Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Former Retail Space to Become Place of Worship

Former Best Buy to become place of worship

Best Buy recently relocated their Snellville store on Scenic Highway to a newly constructed location in Scenic Promenade a few hundred feet away. Fortunately, their old space will not sit empty for long! Their 46,000 square foot former store will soon become the permanent home of 12Stone's Snellville campus.  

12Stone, a Wesleyan megachurch, was founded by senior pastor Kevin Myers in 1987 as Crossroads Community Church.   

In 2007, the church changed its name to 12Stone.

According to the 12Stone website, the church gets its name from "the story of Joshua, who led the Israelites into the Promised Land. Before they could reach the Promised Land, they would have to cross the Jordan River which was at flood stage. G0d told Joshua to have the priests, who were carrying the Ark of the Covenant, step into the water. When they did, the waters were cut off, allowing the Israelites to cross on dry land. Once they were on the other side of the river, 12 stones (one for each of the 12 tribes of Israel) were taken from the river and set up as a monument so that future generations would know the power of G0d."

Today, 12Stone has a total of nine campuses including a temporary Snellville location and four other temporary campuses.   The existing campuses include Lawrenceville (central campus) Hamilton Mill, Flowery Branch and Sugarloaf.  Temporary locations include Buford, Bethlehem, Braselton, Grayson and Snellville.  All of the temporary campuses except for Grayson are housed in public school facilities.  

This is at least the third time a former retail space has been re-concepted as a place of worship.  Passion City Church, a similar megachurch opened on Garson Drive near the Lindbergh MARTA station in a building previously home to Sam's Club, then Home Depot EXPO, and most recently PGA TOUR Superstore.  A former Harris Teeter on Roswell Road in Sandy Springs functioned as a temporary home for megachurch Buckhead Church (part of North Point Community Church) in 2003, before the church moved to its newly constructed permanent home in the heart of Buckhead in 2007.  

What are your thoughts on this retailer repurpose?  Have you been to 12Stone?  What are your feelings about megachurches?  

Please share your thoughts below.  

21 comments:

Anonymous said...

His Hands Church in Woodstock moved into a former Big K-Mart location on Highway 92 off I-575 near BJs and Super Target.

Anonymous said...

Wish all brick and mortar big boxes could be repurposed this quickly. Not a fan of mega churches but they are growing in numbers due to political correctness against traditional places of worship. They obviously serve a purpose and fill a need or they would not be expanding. Maybe the buyers of Northlake mall would consider this an option as there seems to be a need for wealthy residents to spend all their disposable income. The money through charity would definitely stay in the community.

Anonymous said...

AtHome is now open in the former Snellville KMart. Very quick turn around of the space.

Gallery Antiques moved from Monroe into a very old many times repurposed Walmart on US 78 in Snellville too.

Location and lease or sale prices are probably a driving factor in the success of a converted big box.

Anonymous said...

Positive use of a big space!

Anonymous said...

The Lindbergh Sams Club was a Pace Warehouse Club store before Sams came in. Sams was only there a very short time until they tore down the old Clairmont Road Kmart and built a new Sams on that lot. Miss that Pace. I had a membership there.

Anonymous said...

"Big box" churches are fine and dandy until you need a funeral or a wedding. Then people run back to a {gasp} traditional church. A big-box building just doesn't make for beautiful wedding pictures, nor is it comforting for a funeral.

Anonymous said...

That new Best Buy is way too small. The selection and inventory suck bad!

BK said...

I was going to comment about His Hands church too, but saw it was already mentioned. There's also Marietta Vineyard Church which takes up maybe 1/3rd to a half of an old Winn-Dixie space off Lower Roswell Road, but that's been long chopped up into smaller spaces. I also hear Passion City is looking for a second location in the Cumberland area. Not sure if they want to go ground up or find another big box though.

Anonymous said...

"That new Best Buy is way too small. The selection and inventory suck bad!"

Get use to it! That is the trend with these type (electronics) stores as more and more people shop online.

Anonymous said...

I'm really disgusted by this trend. What about for those of us who aren't religious? How many churches are too many? Did Buckhead really need another church? One that ties up traffic on Piedmont all day long? How about something the whole community can use, not just a church that is only used on Sunday? How about a bookstore, a movie theater, a grocery store? Just angry about the Passion City Church situation.

Anonymous said...

Passion City Church is supposed to open a church in the cumberland area later this year. They are looking for a location.

Anonymous said...

Great investment for a church to take what could have been a useful building off the tax rolls since churches pay no taxes. Years later they will resell and make money, all tax free of course. ugh....

Anonymous said...

"I'm really disgusted by this trend. What about for those of us who aren't religious? How many churches are too many?"

Are you also disgusted with vaping stores, hooka shops, title loans stores, pawn shops, strip clubs, happy massage spas, nail salons, etc, etc, etc?

Anonymous said...

"Great investment for a church to take what could have been a useful building off the tax rolls since churches pay no taxes. Years later they will resell and make money, all tax free of course. ugh.... "

The church did not TAKE that building, they are paying for it! And they also found a use for it before someone else did, as it could have sat empty for years like many big boxes do. I get your hang up with taxes, but churches do give back to the community in the way of charitable and philanthropic causes. Churches don't just take, they GIVE much more than you will ever know. But you don't care about thatdo you! ugh....

Skreet said...

Don't forget about the entire shopping center (formerly anchored by a Shoe Carnival, Books a Million and Walmart) in Athens, GA right on the loop that has become a church.

Ham said...

Seems like there are a lot of empty big boxes sitting unused all around the metro area, so having a church occupy one or two of them sounds like a good idea to me. Yes, they may not pay taxes, but their parishioners eat in restaurants, buy gas and of course coffee/doughnuts. Of course we could leave them empty in hopes that some overpriced hipster friendly grocery moves in with free range kale and gluten free croughnuts.

Anonymous said...

Whole Foods or Trader Joe's could've moved in ... NOT!

Snark :)

BW said...

For the record, in the case of 12Stone Church, they've agreed to make annual "voluntary" donations to the City of Snellville in an amount equal to what the property taxes would've been had this building not been taken off the tax rolls. This agreement was a condition of the City of Snellville approving their conditional use permit to operate a church in a commercially zoned property. This agreement is for the life of the church and the conditional use permit expires should the church ever stop making these payments to the City.

TheJohnP said...

Christ the King Lutheran Church in Norcross was a sporting goods store once. Can't remember which one however.

Anonymous said...

BW

Thanks for the information! Sounds like a Win/Win situation.

AJ said...

I am as far from religious as you can be and I have no issue with it. I'm sure churches are not #1 on a landlord's list of tenants as they want a tenant who is open 7 days a week, 12 hours a day, but if a church is paying rent, it's better than an empty building.