Church buys bigger building, wraps up $2.7M renovation

FromTheHeart1

Signage posted on the site in December noted the church’s pending move. (Jonathan Spiers photo)

After selling off a site it once eyed for its new home, a local church has made a move into bigger digs by way of renovating an existing house of worship.

From the Heart Church Ministries of Richmond is wrapping up a multimillion-dollar renovation of the former Abundant Life Church of Christ building at 3300 Neale St. From the Heart has relocated there from its previous location at 2401 Byron St., about a half-mile away.

From the Heart bought the 16,000-square-foot building a year ago from Abundant Life, which remains nearby after downsizing to a building it owns a block away.

Henrico records show From the Heart paid $2.25 million for the property, which spans 38 acres at Neale Street’s intersection with Goodell Road. The property was assessed by the county last year at $2.18 million.

Since then, From the Heart has spent $2.7 million on the renovation, which included interior and exterior work with new stone facades, a resurfaced parking lot and lighting, landscaping, and upgrades to the sanctuary, classrooms and the rest of the building’s interior.

FromTheHeart6

A rendering of the renovated sanctuary, which can hold up to 700 people. (Images courtesy Mike Luckett)

The move triples the amount of space that From the Heart had in its former building. Byron Street is  where the church has been located since being founded 23 years ago as a Richmond congregation of its same-named parent church in Maryland.

Pastor James Ransom, who has led the Richmond church since 2003, said it had considered building a new structure on land it owned at 120 Westover Ave., a 16-acre tract off Nine Mile Road that’s part of a 30-acre assemblage now planned for an 85-home subdivision.

James Ransom

James Ransom

When his landscaper let him know that the larger Abundant Life property was for sale, Ransom said the plan pivoted from a new-construction build to a renovation, which he said was less costly.

Noting a need for more classroom space and also more parking, Ransom said, “We were going to accomplish that by building from the ground up, but it was more cost-effective, of course, to acquire it and renovate. As such, this building gave us the ability to meet all of those needs in a more cost-effective way.”

The church agreed to sell the Westover Avenue property to local developer Dorado Capital, which is planning the subdivision and is in the process of securing approvals from Henrico County. Ransom said it sold the property last Friday for $750,000. The 16 acres were assessed by the county at over $215,000.

The church also has sold the Byron Street property, a 5,200-square-foot building on a half-acre that the county assessed at over $428,000. Ransom said that property also sold Friday for $775,000. Neither the Westover nor Byron sales were reflected on online county property records Thursday.

Conducting the Neale Street renovation has been Cesa Solutions, a local general contractor led by Mike Luckett, Ransom’s son-in-law. Luckett said the project is a notable one for his firm, which he said has been transitioning from primarily residential to more commercial work. The firm also renovated the Byron Street building.

FromTheHeart3

Workers in the building during the renovation.

Luckett said the Neale Street renovation has increased in cost from an initial budget projection of $1.6 million. Interior demolition work got underway last summer, and construction continued through the fall. R.L. Delph Architects was the designer on the project.

Luckett said further development could be considered for other parts of the property, which is just north of the site of a 92-home subdivision that TerraForge Communities is planning across Harvie Road from Harvie Elementary School.

“Depending on how this church fills up, we may end up venturing into expanding this into a full campus,” Luckett said, offering a gym and larger sanctuary as possible additions. He said the current sanctuary can hold up to 700 people.

“It’s really being community-oriented and really seeing what the community wants,” Luckett said. “We could put residential housing, but is that necessarily what the neighborhood wants? Or is it that the kids need after-school programs, daycare, things like that.”

Ransom added that any future plans for the site would be informed by the church’s new neighbors.

“We’re excited about being a partner with the community in a broader way,” he said. “We hope that as we are growing as a church, we can also grow in our relationship with other partners in the community that complement our vision.”

Ransom said the project was financed with support from the parent church in Maryland, which was founded four decades ago. The larger From the Heart Church Ministries consists of 22 churches, including locations in Africa, Indonesia, India and Europe.

“Our parent church stepped up and made sure we could, through our infrastructure, acquire the facility. Everything was done internally,” Ransom said. Noting the cost savings that came with renovating versus building, he added, “We try to be good stewards of the resources that God has blessed us with as a church.”

FromTheHeart2

New signage and stonework adorns the church building. (Henrico property record photo)

Ransom said the larger property will allow the church to provide more programs and services than it’s been able to before now. A ceremony to dedicate the new church building was held Sunday.

“Part of sharing Jesus is that we’ve got to give, and certainly we’re going to do everything we can to have an impact on the community and sharing in a broader way,” he said. “We hope to be able to provide some things that will enhance the natural lives of those that we encounter, and be able to hopefully help people raise their level not just spiritually but naturally and financially as well.”

The project is one of several church-driven developments in the works across metro Richmond. Across town, Village of Faith Ministries is planning a redevelopment of its property at 11000 Hull Street Road with nearly 200 apartments and 40 townhomes. In the city, Great Hope Baptist Church is looking to fill its parking lots off Venable Street with 20 townhomes.

FromTheHeart1

Signage posted on the site in December noted the church’s pending move. (Jonathan Spiers photo)

After selling off a site it once eyed for its new home, a local church has made a move into bigger digs by way of renovating an existing house of worship.

From the Heart Church Ministries of Richmond is wrapping up a multimillion-dollar renovation of the former Abundant Life Church of Christ building at 3300 Neale St. From the Heart has relocated there from its previous location at 2401 Byron St., about a half-mile away.

From the Heart bought the 16,000-square-foot building a year ago from Abundant Life, which remains nearby after downsizing to a building it owns a block away.

Henrico records show From the Heart paid $2.25 million for the property, which spans 38 acres at Neale Street’s intersection with Goodell Road. The property was assessed by the county last year at $2.18 million.

Since then, From the Heart has spent $2.7 million on the renovation, which included interior and exterior work with new stone facades, a resurfaced parking lot and lighting, landscaping, and upgrades to the sanctuary, classrooms and the rest of the building’s interior.

FromTheHeart6

A rendering of the renovated sanctuary, which can hold up to 700 people. (Images courtesy Mike Luckett)

The move triples the amount of space that From the Heart had in its former building. Byron Street is  where the church has been located since being founded 23 years ago as a Richmond congregation of its same-named parent church in Maryland.

Pastor James Ransom, who has led the Richmond church since 2003, said it had considered building a new structure on land it owned at 120 Westover Ave., a 16-acre tract off Nine Mile Road that’s part of a 30-acre assemblage now planned for an 85-home subdivision.

James Ransom

James Ransom

When his landscaper let him know that the larger Abundant Life property was for sale, Ransom said the plan pivoted from a new-construction build to a renovation, which he said was less costly.

Noting a need for more classroom space and also more parking, Ransom said, “We were going to accomplish that by building from the ground up, but it was more cost-effective, of course, to acquire it and renovate. As such, this building gave us the ability to meet all of those needs in a more cost-effective way.”

The church agreed to sell the Westover Avenue property to local developer Dorado Capital, which is planning the subdivision and is in the process of securing approvals from Henrico County. Ransom said it sold the property last Friday for $750,000. The 16 acres were assessed by the county at over $215,000.

The church also has sold the Byron Street property, a 5,200-square-foot building on a half-acre that the county assessed at over $428,000. Ransom said that property also sold Friday for $775,000. Neither the Westover nor Byron sales were reflected on online county property records Thursday.

Conducting the Neale Street renovation has been Cesa Solutions, a local general contractor led by Mike Luckett, Ransom’s son-in-law. Luckett said the project is a notable one for his firm, which he said has been transitioning from primarily residential to more commercial work. The firm also renovated the Byron Street building.

FromTheHeart3

Workers in the building during the renovation.

Luckett said the Neale Street renovation has increased in cost from an initial budget projection of $1.6 million. Interior demolition work got underway last summer, and construction continued through the fall. R.L. Delph Architects was the designer on the project.

Luckett said further development could be considered for other parts of the property, which is just north of the site of a 92-home subdivision that TerraForge Communities is planning across Harvie Road from Harvie Elementary School.

“Depending on how this church fills up, we may end up venturing into expanding this into a full campus,” Luckett said, offering a gym and larger sanctuary as possible additions. He said the current sanctuary can hold up to 700 people.

“It’s really being community-oriented and really seeing what the community wants,” Luckett said. “We could put residential housing, but is that necessarily what the neighborhood wants? Or is it that the kids need after-school programs, daycare, things like that.”

Ransom added that any future plans for the site would be informed by the church’s new neighbors.

“We’re excited about being a partner with the community in a broader way,” he said. “We hope that as we are growing as a church, we can also grow in our relationship with other partners in the community that complement our vision.”

Ransom said the project was financed with support from the parent church in Maryland, which was founded four decades ago. The larger From the Heart Church Ministries consists of 22 churches, including locations in Africa, Indonesia, India and Europe.

“Our parent church stepped up and made sure we could, through our infrastructure, acquire the facility. Everything was done internally,” Ransom said. Noting the cost savings that came with renovating versus building, he added, “We try to be good stewards of the resources that God has blessed us with as a church.”

FromTheHeart2

New signage and stonework adorns the church building. (Henrico property record photo)

Ransom said the larger property will allow the church to provide more programs and services than it’s been able to before now. A ceremony to dedicate the new church building was held Sunday.

“Part of sharing Jesus is that we’ve got to give, and certainly we’re going to do everything we can to have an impact on the community and sharing in a broader way,” he said. “We hope to be able to provide some things that will enhance the natural lives of those that we encounter, and be able to hopefully help people raise their level not just spiritually but naturally and financially as well.”

The project is one of several church-driven developments in the works across metro Richmond. Across town, Village of Faith Ministries is planning a redevelopment of its property at 11000 Hull Street Road with nearly 200 apartments and 40 townhomes. In the city, Great Hope Baptist Church is looking to fill its parking lots off Venable Street with 20 townhomes.

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Michael Malone
Michael Malone
1 month ago

The improvements will certainly contribute to the amount of property taxes being paid, right? /s