we’re getting, and not the alternative.

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