The Salvation Army took another step toward its eventual move to the Northside from downtown by closing on the purchase of its future home.
The nonprofit last month paid $1.8 million for the 2.3-acre property at 1900 Chamberlayne Ave., which it bought from Eternity Church in a deal that closed March 30. The site most recently was assessed at about $3.4 million, according to city records.
Eternity Church operated at the site until it relocated to 1200 Wilmington Ave. in 2017.
The Salvation Army plans to move out of its current regional headquarters at 2 W. Grace St. in favor of the Chamberlayne Avenue site amid a national push to centralize regional Salvation Army operations into one-stop-shop locations, each dubbed as Center of Hope.
The new facility will house the local outfit’s case management, emergency housing and all administrative operations. Facility space will increase from the 17,000 square feet the nonprofit has on West Grace Street up to 48,000 square feet on Chamberlayne Avenue. Program space will rise from 9,000 to 35,000 square feet, Salvation Army spokeswoman Katey Sanders said in an email. That increase will enable the Salvation Army to almost double its bedding for emergency housing, from 55 beds to 96.
The move is expected to take place summer 2021.
The Salvation Army will use the property’s existing building and plans substantial interior renovations for the space. It has tapped Cornerstone Architects to design the space, and still seeks a contractor for what’s estimated to be a $6.5 million project, said Stephen Batsche, executive director of program services. City Council in late January approved a special-use permit needed to allow the Salvation Army to operate at its future facility.
The Salvation Army Boys & Girls Club in the East End and the Citadel Corps ministry center in Southside will continue to operate at their current locations. The adult rehabilitation center near The Diamond will close next month to consolidate the program. The Richmond center houses up to 84 men, and they now will be referred to other adult rehabilitation centers the Salvation Army operates in the southern United States, Sanders said.
The Salvation Army plans to sell the West Grace Street facility, as well as the parking lot next door, which the nonprofit also owns, Sanders said. The two properties total about an acre and most recently were assessed by the city at a combined $2.57 million.