It’s official! Yesterday morning (November 2nd) we closed on the church property at 107 Highwood Ave. Thanks be to God! We hope to begin construction on the church offices as soon as we get the necessary permits.
Now that we have property, we have a better sense of what the total construction costs will be. We will be seeking to raise $300,000 additional funds, from the congregation as well as from beyond (family members, grants, etc.). Please pray for the Homeward campaign, and if you haven’t already participated, pray about doing so. You can find a link to give at the bottom of the page.
Despite the rain, a group of about 30 people gathered on the Highwood property the night before closing to give thanks and pray a blessing on the land. It was an especially appropriate night for such a service, because it was All Saints Day — and we gave particular thanks for those who worshipped in the building in the past, and for the founders of Redeemer who prayed for a permanent space in which to worship and serve.
As we announced on Sunday, the environmental issue that was discovered during due diligence (an old storage tank that was buried in front of the property) has been successfully resolved. The tank was removed without incident, and NO contamination was found. Thanks be to God! We are waiting for official clearance from the state, and we will then be moving forward toward closing.
Let us offer our thanks to God as we also pray for a smooth closing, for our Homeward financial campaign, and for those working hard on behalf of Church of Redeemer as we search for a permanent home.
If you haven’t already donated to our building fund, you can do so by clicking on the link at the bottom of this page.
Church of the Redeemer’s Vestry voted unanimously last night to pursue the purchase of the church at 107 Highwood Ave in Highwood for our church home. The vote came at the end of a meeting that involved careful review of Redeemer’s operational finances, funds committed and received, and the costs associated with moving forward. The Vestry was joined, for a time, by Scott Krone, who as our construction manager detailed the renovation costs. Krone, who has worked with several churches on the North Shore and has extensive experience with development in a number of communities, reflected that the experience with Highwood has been relatively straightforward and positive.
The process was slowed for a few weeks by Highwood’s requirement that we re-pave the municipal parking lot that the church will use. Some have been concerned that it was not a fair request, but in the end, the Vestry felt it was not a ‘deal breaker’, especially as funds have been recently committed to help with a significant portion of the costs. And many see it as a way of blessing the entire community as we begin our ministry there.
Last night’s decision is dependent on the satisfactory resolution of an environmental issue discovered during ‘due diligence’, namely the presence of an underground heating oil tank, that will need to be tested and removed.
More information will be provided to church members in the coming weeks as the process moves toward closing.
Tonight the Highwood City Council met to vote on whether or not to approve the special use permit and parking variance we need in order to move forward on our building plans. The Council decided to approve both measures, but with conditions.
The good news is that tonight’s decision means that this door is not yet closed to us. At the same time, our executive team and vestry will be needing to make decisions about whether or not we can fulfill the conditions the Council set forth, each of which have potential financial implications for our congregation. We will be working to reach resolution on these issues in the coming weeks.
So, please continue to pray earnestly for our facilities team and vestry, and for those with whom we will be negotiating in the coming days. And if you have a chance, go to 107 Highwood Ave. and spend some time praying on site for the Lord’s will to be done in and through that space.
Last night we appeared before the City Council in Highwood. Our presentation was well received, and the questions asked were helpful clarifications. The primary concern on the part of the city has to do with our request regarding parking, and Highwood’s general parking shortage.
The upshot is that before the Aldermen vote on our proposal, they would like for us to sit down with the City Manager and work together on positive steps to improve the parking situation, both for Redeemer and others in that general vicinity. This means that a vote on us acquiring the building is now set for August 1st.
While another delay is a disappointment, the door has not closed, and we’re being provided with an opportunity to show that we really do care about the community and our desire to contribute to it in positive ways. We are hopeful that these conversations will be positive and mutually supportive.
Thanks to everyone who attended and filled up the City Council room, and for the many prayers that are being offered up. Let us continue to pray that God’s will would be revealed and accomplished — for Highwood, and for Church of the Redeemer.
Tuesday night it was agreed, by mutual consent, to postpone the vote by the Highwood City Council on Redeemer’s proposal for two weeks. The reason is that several aldermen were unable to be in attendance, and there was barely a quorum. The city leadership felt they would rather have a full council (or as close as possible) for a decision like this. We agreed because we would have needed every vote last night to go our way, and that was not certain. So we’ll be on the agenda for the July 5th meeting.
Thank you for prayers, and for continuing to pray.
Last night the Highwood Zoning Commission voted unanimously to allow Church of the Redeemer to utilize the building at 107 Highwood Avenue, which would return the property for church use for the first time in 50 years. Thanks be to God! The next approval meeting will be before the City Council next month. Thank you for your continued prayers.
These tentative floor plans have been designed by Scott Krone of Coda Design Build in consultation with Church of the Redeemer, and we’re currently in the process of seeking input from the Village of Highwood on what they would like to see in the final version of the plans. If you have questions or comments, you may contact Michele Becker.
We are excited to announce that Lord willing, the former Swedish Methodist Church at 107 Highwood Ave. in Highwood, a local landmark, will be Redeemer’s future home.
We have an agreement to purchase the Highwood Church for our permanent home, renewing a sacred space as a center for worship, study and good works.
But this is just the beginning of a process, and there are still a number of items to be worked out for this to happen.
So please be praying for:
- Our process for approvals with the city of Highwood;
- Our ongoing funding needs for this opportunity;
- Plans to develop the space in the best way;
- A renewed and focused vision to serve the local area.
Total pledged: $996,209
Total in hand: $748,342
Remaining need: $200,000