Salvation Army pays $1.8M for site for new HQ

The Salvation Army bought a Northside property from a church to be the site of its future regional headquarters in March. (BizSense file photo)

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.

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Bruce Milam
Bruce Milam
1 month ago

Congratulations to Bill Mattox and Sara Marie Williamson on this sale and last weeks land sale to VCU Athletics. It’s good to see the H&B Alumni still doing well.

John Lindner
John Lindner
1 month ago

It’s nice to see this vital non-profit growing and serving the community in an even greater capacity. There’s no question that we need more shelter beds in Richmond, along with the other programs they offer.

I was worried the NIMBY crowd would sabotage the shelter they planed to operate at the new location, but I’m glad it survived.

This move spells good news for both communities. The Eternity space will get new life, as will their old property on Grace. And with Cornerstone involved, the result is sure to be stunning.

Keep your eyes peeled.

Michael Dodson
Michael Dodson
1 month ago
Reply to  John Lindner

Not sure how this is growing. The housing, therapy, and job training program for 84 people is being eliminated in RVA and those men are being told to keep treatment you’ll need to move to Norfolk or DC. 3 retail stores are closing and 38 staffers are being fired. And this was all pre-Covid. In return, we get a couple of more cots (44 to be exact) in a temporary shelter and still no permanent shelter has been created.