Wayside Christian Mission decides to sell property and move
Wayside Christian Mission is no longer planning a controversial demolition and expansion at its women and family shelter on East Market Street.
Instead, leaders have decided to sell the property and move the mission. And, it appears the deal is good news for everyone involved.
We're very confident that it's a good offer and one that we can all live with and it'll be a win-win for this situation," said Nina Moseley, Wayside Chief Operating Officer.
Nina Moseley says the ten buildings that make up Wayside's women and family shelter on east market are in new hands. She won't say the selling price, but she does say it's enough to build another shelter, complete with everything it was going to add with its planned expansion.. a project that called for demolitioning three buildings. One idea is to build on the mission's Jefferson street property where Wayside's men's shelter is located. Moseley says not only would the land be free, Wayside could cut costs by combining services.
"We've constantly had to run two kitchens and two staffs and two of everything. So, if we do choose to build on that backlot, it will help us with some of our costs overall," said Moseley.
"This sale brings to an end a fight between Wayside and the East Downtown Business Association, which wanted the buildings declared a landmark to keep them from being torn down. In fact, the sale comes on the same day a hearing was scheduled before the Landmarks Commission," said Moseley.
The group buying the Wayside property includes Gil Holland, a local filmmaker and developer with a history of preserving the buildings he buys. In fact, he's currently restoring this building just west of the Wayside property. There's talk he'll turn this property into retail space.. continuing the trend of new shops, art galleries and restaurants that have recently made a home along east Market.
Business owner and East Downtown business association board member Chuck Swanson says he's releaved Holland's involved in the Wayside sale.. and denies the fight against Wayside's expansion was about trying run the homeless out of the neighborhood.
Really not against the mission, but just against the plans to demolish buildings. We've been really consistent on that," said Swanson.
"While we feel our planned renovation was going to add to the city, if they have shops and more restaurants and more galleries, more power to them," said Swanson.
The new owners are giving Wayside two years to move the shelter. Nina Moseley says that should be enough time to build a new facility.