Jason Thomas and Andrew Dunn, Charlotte Agenda
SouthPark United Methodist Church, known to many as the “Ski Slope Church,” recently sold their property to developers. It’s located at the corner of Sharon and Morrison, across Morrison from Harris Teeter and Sharon from Cowfish.
What’s being built: Expect a new mixed-use development with 73,000 square feet of retail and restaurant space, a 75-room Hyatt Centric boutique hotel, 355 luxury apartments, four-level parking garage and a brand new SouthPark Church. The project will be completed in phases with most elements targeting a 2020 completion. The developers behind the project are Ascentris and Childress Klein.
New church: SouthPark United Methodist Church has rebranded to SouthPark Church and will soon have a $19.8 million new church building as part of the new development. “We’ve been dreaming for a while, and now dreams are coming true,” Pastor Kyle Thompson told the Agenda. The new church building will be nearly twice as big when fully built. On one side, a massive cross will rise above the church roof, bordered by glass and metal “swoosh” shape. At night, this will be able to be lit up in any combination of colors, like the Duke Energy Center. And from the other direction, the new SouthPark Church building will have an $80,000 Times-Square-style video board, with messages from the church and others rotated as advertising space. The church building itself will be around 63,000 square feet. Here’s a video tour.
Why it matters: Churches around the country are already looking at this model — of churches in the middle of a larger community. When Sharon United Methodist was originally built, SouthPark wasn’t much more than a cow pasture. As Charlotte grew, so did SouthPark — and the church’s property became more and more valuable. The church received roughly $15 million from the sale of the property. There are hundreds of churches around the country similarly “blessed with location,” as Pastor Thompson put it. He’s already heard interest from churches in Texas and Kentucky about doing something similar. Thompson reminded church members of the Biblical story of Jesus meeting the Samaritan woman at the well. “She didn’t go to the well to find God,” Thompson said. “She went to do an ordinary activity.”
Images courtesy of Rule Joy Trammell + Rubio, Ascentris and Childress Klein
This article was originally posted in the Charlotte Agenda.