Where is the property?
The property is located on the southeast corner of 56 Ave (Highway 10) and 148 Street in Surrey, BC – adjacent to the building where our current leased Ministry Centre is located. The property is just under 6 acres in size.
Why this location?
It was difficult to find land that was large enough and had a chance of being rezoned to our needs. Much of what looks like open land is reserved under the provincial land reserve program and is unavailable to build on. Where there are land options, it is zoned as light industrial, residential, or commercial with little to no guarantee that the residents or City of Surrey would allow appropriate rezoning to occur.
Our goal was to find a plot of land that was a workable size, had a reasonable chance of being rezoned, had the ability to share parking, and was not an exorbitant price. Before this particular site, we had interest in 2 or 3 other properties that we pursued. The present location was brought to our attention through an introduction from the City of Surrey who were very helpful with our search. The journey to start finding a long-term solution started in early 2013.
When will construction begin and how long will it take?
Subject to the amount of pledges and giving coming in, we would like to break ground in the fall of 2020. We are still working with the City of Surrey around parking requirements and will then begin the permitting process. If we are not able to start by November 2020, we will begin in March 2021.
Construction is expected to take 18 months.
Will there be enough parking?
Yes. This was a key part of the development application that included traffic consultants. The property itself will include over 600 spots including underground parking. We have a reciprocal parking agreement on title with 14928 (our current Ministry Centre) on weeknights and weekends and street parking on 54A Ave. As well, we have an agreement for shared parking on weekends with the Benchmark East Building at 152nd Street and 54A Ave (via shuttle service). This brings the grand total to close to 1000 spots - well beyond what is required.
Why the March 1 pledge deadline?
We have asked our church to pray for one month and then submit their pledges by March 1 so we can confirm the commitment level. We believe God is asking us to do this and so this step is a confirmation of that vision.
People (newcomers) will be able to pledge after that day and you will be able to change or update your pledge as the 3 years progress.
Will we be able to raise the money?
The first phase of the campaign to purchase the land was an incredible show of what can happen when the people of God rally around a project and deadline. That being said, many people probably don’t have large amounts of cash just sitting there to give. So, what we are asking people to do is to think, examine, and pray about re-prioritizing their finances to make the kind of gift they would like to make over the next three years, to support a moment in our history that we may not get another chance to do again.
We are asking us as a church to give $30M ($10M/year over 3 years) and we will borrow the remaining. But, our goal is to raise the entire amount by the time the project is completed in 2022. We are trusting God for that amount and we know it is achievable if every family gives what they can in faith.
There are many ways to give. See this link for more ideas that might surprise you.
What is the cost of the building?
The total cost is projected to be approximately $50M. As of January 2020 we have a little over $2M saved already so that leaves a remaining amount of $48M to cover building, parking, soft costs, and contingencies. A rough breakdown is $30M for building, $10M for parking, and another allocation of $10M for soft costs (architect, consultants, designers) and contingencies.
Why can't we just keep doing what we are doing?
There are many reasons why we cannot just do nothing, most of them related to limitations that block our vision/effectiveness, higher costs, as well as our growing vulnerability. This is explained more in our Lease vs. Build analysis summarized here.
Is this too much money to be spending on a church?
The short answer is No because this is not just one church.
The Ministry Centre first and foremost services and resources six churches now (as of January 2020) and the vision is for 10, 50, 100 in the coming decades. In order for that to happen we must be training leaders and developing content to support that goal.
Secondly, the size represents the space we are currently using (renting and leasing) every week across multiple buildings in Surrey. Take that square footage and project out typical costs per square foot of a multipurpose building (including auditorium) and you quickly see how the building cost is what it is. The cost jumps again when adding an underground parking component to support the usage.
Why underground parking?
The city of Surrey does not allow above ground parking structures.
In addition, because land value in Surrey has passed the $2.5M/acre mark, the cost to build underground parking is similar to the cost of more land to house surface parking (if that land was available).
Who is the architect?
What if we raise more than we need?
Any amounts given and remaining over and above the amount needed to construct and furnish the building will be carried forward into the operation and maintenance fund.